Martin Scorsese to tackle Richard Burton, Liz Taylor romance: Who would you cast?

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Image Credit: Keystone-France/Getty Images

Entertainment Weekly has confirmed a Deadline report that Paramount has optioned Furious Love, Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger’s recent book about the torrid and tempestuous romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as a potential directorial project for Martin Scorsese. This is a biopic where casting is everything. While it would nearly be impossible for the starring couple to equal the celebrity of Liz and Richard, they’ll need to be famous enough themselves to convey the magnitude of their onscreen counterparts. Thus, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are logical suggestions, especially since Jolie is preparing to play the Taylor role in a remake of the infamous Cleopatra, where the couple, then married to other people, first sparked an interest in each other. But Cleopatra remake and previous famous marriages aside, I don’t think Brangelina are the best fit. Even in the period costumes and 1960′s hair, I wouldn’t see them as Liz and Dick; I’d see Brad and Angie.

For Burton, I can’t get Clive Owen out of my head. Part of it is the not insignificant¬† resemblance, but the other part is the NSFW scene in Closer where he lashes out at Julia Roberts’ cheating wife. Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, or Daniel Craig wouldn’t be bad choices either. For Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones was once rumored to have a bead on the part when Mike Nichols was rumored to be interested in the project, but Jennifer Connelly gets my vote. There’s something about her specific beauty that conjures up Taylor’s sensual elegance. Maybe it’s the eyes. Scarlett Johansson would be another solid possibility.

Who would you most like to see as the passionate couple? Will the actors need to have some history with each other to capture the sparks of Taylor and Burton, or can two actors who’ve never worked together deliver a believable romance for the ages?

Comments (132 total) Add your comment
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  • Nancy

    Ashley Judd would make a great Elizabeth. Go take a look at one of her pics.

    • Nathan

      Make it Camilla Belle instead, she looks a heck of a lot like her.

      • Nathan

        Probably be better suited to play young Liz though.

      • Kay

        Camilla looks like her, but cannot act. At all.

    • Chelsea

      NAH…she’s still beautiful, but she’s gone the Nicole Kidman route unfortunately, if you know what I mean.

    • sakara

      britney spears as liz taylor, and jack nicholson as richard burton—-cause the whole idea is stupid anyhow….more evidence of martin score sleazy down on his luck.

    • pete

      Ashley Judd cannot act, thus, could never do the role.

    • Shane

      Nadia Bjorlin as Liz Taylor. Pls ck out my 7/10 post. Thx. Shane

    • Shane

      Nadia Bjorlin as Liz Taylor. Please see my 7/10 post. Thx. Shane

  • lisa

    This movie SOOOO needs to not happen!

    • MB

      Exactly what I was thinking!

    • Liz Lemon

      I’m not surprised though. I think everyone expected a movie about Elizabeth Taylor to pop up right after she passed away. At least Scorsese is attached and not someone like Michael Bay.

      • sakara

        martin score sleazy stinks—-THE DEPARTED is one of the dumbest movies ever made.

    • Masoom

      I agree… It will be a disaster anyway. They should go for a great documentary movie instead…

  • Trixie

    For Richard Burton, I could definitely see Aidan Quinn… I can’t speak to if he would be “right” for the part, but I think he matches visually.

    • sakara

      tina turner for liz taylor and ringo starr as richard burton—-no dumber than the whole movie gonna be.

  • ola

    Emily Blunt and Gerard Butler!

  • josh

    I’m not sure about who should play Richard Burton,but I think Jennifer Connelly would rock it as Liz Taylor.

    • Chelsea

      I think Russell Crowe could pull Burton off. It’s not an uncanny resemblance, but nonetheless, I think the resemblance is there. As far as Elizabeth goes, just not Jolie please.

    • pete

      Jennifer Connely is a decent actress but has no fire. She is too passive.

      • Squishmar

        Exactly. Definitely not fiery enough… though she is extremely beautiful. You need someone who’s eyes can flash with anger at a moment’s notice.

