Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS

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Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#0
Posted: 10/26/04 at 7:29am
Revolution Eyeing Original Cast for Rent
Source: Variety October 26, 2004


Revolution's adaptation of playwright Jonathan Larson's Rent may become a trip down memory lane for a slew of the Tony-winning musical's original cast members, reports Variety. Chris Columbus (first two "Harry Potter" films) will direct and is co-writing the script with Stephen Chbosky.

Filmmakers want to lock in Taye Diggs, Jesse Martin, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Idina Menzel to reprise their roles -- and are willing to film around the actors' schedules to secure them.

This strategy could make plans to fast-track the film for a Spring shoot and Holiday 2005 release a bit tougher.
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So apparently they have other individuals in mind for Angel, Joanne and Mimi. READ: Antonique Smith has been cast as Mimi.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#1
Posted: 10/26/04 at 7:35am
God GAWD.

broadwayguy2 has little intention of seeing this now unless there is a DAMN good trailer out.

nearing middle aged 20 somethings?? NO THANKS!!!
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#2
Posted: 10/26/04 at 7:41am
Yeah right, you know you're seeing it.

I'm also hoping that only a couple (if any) OBCers reprise their roles, but at least they're pursuing other [age-appropriate] people for Angel, Joanne and Mimi. The other roles aren't age-specific.

That said... I do hope that this plan falls through. At least a LITTLE creativity, please, Columbus!
Updated On: 10/26/04 at 07:41 AM
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#3
Posted: 10/26/04 at 7:48am
Maureen is age specific. VERY age specific. Idina is a good 15 years over that.. and DON'T say "well she did it on broadway 7 years ago".. stage and film are two TOTALLY different things.

I am fine with cameos. Reprising their roles, shoot me dead NOW.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#4
Posted: 10/26/04 at 7:56am
No, I agree with you...

And the original cast members will be doubly screwed if both the film and their performances disappoint. I wonder how many of them will say yes. The salary has to be a draw.
Updated On: 10/26/04 at 07:56 AM
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#5
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:15am
"nearing middle aged 20 somethings??"

That describes nearly every film with 20-something characters. It is nothing new. Personally, I'd much rather have the original cast seeing as how we're more likely to get a parade of American Idol pop stars or simply wrong interpretations of the characters as seen currently on Broadway. The original cast was the best and I hope they will use as many of them as possible.

PS - It's been less than 10 years since Rent opened on Broadway. "Middle age" actually is refers to mid-to-late 40s. If you think it won't work, watch the film version of Grease again. Yeah, they were old, and it was one of the biggest box office hits in American films.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#6
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:17am
I'm gonna go with Matt on this one... it's never a strange thing to have people who are 30 play an 18 year old, much less a 20 something... Also, I don't think I'd want to see it if there weren't OBC people in it.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#7
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:21am
Eh... well I'm still left wondering whether this news (if it's true) means that Columbus was initially interested in this material for the music more than the dramatic substance.

How many of you people claiming the OBC was the best actually saw the OBC perform the show?
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#8
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:24am
It's not a matter of them being the best. I freely admit that I never saw them. Not in RENT anyway, I've seen them do other things, but it's the thought behind it. The theme of the show, etc. I know you've seen it all already. I just think it would honor the show a little bit more if there was some OBC in it.

Ps. by the way, there's like 20 posts that ask that question.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#9
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:24am
a 36 Maureen won't work! Just like how a XX ages Mimi didn't work in the original!

and Rent is NOTHING like Grease. Grease is a stylized musical comedy. Rent, in order for it to work, DEMANDS realism in it's approach.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#10
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:28am
Gotta continue agreeing with broadwayguy. What's worse is that OBC reprising their roles means that we won't get to hear more than a few new and distinct voices on the soundtrack...

If they sign on, then that news will be almost like hearing that a film version won't be made. The idea is so not fresh that I might as well buy the bootleg that Pascal's mother made now and call it a day.

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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#11
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:28am
"a 36 Maureen won't work!" - Idina isn't 36. she just turned 33.

Also, not that I really care one way or another, but what would be the difference between using actors older than the part was written for and the fact that all most supposed TEEN AGERS in teen series and movies of late are actually all 25?
Blah...
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#12
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:33am
For a good actor, age should not be that big of an issue. Especially with a part that the actor has crafted and set the standard for. And no song is sung the exact same way twice. I'm interested to see how voices have grown and changed from my 1996 cd.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#13
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:37am
age can be a BIG issue. 1 60 year old should not play a 20 year old....
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#14
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:37am
Then attend the tenth anniversary concert that they're sure to have and bring a record with you, for god's sake. The characters molded those roles? Honey, you obviously know nothing about how much is happening in this film with the characters that didn't happen on the stage.

