Have A Think #6: Apply In Writing

Derek Bentley, Trevor Hicks, Gen. Ford, Fred Noonan - Chris Eccleston played these historic persons, as well as characters hailing from the stories by Mike Phillips, Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Hardy, Jennifer Egan, Susan Cooper, Herbjørg Wassmo. Also, a project ('Feet In The Clouds') that would unite these two aspects is in development. Our reader Jen has remarked that Eccleston should have been John Constantine, and thought it would be interesting to hear what other roles are envisioned. Hence, a question.

What real-life or fictional character can you see - or perhaps always have seen - as played by Eccleston? Never mind any temporal or other limits (your project could also be placed earlier in the filmography, for example). Should it be a direct portrayal or an interpretation? What is this association based on: Intuition, physical semblance, his acting style, ideology? And to go further, who would you appoint to write the adaptation or to direct?

2009-08-19

12 comments:

Tarot said...

I really would have liked to have seen Chris play John Constantine. I liked the movie as is was but I think Chris could have done even better. From what I am given to understand Constantine was originally British and had short cropped blond hair not unlike Chris when he did 28 Days later.

What amuses me is that I had always thought Chris would make a good Aslan and then I find out that he had played Aslan on stage.

Alex said...

Aslan with a Northern accent it was too.

joanr16 said...

Aslan the lion? Really? "More info, pls!"

Most of the real-life people you mention are unknown to us Yanks. I had to Google the Hillsborough tragedy when it figured so prominently in the death of DCI Bilborough; then I was appalled at myself for not being aware of it at the time. (I am old enough, and an Anglophile, after all.)

But I did see CE's portrayal of Alexander von Humboldt, of which you write in CE Films, Part 9: "If you've watched this film not of scientific interest, you've passed the threshold of CE geekery."

Hee hee... guilty. I thought that performance was fun. Cute, goofy fun.

And would I sound like a complete lunatic if I said I think CE would make a more interesting Lincoln than Liam Neeson?

OK, yeah, that does sound kind of crazy....

Alex said...

"One of his teachers, Roland Metcalf, remembers him well.
"One of my first memories of him was playing Aslan the Lion with a Salford accent in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He had a commanding presence even then at - what? 17, 18?"

1996 article

I didn't mention von Humboldt in the post, because it's a documentary w/ re-enactment - not because I don't find it good - it's quirky, yes.

powerjen51 said...

Even though at the time, role went to Richard Armitage at the time, Christopher could have easily portrayed the factory mill owner John Thornton in Elizabeth Gaskell's novel "North And South" which was a mini series for the BBC.

I can imagine Christopher playing a moody Heathcliffe but I can't think an actress who would play his Cathy!

Another job would be that of a James Bond villian trying to take over the world (as they do) and meeting up with Daniel Craig again. "Mister Bond I've been expecting you..."

Alex said...

Oh and my own wish-list - actually it was a while ago, and I'm not sure I agree with myself on that any more, but I could see Eccleston as Red Schuhart from Strugatsky brothers' 'Roadside Picnic'.

Tarkovsky's film 'Stalker' is based on that novel - a less sci-fi, more philosophic take, best film ever. There's also a more straight, American interpretation in permanent development - only Eccleston could rescue it, I thought at the time.

He's not a perfect physical fit for Schuhart, but the double-sidedness of the character - he's ruthless and streetwise as much as loyal to his family and his own morals - it would be in safe hands.

And of course, Boyle would be the one to direct: We have the clash between the surreal and very every-day, a creepy, but loving family unit distancing itself from the society, and a main character, who's both ugly and admirable.

And the filming would had taken place five years ago.

Hedgehog said...

Samuel Vimes.
I can't help it - think it might be because I became a fan of both at about the same time.

I might die to see *that* happen! ;-)

angel932 said...

I would love to see Chris play J. Robert Oppenheimer. He has a superficial physical resemblence (cheekbones!!!), but it's the pure angst of the man that would he heavenly for him to play.

Imagine: first the dreamer, the organizer; then the leader, the inspiration; and finally "I have become death." I saw Sam Waterston do it years ago and I think Chris is the only one who could surpass him.

Or how about Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing - a modern version? *swoons*

Honestly, though, he can do anything and I'd watch it - I took my nephews to GI Joe!

joanr16 said...

Samuel Vimes

I need to work harder to visualize this. In the Discworld in My Head, I've never satisfactorily "cast" the part of Vimes. And-- this is embarrassing-- I've always pictured CE as Foul Ole Ron (think Strumpet). Except he needs much more interesting lines than "Millenium hand and shrimp."

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Wow. Intriguing. I flashed on the old b&w TV closeup of Oppenheimer in his later years, and the pure pain and tears in his eyes when he quotes the "I am become death" scripture. Yes, I can see the Eccleston version pretty clearly.

And a modernized Benedick... I've thought this too. CE would be a much saucier Benedick than Branagh.

Alex said...

If we talk Discworld, so I've read him being 'cast' even as Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson or, more often, Rincewind. With the latter I do agree (David Jason was a true casting disaster, imho).

Hedgehog said...

In my mind I've somehow come to cast Alan Tudyck as Carrot - funny how the mind works when you're reading a book sometimes. ;-)

As for Rincewind, I've not yet read any of his stories, I have to admit... I'm through all of the guard's books as well as Mort, I think, am currently reading "Making Money" and "Macbest" (must be the "M"-phase of my reading life) and have stacked the Rolling Stones book for autumn.

Also Sherlock Holmes briefly crossed my mind, but there's really been too many Holmes movies already and I just don't think it'd work out that well.

And there's a movie and a TV-series (different ones, it wouldn't be the movie to the series) I'd like to write the script to, someday... and which feature characters I'd love to cast CE for, one of them in hindsight, but that's on another sheet of paper, I guess. ;-)

powerjen51 said...

Strange as it may seem as a child I wanted to become a magician's assistant.

How about Christopher being cast as the great escapologist Harry Houdini directed by Sir Richard Attenborough? Just a whistful fancy thought of mine that's all.