Have you ever read a book or watched an old movie and thought to yourself, “I know exactly who should play that character!” then started casting all the other parts too? I do it all the time, so I thought it might be fun to start sharing my casting ideas here and ask others who they would cast in the roles.
Simply because it was on TV last night and started chatting about this with Hubby, I shall start with Beverly Hills Cop (1984).
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Character: Axel Foley
Originally played by: Eddie Murphy / Recast: Don Cheadle
Let’s face it, Eddie Murphy in his heyday is a hard act to follow, but Cheadle has both the acting chops and the comic timing to pull off the madcap Axel Foley with enough lighthearted fun and seriousness as a credible cop. And he can pull off the smooth and slick style of Foley with aplomb.
Character: Det. Billy Rosewood
Originally played by: Judge Reinhold / Recast: Jason Segel
When it comes to Rosewood, you need a sweetness and naivite that is difficult to find in Hollywood these days. The one person who comes to mind when thinking of those qualities is Jason Segel. He’d easily be able to pull off the eagerness of Rosewood, keeping a straight face whilst not being able to grasp what everyone else finds so funny. He’d be pretty much perfect.
Character: Sgt. Taggart
Originally played by: John Ashton / Recast: Bryan Cranston
A little jaded and old-school, Taggart is almost a father-figure to the likes of wet-behind-the-ears Rosewood. A little sarcastic, tired and worn, Cranston would be brilliant as a Sergeant who still longs for the old ways of policing but abides by the new PC rules of law enforcement.
Character: Jenny Summers
Originally played by: Lisa Eilbacher / Recast: Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Adams
Pretty, confident and empathetic, Jenny Summers is Foley’s friend, and both Lawrence and Adams would fit the bill, although they are a fair bit younger than my casting choice for Axel. Both would definitely look the part and could certainly play her easily.
Character: Lt. Bogomil
Originally played by: Ronny Cox / Recast: Bradley Whitford
For the man in charge, we need gravitas; stringent yet compassionate, Bogomil likes to do things by the book, but he’ll also stand up for his men when it counts. I thought about the likes of Alan Alda, but he’s too old for the role (he’s in his 70s now), but stepping into that kind of role easily, we have the likes of Bradley Whitford. Plus he looks at home in a suit in a way that most men don’t.
Character: Victor Maitland
Originally played by: Steven Berkoff / Recast: John Lithgow
When you want someone who can look menacing even while smiling, you go straight to the best. Yes, he’s well known for his comedy stint in 3rd Rock From the Sun, but Lithgow is an old hand at playing villains and is particularly chilling when he’s being cool and courteous. He’s be perfect as the dangerous Maitland.
Character: Mikey Tandino
Originally played by: James Russo / Recast: Bradley Cooper
Friend to both Foley and Jenny, Mikey has fallen on the wrong side of the tracks. He’s flaky and shifty, but sweet and friendly. When I thought of Lawrence for Jenny, my immediate go-to for her old pal was Bradley Cooper. Although they don’t share any screen time in Beverly Hills Cop, they have great chemistry together (as shown in more than one film together), and although it’s a bit-part, I’d love to see him in this role.
Originally played by: Jonathan Banks / Recast: Ryan Gosling
I was tempted to recast Banks in the role, but opted to cast someone else who can pull off a blank, steely gaze, and that person is Ryan Gosling. He can be quietly menacing without moving a muscle, and could be convincing with the violent outbursts.
Character: Inspector Todd
Originally played by: Gilbert R. Hill / Recast: Samuel L Jackson
Originally played by: Paul Reiser / Recast: Paul Rudd
I don’t think I would fancy partnering a wild card like Foley, and you can see it in Jeffrey’s eyes that he can’t take much more of Axel’s antics. I’d swiftly replace Paul Reiser with Paul Rudd. I’d also be tempted to expand the role just a touch to give Rudd a little more screen time, because I think he’d be brilliant here!
Originally played by: Bronson Alcott Pinchot / Recast: Sacha Baron Cohen
The camp art gallery assistant to announced “Achmed… Achwell… Axel Fawley… Foley” to Jenny Summer and expounds excitedly about the hideous art installations at his place of work would just have to be Sacha Baron Cohen. There’s nothing more to say on the subject. It would just have to be him. There is no-one else.
So, those are my choices. Obviously I haven’t cast every single role, just the main ones and a few of the significant smaller roles, but these guys would make up the bulk of my remake of Beverly Hills Cop.
Do you agree with my choices? Either way, I’d love to know. And if you’d cast someone else, leave a comment below with your choice and reason for casting them.
And watch this space, I may well be recasting other films or casting books…