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  #1  
Old 02-27-2011, 12:41 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Who would you cast in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonatha...r_Norrell#Film

I just finished the book and really, really enjoyed it. I'd love to see a movie based on it, but suspect it would be better as a big-budget TV miniseries so that it wouldn't have to be cut to ribbons due to time constraints.

How would you cast the film? I can think of several people for many of these roles, but if I could have my dream cast, I think it would be:

Jonathan Strange: Paul Bettany
Mr. Norrell: Ralph Fiennes
Childermass: Russell Crowe
Lascelles: Stephen Fry
Drawlight: Hugh Laurie
The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair: Rupert Everett
Stephen Black: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Vinculus: Gary Oldman
Lord Liverpool: Jim Broadbent
King George III: Nigel Hawthorne
Duke of Wellington: Matthew McFadyen
Lady Pole: Keira Knightley
Arabella Strange: Emily Blunt
John Segundus: Jim Carter

What would be your dream cast? Have I left out any major roles?
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2011, 12:46 PM
Attack from the 3rd dimension Attack from the 3rd dimension is offline
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I came to suggest Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, but you've already got 'em. At this point I'm just going to start popping popcorn.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:15 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonatha...r_Norrell#Film

I just finished the book and really, really enjoyed it. I'd love to see a movie based on it, but suspect it would be better as a big-budget TV miniseries so that it wouldn't have to be cut to ribbons due to time constraints.

How would you cast the film? I can think of several people for many of these roles, but if I could have my dream cast, I think it would be:

Jonathan Strange: Paul Bettany
Mr. Norrell: Ralph Fiennes
Childermass: Russell Crowe
Lascelles: Stephen Fry
Drawlight: Hugh Laurie
The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair: Rupert Everett
Stephen Black: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Vinculus: Gary Oldman
Lord Liverpool: Jim Broadbent
King George III: Nigel Hawthorne
Duke of Wellington: Matthew McFadyen
Lady Pole: Keira Knightley
Arabella Strange: Emily Blunt
John Segundus: Jim Carter

What would be your dream cast? Have I left out any major roles?
What? Ralph Fiennes for old, short, beady-eyed Mr. Norrell? Has Ralph Fiennes gotten ugly and nobody told me? I humbly submit Derek Jacobi for the role.

I'm with you on Chiwetel Ejiofor as Stephen Black, though.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:31 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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I think Fiennes would be fine with makeup, but Jacobi would be too old. Just IMHO. David Bamber, who played Mr. Collins in the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice, was also a possibility I thought of, but probably not a big enough "name" to fill the role.
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:37 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
I think Fiennes would be fine with makeup, but Jacobi would be too old. Just IMHO. David Bamber, who played Mr. Collins in the 1995 TV version of Pride and Prejudice, was also a possibility I thought of, but probably not a big enough "name" to fill the role.
Yes, I remember him! Good choice. He was also Hitler in Valkyrie and Cicero in HBO's Rome.

But speaking of too old, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are now much too old to play Drawlight and Lascelles. They're both in their 50's.
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  #6  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:32 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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...But speaking of too old, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are now much too old to play Drawlight and Lascelles. They're both in their 50's.
I don't think that's necessarily a problem. But if so... who do you see in the roles?
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  #7  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:43 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
I don't think that's necessarily a problem. But if so... who do you see in the roles?
Eh? Derek Jacobi is too old for Mr. Norrell, but Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are not too old for the roles of two young socialites? The other problem I see with Fry and Laurie is that they are comedic actors (or at least, I've only ever seen them in comedic roles). Drawlight and Lascelles start off seeming sort of inconsequential and comedic, but they become much darker characters.

As far as recommendations, hmm. Despite my participation in this thread, I am not really a person who casts whole movies in her head. I think Ed Westwick would work as either Drawlight or Lascelles.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2011, 06:34 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Everyone mentioned by Elendil's Heir is good, though I might substitute Jonathan Rhys Meyers for Jonathan Strange... The Gentleman With the Thistledown Hair has always been, to me, David Bowie (though HE'S too old now, too). How about Robert Pattinson?
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2011, 07:10 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Without proper casting of Footnotes, I'm not sure how the movie could possibly capture the book's aesthetic.
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:58 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyper View Post
...I think Ed Westwick would work as either Drawlight or Lascelles.
Linky no worky. Try this one: http://cdn.imnotobsessed.com/wp-cont...EdWestwick.jpg
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:50 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Without proper casting of Footnotes, I'm not sure how the movie could possibly capture the book's aesthetic.
The Footnotes will be played by Emma Thompson.
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:18 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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The Footnotes will be played by Emma Thompson.
You know, I could just see that....
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:44 PM
Miss Purl McKnittington Miss Purl McKnittington is offline
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I'd always imagined Jim Broadbent as Mr. Norrell -- I think he could pull off that "Yes, I am very intelligent and knowledgeable, but I will slam your fingers in this book" thing off. Hugh Bonneville would make a good Lord Liverpool, as a replacement.

