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View Full Version : Re-cast "Blazing Saddles" using today's actors


Zeldar
01-25-2014, 08:30 AM
In the recent thread What's your favorite Mel Brooks movie? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=714011) Gagundathar (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=17045810&postcount=24) said It was a tie between Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein until I realized that there is no way in the green earth that Blazing Saddles could ever be made today. So my vote went to Blazing Saddles. to which I replied (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=17045836&postcount=25) Excellent point. Quentin Tarantino might try but has he had any real success at comedy?

But you know what might be a fun idea: recast Blazing Saddles from today's crop of actors.

Might even make a fun thread!

So here we are!

Here's the first page of the cast list:

Cleavon Little ... Bart
Gene Wilder ... Jim
Slim Pickens ... Taggart
Harvey Korman ... Hedley Lamarr
Madeline Kahn ... Lili Von Shtupp
Mel Brooks ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief
Burton Gilliam ... Lyle
Alex Karras ... Mongo
David Huddleston ... Olson Johnson
Liam Dunn ... Rev. Johnson
John Hillerman ... Howard Johnson
George Furth ... Van Johnson
Jack Starrett ... Gabby Johnson (as Claude Ennis Starrett Jr.)
Carol Arthur ... Harriett Johnson
Richard Collier ... Dr. Sam Johnson

Cast the ones you have a good feel for and skip the others.

Tim R. Mortiss
01-25-2014, 09:50 AM
Going with a sort of Tarantino/Coen theme.....


Samuel L. Jackson ... Bart
John Travolta ... Jim
Larry the Cable Guy ... Taggart
George Clooney ... Hedley Lamarr
Uma Thurman ... Lili Von Shtupp
Jeff Bridges ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief
John Goodman ... Mongo
Steve Buscemi ... Olson Johnson
Josh Hartnett ... Rev. Johnson
William H. Macy ... Howard Johnson

The Other Waldo Pepper
01-25-2014, 09:52 AM
Jeff Bridges ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief

Christoph Waltz.

Justin_Bailey
01-25-2014, 10:15 AM
There is no way in the green earth that Blazing Saddles could ever be made today.

Why does this idiotic notion keep coming up? We actually just had this conversation a few months ago and the general consensus is that the people who say it either stopped watching movies in 1979 or are being willfully ignorant of modern entertainment:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=700030&highlight=blazing+saddles

Sr Siete
01-25-2014, 11:14 AM
What current comedic black actors can fill a role thought for Richard Pryor? Maybe Chris Rock? Dave Chapelle? Either Key OR Peele? Definitely not Eddie Murphy... his cred as a Pryor-sized comedian died a few years back, even if he still looks young.

Maybe go younger and get Donald Glover.

GrandWino
01-25-2014, 11:35 AM
Kevin Hart would be great.

FlikTheBlue
01-25-2014, 11:43 AM
How about Dule Hill?

NeonMadman
01-25-2014, 11:50 AM
IMHO, Blazing Saddles is one of those near-perfect movies that was done almost perfectly the first time, and remaking it would only spoil it. Like Casablanca, or Citizen Kane, or The Godfather. Not that it necessarily falls into the "Great Cinema" class as those others do, but I can't imagine a remake that would live up to the original.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 11:58 AM
IMHO, Blazing Saddles is one of those near-perfect movies that was done almost perfectly the first time, and remaking it would only spoil it. Like Casablanca, or Citizen Kane, or The Godfather. Not that it necessarily falls into the "Great Cinema" class as those others do, but I can't imagine a remake that would live up to the original.

In my mind that's the main point to this thread! :)

Even if you could pick an active actor for one or a few roles it would be close to impossible to produce enough of a cast to pull off what Brooks did.

Big example: who could you find to replace Basie's band?

One of the sterling bits is that thing with Dom DeLuise at the end. Who could pull that off today?

I've been mulling the two main characters (Cleavon and Gene) and just can't make anybody working today get even close. And there will never be another Slim Pickens!

Prof. Pepperwinkle
01-25-2014, 12:03 PM
I mentioned this thread to Madame Pepperwinkle, and her immediate thought was that Bart wouldn't be black, he'd be ostentatiously gay. Blazing!

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 12:07 PM
I mentioned this thread to Madame Pepperwinkle, and her immediate thought was that Bart wouldn't be black, he'd be ostentatiously gay. Blazing!

Sharp lady! Flaming Saddles?