  • Liz Lemon

    Rachel Weisz for Elizabeth
    Richard Armitage for Richard Burton

    • saucybetty

      Dear Liz Lemon

      I WANT TO GO TO THERE!

      Was that lame? Don’t care, perfect casting.

      • banana

        Exactly what I was thinking! And mo, that was not lame; well played!

    • Ruby

      Yes and yes. All the way!

    • Chelsea

      RICHARD ARMITAGE?!!! GOD YES!!!! (indeed, I am yelling)

      • servo

        Hot Damn! If he is not the absolute perfect fit for that role then no one is. “I want to go to there” indeed. Excuse me while I go get a napkin to wipe my drool…

    • Red Snapper

      This would be perfect casting. They look like each other a bit and these actors most importantly would be able to convey the presence of Liz and Richard.

    • RafMaf

      Liz Lemon you just won the internets! I didn’t have any interest in this movie until you laid down this casting. This casting needs to happen.

      • sakara

        yeah–lady gaga as richard burton and rupaul as liz taylor 4 perfect casting. can’t wait for this martin score sleazy schlock.

    • Sue

      Richard A. is hot (I just Googled him), but Ralph Feinnes would be better. He and Rachel Weisz were great together in “The Constant Gardner”.

  • mariela

    i like the clive owen choice. i also like russell crowe. i think charlize theron would be good as liz

    • Squishmar

      Charlize Theron has the completely wrong body type for Taylor. Way too tall and not curvy at all.

      • anonymous

        How about Olivia Wilde as Liz.

      • Squishmar

        I think there’s the same problem… I’m pretty sure Wilde is tall. Also, Olivia’s face is so distinctive that I don’t think she could be made to resemble Taylor at all. And while Wilde does have incredible eyes in her own right, they are not at all the right shape to portray Liz. I’m thinking more and more they should get an unknown for that part. And I still think Clive Owen is perfect for Burton. I really kind of don’t want this to be made… except you can’t discount Scorsese. If he made it, the script would have to be interesting and it would probably be at least a watchable film.

  • Meg

    Honestly, I can’t come up with one good option for Liz Taylor. I think this movie needs to wait until a right cast is obvious (see: The Aviator).

  • JLC

    Since they’re relationship pretty much defined “tempestuous,” I think you need two scrappers. Russell Crowe is perfect for Burton. Connelly, while looking the part, doesn’t strike me as a shouter. CZ Jones or Charlize Theron might work.

    • JLC

      Sorry “their” relationship.

    • Chelsea

      As much as I love the suggestion of Richard Armitage, I can’t shake the idea of Russell Crowe as Burton. Honestly, I can’t truly imagine anyone else.

    • Krystal

      I think Michael Fassbender can pull it off. He was awesome in Fish Tank.

  • Lynn

    Rufus Sewell…even looks like Burton

    • Liz Lemon

      Interesting choice.
      I like that idea.

  • MD

    Not Scarlett!
    I can see Daniel Craig as Richard Burton though

    • mommy

      Totally Agree! Scarlett is a very bad choice.

      • Melokesm

        Scarlett would be the worst!!

  • homerox13

    I think Russell Crowe would be perfect as Burton; he just matches up well physically as well as in terms of temperement (sp?). For Liz, I fear they’ll go with someone like Anne Hathaway who seems to be getting groomed to be this generation’s “hollywood royalty”.

  • um

    Kermit the Frog & Ms. Piggy??? Who cares! Let those people rest in peace, no need to rehash all the adultry & scandal behind their relationship.

  • alex

    Hate to say it but Megan Fox resembles a young Liz Taylor.

    • Squishmar

      If only she could act, she could work.

  • Mandy

    You need powerful actors, but not people who are so famous I can’t believe them in these roles (eg. Brad and Angelina)
    Emily Blunt and Clive Owen or Bradley Cooper (I think he has some unrealized dramatic potential)

    • Bette

      Bradley Cooper and Olivia Wilde… the early years.

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