Help us pick James Gandolfini's next job

1004__james_lPopWatch HQ buzzes with excitement at James Gandolfini’s new production deal, which his new production company set up to create cable series and feature films for the HBO/New Line joint venture Picturehouse. He’s already got a Hemingway biopic in development, with himself in the lead. But what else should the ex-Mobster play, once he’s firmly ensconced in the Hollywood witness protection program also known as the multi-platform development deal?

Let’s leave aside the Gandolfini dreams of yesteryear: Presumably, he’s no longer interested in a Gleason biopic or Honeymooners remake, having watched the latter project morph into a ho-hum Cedric the Entertainer movie. Some voices around here want him to play a porn king, an eavesdropping plumber — sleazebag lummox roles, in other words. I’m sure he’d knock them out of the park.

But for my money, I’d like to see Gandolfini assay a massively popular evangelist; not one of those badly toupeed, toothy TV healers  of old, but a Rick Warren type: the very image of a regular middle-American guy who just so happens to command a flock of millions and a massive republic of faith. (Warren wrote The Purpose-Driven Life.) We want to see Gandolfini in charge. We want to see him conflicted. We want to see him wielding moral authority of one sort or another — wielding it well, wielding it badly, dealing with the consequences. And this gives us all of the above, in a decidedly un-Sopranos milieu.

What do you think? How would you put the Big G to work?

addCredit(“James Gandolfini: Brian Ach/WireImage.com”)

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
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  • Ceballos

    James Gandolfini IN “The Kevin Finnerty Story”.

  • Lora

    Anything other than the crappy role he played in The Mexican

  • kinglouieXVIII

    Cannot wait for Hemingway biopic. Not because I am a huge fan of Gandolfini, but b/c I think it’s a story that needs to be told. Hopefully it will blow CAPOTE out of the water.

  • K

    I’d say a round of “Celebrity Fit Club” might be in order. And maybe there should be a new reality show “Celebrities: Learning to Chew with Their Mouths Closed”. Maybe VH1 will pick that up…

  • Derek

    I’ve been waiting for Gandolfini to star in the long-rumored Smurfs movie!

  • Mike

    How about the role of Charlie Crocker in Tom Wolfe’s ‘A Man in Full’. The story of a very rich, big man shaking things up in HOTlanta. I would like to see him stretch beyond his stereotypical mafiosa and bad boy roles. I wonder if the movie rights have been sold?

  • liz

    I would be happy just to see him in Romance and Cigarettes, the movie he filmed a few years ago which was never released.

  • sqf

    I always thought Gandolfini and Edie Falco should tackle MacBeth and Lady MacBeth. They have the serious acting chops to carry it off, and it would be fun to see them play another complex “crime family” married couple.

  • Amber

    K, that was funny! I agree.

  • Bill Scurry

    I’m also with K… Gando needs to drop the superfluous “Sopranos” pounds and get back down to a weight where he’s not wheezing and sucking in air every time he sits down. As far as a role — how about a Spider-Man villain?

  • EP Sato

    Scurry, K and Amber, you are totally on the money! I was thinking that my man’s got to lose some weight so he can get the old body back to his “Get Shorty” weight.
    Hemingway does sound pretty good though.

  • SlamCut

    He should lose 300 pounds and play John Mark Karr. With a lisp. And a hunchback. In Mandarin.

  • Jen

    There are good reasons why Romance and Cigarettes – which is out on dvd in the UK – never saw the light of day in the US. First and foremost: it isn’t very good. Gandolfini does a good job in it, but that’s about as much as I can say for the film, which has lots of talented actors (like Mary-Louise Parker and Aida Turturro) standing around looking like they need something better to do .

  • Sunny

    Lora, what do have against his role in The Mexican?

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