Swear to god that the people who demand the OBC on message boards such as this one are the reason why Columbus has gone from looking into unknowns and a few Hollywood celebrities for the roles to pursuing the OBC...

He is such a tool.
Updated On: 10/26/04 at 08:37 AM
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#15
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:45am
I will admit to not knowing that much about the film. Fine. Great. I still would love to see some of the OBC. For the record #1, I'm not saying that a 60 year old should be playing a 20 year old (in fact that's what I started to type before ammending my answer) For the record #2, when I heard about a film of RENT however many years ago I wanted all unknowns. Unknowns would be new, fresh, and interesting. Maybe I just expect too much. Commercialism... right... big right now... gotta remember that... whatever.

If the script and storyline have changed that much, I don't think I want to see it anyway. So really, it doesn't matter.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#16
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:45am
And what's up with the desperation to put the film on the "fast track" anyway?
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#17
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:47am
I too, am going to agree with Evelyn and BG2. I don't care much either way, as I've never been "obsessed" with all things RENT/Pascal/Menzel but I do think it's a bad move. And it doesn't matter how old they are literally, Menzel can be 33, or 43, she *looks* old, as was clear on Rescue Me. As for the rest of those mentioned, they are pushing 40 and again, it's all fine but then, the entire concept changes. It's one thing for a bunch of "kids" to be living the life that the characters in RENT were living, with the vagrant lifestyles, the drugs, the going nowhere fast, "careers" but you can't excuse a bunch of(obviously) 35+, grown-up's doing the same. Then, it becomes pathetic, rather than visionary.

I think Spike Lee's casting was still more fresh,if sticking with the "seasoned Broadway performers", concept, with the likes of Esparza, Orfeh, Porter, McDonald. At least they *look* more age appropriate and were never in the show on Broadway and therefore, cannot be "dated".
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#18
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:54am
Thanks Al. It's a completely foolish move and one that I hope the OBC will see through. (though I suspect Anthony Rapp will heartily accept the offer sooner than anyone else) These people risk tainting the legacy of their performances in the original production by starring in a film that could very well bomb critically and financially. Their stage careers may not be paying them as much as they'd like, but I just hope that some of them still believe in the old "I need to keep doing new roles in order to advance my career" schtick.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#19
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:57am
On a lighter note, maybe....

READ: Antonique Smith has been cast as Mimi.

Has she played the role in NY before? Any good?
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#20
Posted: 10/26/04 at 8:58am
I think pascal will jump at the chance too. He always looks as if he feels like he's doing us a favor by "slumming" as a Broadway boy. Like it's somehow beneath him and that he should have been a movie/rock star all along. At least that's the sense I got reading that interview on Broadway.com. Very smug.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#21
Posted: 10/26/04 at 9:03am
2day, Antonigue understudied Mimi in NYC. VERY Good.


So true, Al.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#22
Posted: 10/26/04 at 9:23am
I'm upset they didn't offer it to Daphne. She's the only one I can listen to as Mimi to this day.
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#23
Posted: 10/26/04 at 9:29am
*spits up laughing* Daphne, playing someone who looks like she's 16? Gosh do I pity Columbus for quietly reading message board threads about this film and using our warped ideas... (did I not say that he should work with the Chbosky script and incorporate the neighboring tenants into the opening number months ago?)

This film could really have Oscar potential with the right cast, crew and screenplay. Unfortunately, I think Brokeback Mountain and Memoirs of a Geisha are likely to dominate the 2006 ceremony due in part to the dangerous direction that Rent seems to be going in...
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re: Latebreaking RENT FILM CASTING NEWS#24
Posted: 10/26/04 at 9:43am
*head hits desk*

They're all at LEAST in their mid-30's. This is absurd. And.... think what you will about Adam Pascal's comments on Broadway.com, but honestly - yes, he's can have a bit of an ego, but I never thought it was such a bad thing that he wouldn't want to be in a show with people who are ten years younger than him. I suppose he could've worded his response better... oh, hell, who am I kidding? I've tried to defend this enough times. I give up. To each his own, and I like my rose-colored glass, be it real or not.
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