Ranger Jeff
01-25-2014, 01:30 PM
Why does this idiotic notion keep coming up? We actually just had this conversation a few months ago and the general consensus is that the people who say it either stopped watching movies in 1979 or are being willfully ignorant of modern entertainment:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=700030&highlight=blazing+saddles

I can't provide a cite, but in a fairly recent (within the last 10 years or so)interview Mel Brooks said he couldn't have made Blazing Saddles in the current environment. He further said that the only way he got BS made was his contract with Warner Brothers gave him complete editorial control over the film.

not what you'd expect
01-25-2014, 02:39 PM
I think Don Cheadle would work as Bart.

The Other Waldo Pepper
01-25-2014, 02:52 PM
I've been mulling the two main characters (Cleavon and Gene) and just can't make anybody working today get even close.

Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr?

Tim R. Mortiss
01-25-2014, 03:18 PM
Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr?

That would be interesting! But I don't know if Dwayne is "black" enough for the role. Dule Hill certainly has the facial expression talent; maybe him and James Roday as Jim?

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 03:50 PM
I think Don Cheadle would work as Bart.

Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr?

That would be interesting! But I don't know if Dwayne is "black" enough for the role. Dule Hill certainly has the facial expression talent; maybe him and James Roday as Jim?

The Rock would surely make for a different take on the movie! I really like what Cheadle can do with roles of varying types so thinking of him with Downey isn't all that hard to see. I have to confess ignorance on Roday so he might work. Dule Hill was great on The West Wing but I haven't seen him to know it since then.

I'm starting to think I'd have to see the remake just to learn who some of the younger actors are. Unless I see them in small roles on TV shows I watch, it's unlikely I'd see them otherwise.

What about casting against type just to see what might happen and go with Ben Foster (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004936/?ref_=nv_sr_1) for Gene's role? He and Cheadle would at least be cool!

Is there anybody who could do Harvey Korman's role?

Zakalwe
01-25-2014, 03:57 PM
One of the sterling bits is that thing with Dom DeLuise at the end. Who could pull that off today?The guy from Modern Family (ironically, the straight actor who plays Cam) would be perfect.

Icarus
01-25-2014, 04:00 PM
Dule Hill certainly has the facial expression talent; maybe him and James Roday as Jim?

I think you've just written an episode of Psych!

Sigmagirl
01-25-2014, 04:37 PM
Is there anybody who could do Harvey Korman's role?
John Lithgow.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 04:43 PM
John Lithgow.

Ought to be in the running at least. He can do anything!

Prof. Pepperwinkle
01-25-2014, 05:12 PM
Not what I'd really want, but I could see Hollywood doing it with... Jim Carrey in all the roles.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 05:17 PM
Not what I'd really want, but I could see Hollywood doing it with... Jim Carrey in all the roles.

Don't say that too loud! If not Carrey, Eddie Murphy would snap that right up!

Just to push this envelope over the edge: Billy Crystal!

If only Alec Guinness were still alive... Wait! Hologram!

Now for the pièce de résistance: Peter Sellers. :)

Tim R. Mortiss
01-25-2014, 07:14 PM
I think you've just written an episode of Psych!

Bart: Are you the Waco Kid? Or are you just an old drunk?

Jim: I've heard it both ways.

The Other Waldo Pepper
01-25-2014, 07:27 PM
Don't say that too loud! If not Carrey, Eddie Murphy would snap that right up!

I was thinking Johnny Depp, fresh from having learned nothing playing Tonto.

(Speaking of which, IMHO the choice for Bart would be obvious if Wild Wild West hadn't been such a disappointment...)

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 07:31 PM
I was thinking Johnny Depp, fresh from having learned nothing playing Tonto.

(Speaking of which, IMHO the choice for Bart would be obvious if Wild Wild West hadn't been such a disappointment...)

I had to look up who you must have meant. While there, I saw my pick for Lili Von Shtupp: SALMA!

Chimera
01-25-2014, 07:32 PM
Brock Lesnar ... Mongo

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 07:39 PM
Brock Lesnar ... Mongo

I thought I knew his face until I looked him up. Who is/was that guy with the basic "lantern jaw"? Played villains in Bond flics or a badass in mob movies. Face was almost square. Had that vacant look. Dark hair. Might be dead.

Flywheel
01-25-2014, 07:39 PM
What current comedic black actors can fill a role thought for Richard Pryor? Maybe Chris Rock? Dave Chapelle? Either Key OR Peele? Definitely not Eddie Murphy... his cred as a Pryor-sized comedian died a few years back, even if he still looks young.

Maybe go younger and get Donald Glover.

Or Jay Pharoah.