What about Alan Cumming for Lascelles or Drawlight?
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:11 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Ooo, yes, Alan Cumming would be very good indeed - as Lascelles, I think.
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:25 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Ricky Gervaise as Norrell, Stephen Merchant as Strange.

Alternately:

Anthony Hopkins as Norrell, Daniel Day-Lewis as Strange.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 02-28-2011 at 12:26 AM..
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2011, 02:57 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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Stephen Black- David Oyelowo .

I thought Andrew Lincoln or Jack Davenport would also work as Norrell.

Could anyone else see Alan Cummings and Andy Serkis as Drawlight and Lascelles?
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2011, 07:01 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Originally Posted by Pyper View Post
I'm with you on Chiwetel Ejiofor as Stephen Black, though.
Just the casting I came in to suggest. I pictured Ejiofor in the role when I was reading the book - that sort of quiet intensity he has would be perfect. I also second Jim Broadbent as Mr Norrell (or maybe Ian Holm if "old, short, beady-eyed" is a requirement).

But Rupert Everett? While he does foppish malevolence well, not only would it be a bit of a cliche but his looks have changed quite a lot in recent years, especially now that he's off the botox. I'd suggest Johnny Depp if Tim Burton hadn't already ruined him for such roles. Hmmm.

Last edited by Gyrate; 02-28-2011 at 07:03 AM..
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:15 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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You know, I thought of Johnny Depp too, but after seeing him in both Alice in Wonderland and The Tourist recently, I'm coming to realize that, as good as he is, his bag of tricks is only so deep. Inevitably something he does reminds me of an earlier character of his, and I'd want The Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair to be uniquely memorable.

James McAvoy is very good - I could see him as Strange, Lascelles or Drawlight.
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:16 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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Argh- Lincoln or Davenport as STRANGE, not Norrell. brainfart
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  #20  
Old 07-01-2011, 12:59 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Any other thoughts?
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  #21  
Old 07-01-2011, 01:08 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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I'd like to see Aidan Gillen in a role. He would probably work for Lascelle or Drawlight, though his recent pictures make him look older than I remember.

For the Gentleman With The Thistle-Down Hair, while I know you said you want him to be unique, I'd suggest Hugo Weaving precisely to capture the Agent V Elrond presence.

Also voting for Chiwetel Ejiofor for Black. Great actor, he'd be perfect.

Last edited by Bosstone; 07-01-2011 at 01:12 PM..
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  #22  
Old 07-01-2011, 01:24 PM
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What about Benedict Cumberbatch as the Gentleman with Thistle-down Hair? He looks pretty other-worldly to me.
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2011, 01:29 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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What about Benedict Cumberbatch as the Gentleman with Thistle-down Hair? He looks pretty other-worldly to me.
Holy crap, you'd barely have to apply any makeup. Gets my vote.
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  #24  
Old 07-01-2011, 01:44 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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...or maybe Ian Holm if "old, short, beady-eyed" is a requirement...
AKA Bilbo Baggins. This is who I pictured as Mr. Norrell.
I like Bill Nighy for Childermass. Is he too old?

Generally speaking, this book did not strike me as one that would translate well to the big screen. Would be interesting.
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  #25  
Old 07-01-2011, 01:48 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Ideally, I think any cinematic adaptation should take the Game of Thrones route. If you could take a lot of time and do it episodically it could work very well as a mini-series.
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  #26  
Old 07-01-2011, 09:40 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Ideally, I think any cinematic adaptation should take the Game of Thrones route. If you could take a lot of time and do it episodically it could work very well as a mini-series.
Quite so - just what I said in the OP!
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  #27  
Old 07-01-2011, 09:52 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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What about Benedict Cumberbatch as the Gentleman with Thistle-down Hair? He looks pretty other-worldly to me.
Just what I came in to post! I recently saw him in the BBC's new Sherlock Holmes and I immediately casted him as the Gentleman.
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  #28  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:29 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Yes, that could work. Good idea. I could see him as Lascelles, too.
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  #29  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:45 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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I also enjoyed the book, but I'm very dubious a film version will ever see the light of day, or that it can be made to work if it does.

Quote:
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King George III: Nigel Hawthorne
Sadly, Nigel Hawthorn won't be reprising his role as King George III, as he died 10 years ago.
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  #30  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:26 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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...Sadly, Nigel Hawthorn won't be reprising his role as King George III, as he died 10 years ago.
Thanks - I hadn't heard! Too bad. I would like to have seen him return to that role.
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  #31  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:29 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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I have some very good news: http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/jonathan...ing-to-the-bbc
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  #32  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:42 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Interesting! I liked Sherlock, so hopefully the BBC can pull off a respectable effort. One also hopes they're willing to pay more for a little cut above standard Doctor Who-level special effects. Not that you need a ton of them for this adaptation, but set design in particular should get some loving treatment.
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  #33  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:49 PM
a35362 a35362 is offline
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Yay!
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  #34  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:53 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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I realize I'm responding to some zombie posts, but given the recent news it still seems relevant.

