Ever since it was announced in July Spike Lee would be taking on the cult classic the internet has been awash with different casting rumours with a faster turnover rate than a Kardashian marriage. Will Smith was first reportedly in line for the leading role of Dae-su (whose name will be changed to fit an American setting) however Smith has since left the project to be replaced by actor Josh Brolin, who remains the only confirmed star.
Since this news back in August it was reported that Batman‘s Christian Bale and Rooney Mara were in line to take the parts of antagonist Adrian and sushi chef Mi-do. But since then it was tweeted that Mara has passed on the opportunity whilst there has been no word from Bale on any involvement. So it’s hard not to take this latest news with a pinch of salt.
That said his casting would mark a fascinating new turn for his career. Firth has long been the thinking woman’s crumpet, known for playing the taciturn yet endearing English fop. He has also forever been tarred with the brush of his breakout role as Mr Darcy, playing the part on three separate occasions and similar roles on countless other occasions.
Following a period sometimes known as The Toilet Years in which he starred in such monstrosities as St Trinians, Dorian Gray and, worst of all, Mamma Mia, Firth has been experiencing something of a renaissance. This began with his BAFTA award winning turn as a 1960s gay history professor in A Single Man and exploded with his show-stopping performance as Prince Albert in Oscar magnet The King’s Speech. Whilst the fact that his next project is the Coen Brother’s penned remake Gambit in itself shows that he’s shaken off the vestiges of the mumbling Englishman and is beginning to be respected as a diverse actor in his own right.
He has further expressed his interest only this year in taking on more sinister roles. In an interview with the Evening Standard back in May he stated “I’d love to play a villain – My dark side is as healthy as anyone’s. That may not always come across, but I’ve certainly got it in me.” So perhaps this role is the perfect opportunity for him to show his wider range and for audiences to see the darkness behind Darcy.
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