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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: The Great Recasting Blogathon


The Great Recasting Blogathon

The lovely ladies over at Frankly, My Dear and In the Mood came up with a grand idea for a blogathon. Take "modern" films and recast them with actors and actresses from the classic era of Hollywood. For the blogathon I decided on The Princess Bride; which, by all means, has a near impossible cast to rearrange. But, seeing as I am always up for a challenge, I decided to not only recast the film with pre-1965 actors, but again with actors that are still working today. God forbid they ever remake The Princess Bride, but it's always fun imagining different people in different roles. Enjoy.

The star of The Princess Bride is Westley, a farm-boy who falls in love with Buttercup, a beautiful woman sought after by the evil Prince Humperdinck. Seeing that Westley is no aristocrat or has virtually no means of providing for her, he sets out on a journey to find his riches and return home to ask for her hand in marriage. While away, Humperdinck breaks the news to Buttercup that Westley was murdered by the Dread Pirate Roberts. She resigns herself to the fact that her one true love is dead and reluctantly agrees to marry the prince. After a plot to stage her assassination is revealed to him, Westley, who is very much alive, seeks out Buttercup and her captors, as well as revenge against Humperdinck. Westley is both charming and handsome and damn good with a sword. He's a man of many secrets, but has just enough charisma to hide them. He's the perfect hero, with purest motivation- love. Not many men have the ability to play such a role, but Cary Elwes nails it. There really is no one else in the world who could do what he did with the role, but if there was an earlier version of the film, Errol Flynn could come close. The man gave a face to the iconic hero of Robin Hood, a clear inspiration for Westley, and has the swashbuckler attitude needed for the role. One of my only hesitations is that Flynn may be a little too cocky (instead of confident) as Westley. As for a modern day Westley, I would have to go with Ryan Gosling. He's the IT man of today (who can actually act) and he has the sex appeal, the charm, and the attitude for the role. 
Buttercup is a beautiful and fierce woman who not only knows what she wants, but is strong enough to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Originally played by the unknown Robin Wright, any version of the film should have an unknown as well. However, as that would take any fun out of this recasting, I feel that a pre-1965 Buttercup would have to be Grace Kelly, a real life princess and one of the most beautiful women to grace the screen. As for a modern day Buttercup, the role would have to go to the gorgeous (and spunky) Felicity Jones. Buttercup has to be a woman every man can fall in love with (albeit a little stubborn) and all three of these woman encompass those traits.
Prince Humperdinck is a complete asshole. He cares only about himself and can't even appreciate a good woman he has right in front of him. He's a man that wants to start a war so that he may one day claim a throne to an even larger kingdom and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen. However, when faced with danger first-hand, Humperdinck is a coward. He's all bark and very little bite. Originally played by Chris Sarandon, the recasting would have to embody the machismo cowardice and overall douchebaggery Sarandon portrayed. Pre-1965 would be Laurence Olivier. Modern day would be Colin Firth. 
Now, as most adventure stories play out, our hero can't do everything on his own and is only as strong as his allies. At first a rival, Inigo Montoya proved to be a near equal match for Westley, as the two have the greatest sword fight in film history. However, after Westley spares his life after defeating him, Inigo, a man of honor, swears by his sword that he'll repay him. Inigo has his own quest as well, as he his after the "Six Fingered Man", the person behind the murder of his father. Inigo is a fan favorite and Manny Patinkin steals the show. Of anyone on this list, I think Inigo is the hardest to recast as I cannot see anyone but Patinkin saying the iconic line, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die!". If I had to choose a pre-1965 Inigo I would have to go with Tony Curtis. As a modern day Inigo, I would go with Sam Rockwell. 
Prince Humperdinck's right hand man is Count Rugen, an even bigger coward who just happens to have six fingers. He's not only the slimy sidekick to the villain, but he's also the target for Inigo's revenge. Christopher Guest plays him in the film to a rather weird and mysterious effect. Pre 1965- Rex Harrison, Modern day- Christoph Waltz.
Along with Inigo, Westley also allies himself with the giant, Fezzick. Originally the role was played by Andre the Giant, a man as unique as his build. Recasting this role is impossible, as there will never be a man as large or as lovable as Andre. Pre-1965- Richard Kiel, Modern day- Robert Maillet
Vizzini, the annoying "brains" behind the kidnapping of Buttercup is certainly memorable for his constant use of "Inconceivable!", even if he's not quite sure what the word means. Wallace Shawn originally played the Sicilian. Pre-1965- Orson Welles. Modern day- Rainn Wilson
Miracle Max 
Originally- Billy Crystal, Pre 1965- Peter Sellers, Modern day- Billy Crystal (the character's old, Crystal would still fit)
The Albino
Originally- Mel Smith, Pre 1965- Jackie Gleason, Modern day- James Corden
The Grandfather
Originally- Peter Falk, Pre 1965- Jimmy Stewart, Modern day- Bill Murray

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At July 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM , Blogger Rich said...

Good, but having Flynn as Westley kinda demands also having Olivia DeHavilland as Buttercup, don't you think?

At July 28, 2012 at 5:12 PM , Blogger Sofia said...

Nice! Errol Flynn and Grace Kelly, that's a ridiculously good-looking couple. haha poor Olivier... but I can totally see that. Love you current choices as well, great of you to do it!

At July 28, 2012 at 7:31 PM , Blogger Nick said...

No! (said in a little kid's voice) lol. Good suggestion, but I wanted to stay away from any known, famous couples.

At July 28, 2012 at 7:32 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you! Took awhile to figure it all out lol.

At July 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM , Blogger Margaret Perry said...

This is awesome! I would love to see your old version! I always thought Wesley was like Errol Flynn - good recasting!

At July 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM , Blogger Hannah M said...

This is, hands down, my favorite of all the recasting blogs I've read. Pretty much every one you mentioned made me go, "YES! THAT IS A GREAT CHOICE!" I particularly like Rex Harrison as Rugen and Rainn Wilson as Vizzini.

At July 29, 2012 at 8:18 AM , Anonymous Emil said...

Rainn Wilson as Vizzini would be absolutely perfect in a modern version. Great pick, and great post.

At July 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Wow... I love your modern remake cast. God forbid this perfect film ever be remade, but that is one hell of a good cast to do it.

At July 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you. I couldn't think of anyone but Errol Flynn as Westley. Although Douglas Fairbanks was close.

At July 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you so much! I love the feedback coming in. Not going to lie, I am pretty proud of my choices lol. It took a loooong time but it all really just came together on its own.

At July 29, 2012 at 2:31 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you. I kept trying to think of someone that could just go all spit-crazy (like Shawn did in the originaL), and Rain Wilson fits the role, esp. if you've seen Super, where he flips out like a maniac.

At July 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Thank you! I'm proud of it myself lol. I never want to see it remade, but if it had to be, I'd love full control over the casting lol.

At July 29, 2012 at 5:34 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Also, feel free to re-blog, tweet, like, share, etc lol.

At July 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM , Blogger MovieNut14 said...

Ooh, Errol as Westly is a great choice. I also like Olivier as Humperdinck.


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