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I like Bill Nighy for Childermass. Is he too old?
I forget if it was explicit or implied, but I remember Childermass as a hale man in his 30s or 40s. Very much in the prime of life.

As for Norrell, if we were to toss out faithfulness to literal details and just go with personality, I'd be very much in favor of Jonathan Pryce.
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  #35  
Old 11-30-2012, 04:57 PM
Sparky the Wonder Spirit Sparky the Wonder Spirit is offline
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I think the new Q from Skyfall would make a good Jonathan Strange. He can pull off the Regency Era costumes as well.
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  #36  
Old 11-30-2012, 08:37 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Ben Whishaw (the new Q & Freddie Lyon in The Hour) is excellent but a bit frail for Jonathan Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch looks well in Regency attire & could even keep his natural hair color (dark red) for the role. Of course, he's been very busy, too....

Whoever is cast, this project is great news! A miniseries is the best way to present the story.
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  #37  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:42 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Hmm. I see Benedict Cumberbatch more and more as the Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair.
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  #38  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:51 PM
Beastly Rotter Beastly Rotter is offline
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Stephen Fry as the Duke of Wellington.
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  #39  
Old 11-30-2012, 11:26 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Stephen Fry as the Duke of Wellington.
The Duke was never that plump, was he? Fry has gotten quite rotund.
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  #40  
Old 11-30-2012, 11:54 PM
Beastly Rotter Beastly Rotter is offline
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The Duke was never that plump, was he? Fry has gotten quite rotund.
Shout, shout, and shout again! BAAAAAH!
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  #41  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:31 PM
Aquadementia Aquadementia is offline
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I love this book, but have no idea how I would cast it. There are so many great character parts.

Just for fun, the cast of The Office would almost work. Jim as Strange, Pam his wife. Dwight as Mr. Norrell, Michael Scott as the Gentleman, Darryl as Stephen, Andy as Wellington, Ryan as Sir Walter and Kelly as his wife. Creed as Vinculus, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Without proper casting of Footnotes, I'm not sure how the movie could possibly capture the book's aesthetic.
I was thinking this book could make a good radio play, like Hitchhikers Guide. Then the footnotes would read like the the Book.
I suppose if they are included in the miniseries they may be worked in through a little narration and flashbacks. I could see it starting with Norrell not wanting to waste time telling the story and magicking up a statue to do it for him.
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  #42  
Old 12-02-2012, 01:45 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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I suspect the footnotes will be drastically cut back, if not eliminated entirely, and that they'll be handled as voiceovers.
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  #43  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:42 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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They could do some of the footnotes the way flashbacks were handled in Jekyll - star an episode with a relevant footnote bit, then go into the rest of the story. Some of the footnotes were my favorite parts and I would hate to see them done away with.
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  #44  
Old 12-03-2012, 01:53 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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Actually, I've changed my mind. Cumberbatch would be a great Strange, and cast Tom Hiddleston as the man with thisledown hair.
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  #45  
Old 12-03-2012, 03:42 PM
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I think Cillian Murphy is so versatile he could pull off either Jonathan Strange or The Thistledown Hair Gentleman.
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:50 PM
Aquadementia Aquadementia is offline
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I was just thinking: what would be perfect for the footnotes is a supplemental program like Dr. Who Confidential.

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Just for fun, the cast of The Office would almost work. Jim as Strange, Pam his wife. Dwight as Mr. Norrell, Michael Scott as the Gentleman, Darryl as Stephen, Andy as Wellington, Ryan as Sir Walter and Kelly as his wife. Creed as Vinculus, of course.
Way off, buddy.
Robert California would be the perfect Office gentleman with thistledown hair.
Which would make Michael the new Duke, bumping Andy to Mr. Segundus. And then Gabe as Strange's brother inlaw, David Wallace as Childermass and Angela would be a perfect fairy woman.
It appears my brain is spinning its wheels again.

Last edited by Aquadementia; 12-07-2012 at 09:50 PM..
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  #47  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:59 PM
ISiddiqui ISiddiqui is online now
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Holy crap! You have made my day!
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  #48  
Old 04-09-2013, 06:09 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Worth reviving a Zombie!

BBCamerica will join with BBC to produce the 7 hour long miniseries. It will air in 2014.....
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  #49  
Old 04-09-2013, 06:16 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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Yes.
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  #50  
Old 04-09-2013, 11:29 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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BBCamerica will join with BBC to produce the 7 hour long miniseries. It will air in 2014.....
Excellent - thanks!
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