Who should star in the Scorsese-Nichols-Mamet remake of Kurosawa's 'High and Low'?

Toshiromifune_lPrestige project of the week is the Martin Scorsese-Mike Nichols-David Mamet update of Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low. Mamet’s screenplay will be produced by Scorsese and directed by Nichols, Variety reports. The 1963 original starred Kurosawa’s usual leading man, Toshiro Mifune (pictured), as a businessman who mortgages all he owns to make the deal of a lifetime, only to be asked to sacrifice it all as ransom when he is told his son has been kidnapped. Turns out the kidnappers snatched the wrong kid; it’s actually his chauffeur’s son, so Mifune’s character must decide whether to give up everything to save the other man’s child.

Scorsese has been trying to make this project for almost a decade, which raises the question of casting. If Scorsese had directed this film 10 years ago, he might have cast Robert De Niro or Harvey Keitel in the lead. If Mamet had directed it himself back then, he might have cast Anthony Hopkins or Alec Baldwin. A decade ago, Nichols might have used Harrison Ford or Jack Nicholson. By now, however, most of these actors have probably aged out of the part, so who does that leave? Russell Crowe? George Clooney? Denzel Washington? C’mon PopWatchers, help these A-list filmmakers find an A-list leading man.


Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Chris

    Denzel Washington. He’d nail the role easily, and he’s always wanted to work with Scorsese.
    Anyone but Leonardo Dicaprio. Nothing against the kid, since I know Marty loves him, but he’d be seriously miscast in this.

  • Cara

    Are you kidding? It’s Scorsese. He’ll cast DiCaprio. If not in the lead, then at least as the sinister kidnapper–but I actually don’t think he’d be miscast in the role of a businessman under stress. I mean…he can act. He can wear a suit. Is there something about the role that I’m missing?

  • Eric Friedmann

    I think such a respected director like Martin Scorsese should stop remaking other movies. CAPE FEAR and THE DEPARTED, while both excellent films, were enough.

  • Susan

    How about giving Viggo Mortensen a shot at it? He seems able to do anything really well.

  • pop off

    the original is awesome!
    crow is a good choice, bale could be good too. please NOOO Leo. he can’t act!

  • M

    I like the suggestion of Viggo. He could be great, although he’s getting up there, turned 50 recently.

  • BrandonK

    Christian Bale.

  • eeyoresmum

    Viggo is up WHERE? He is quite versatile, and ages well. Any decent part that will allow him to finally shirk the mantle of Aragorn is most welcome. However, the man just stated that he didn’t want to film for at least a year so even if offered, he probably wouldn’t take the role. Pity.

  • vlarsony

    This is a role that DiCaprio could nail with his eyes closed. There’s NOBODY better in the business today and Scorsese knows it. But who knows, maybe Leo is too busy to be bothered with this one.

  • Maria

    When Scorsese will work with black actors as stars? Answer: never.

  • lulu

    Even when Viggo says he didn’t want to do any movies for a year,if there is a great offer, he will do it. When he gets asked, he will be Aragorn again in the Hobbit 2, so he said lately.

  • Leo

    Michael Douglas, George Clooney, or Richard Gere. Kidnapper should be either John Malkovich or Kevin Spacey.
    I’d also consider Keifer Sutherland.

  • kagemusha

    I heard that Martin Scorsese will be taking part in a Tribute to Akira Kurosawa at the Cherry Blossom Gala where Anaheim University will be launching the Akira Kurosawa School of Film. The website says they’re making several announcements about some “heavily guarded secrets”. Maybe they’ll be making an announcement there about this. It’s on 3/23/09 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. http://www.anaheim.edu/gala

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