Typo Negative
01-25-2014, 07:40 PM
Orlando Jones... Bart
Andy Samberg ... Jim
Walt Goggins ... Taggart
Bruce Campbell ... Hedley Lamarr
Kristin Wiig ... Lili Von Shtupp
Darell Hammonds ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief
Will Sasso ... Mongo

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 07:45 PM
Orlando Jones... Bart
Andy Samberg ... Jim
Walt Goggins ... Taggart
Bruce Campbell ... Hedley Lamarr
Kristin Wiig ... Lili Von Shtupp
Darell Hammonds ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief
Will Sasso ... Mongo

Nice list! Love Goggins for Taggart. He'd have to be in that movie!

Justin_Bailey
01-25-2014, 07:52 PM
I can't provide a cite, but in a fairly recent (within the last 10 years or so)interview Mel Brooks said he couldn't have made Blazing Saddles in the current environment. He further said that the only way he got BS made was his contract with Warner Brothers gave him complete editorial control over the film.

Mel Brooks can say that (and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the man), but he's wrong. There's nothing in BS that goes beyond what other comedies are doing today.

I mean, come on, one of the movie's initial claims to fame was that it featured characters farting on screen. Critics hate that shit nowadays because its so cliche.

notfrommensa
01-25-2014, 08:15 PM
There can't be any other person to play Buddy Bizarre (Dom Deluise) other than

Richard Simmons

Larry the Cable Guy as Gabby Johnson.

How about TBBT Kunal Nayyar as Bart?
and Melissa Rauch as Lily Von Schtupp

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 08:38 PM
There can't be any other person to play Buddy Bizarre (Dom Deluise) other than

Richard Simmons

Larry the Cable Guy as Gabby Johnson.

How about TBBT Kunal Nayyar as Bart?
and Melissa Rauch as Lily Von Schtupp

You got Buddy Bizarre as far as I can tell. I have yet to see the first episode of TBBT. But thanks for the names.

I'm thinking I'll collect all the names by character and give everybody a shot at picking the cast. After another day or two. Or longer if interest persists.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 08:50 PM
I have looked at every face in Top 400 Villain Actors - The Art of Playing a Villain (http://www.imdb.com/list/ZGjvAXtewyk/?ref_=nm_rls_4) (an outstanding list as lists go) without finding Mr. Lantern Jaw. He's a relatively minor actor/stuntman as those things go so his not appearing here is no shock. But he looks almost like a cartoon or comic strip heavy. Joe Palooka character maybe.

Oh, well...

amorali
01-25-2014, 08:56 PM
Oh yes Don Cheadle!

So Mel Brooks said he had a different actor as "the kid". The first day they filmed they had the guy upside down in the cell and he started puking green stuff. And Mel thought he was a great method actor, but it turned out he was an alcoholic and got sent to rehab.
He called Gene Wilder complaining about it and he said he'd be there the next day. There's just something about the way he talks to the sheriff the first time that is so bemused and genuine. I don't know if anyone could replicate that.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 09:01 PM
Oh yes Don Cheadle!

So Mel Brooks said he had a different actor as "the kid". The first day they filmed they had the guy upside down in the cell and he started puking green stuff. And Mel thought he was a great method actor, but it turned out he was an alcoholic and got sent to rehab.
He called Gene Wilder complaining about it and he said he'd be there the next day. There's just something about the way he talks to the sheriff the first time that is so bemused and genuine. I don't know if anyone could replicate that.

That's precisely what that character needs and why Gene is so identified with him. It's almost a Wally Cox thing.

In a similar fashion Alex Karras had that little kid in a giant's body vibe. Twinkle in the eye. Built like an ox. Just being big and burly doesn't get there. Almost like Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

Chimera
01-25-2014, 09:22 PM
These threads always make me cringe, for exactly what we see above.

Actors 20 years past the point where they could convincingly play the character, because people have a vision of them fixed in their head that isn't keeping up with time. Like the constant "Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania" crap on wrestling sites.

Orlando Jones is 45. Sam Jackson is 65(!) Cheadle is 49. None of them young enough for the part of a "Dashing young urbanite". Cleavon Little was, by contrast, 35 when he played Bart.

Steophan
01-25-2014, 09:54 PM
Remake it using the cast of 12 Years A Slave.

Zeldar
01-25-2014, 10:03 PM
Brock Lesnar ... Mongo

I thought I knew his face until I looked him up. Who is/was that guy with the basic "lantern jaw"? Played villains in Bond flics or a badass in mob movies. Face was almost square. Had that vacant look. Dark hair. Might be dead.

I have looked at every face in Top 400 Villain Actors - The Art of Playing a Villain (http://www.imdb.com/list/ZGjvAXtewyk/?ref_=nm_rls_4) (an outstanding list as lists go) without finding Mr. Lantern Jaw. He's a relatively minor actor/stuntman as those things go so his not appearing here is no shock. But he looks almost like a cartoon or comic strip heavy. Joe Palooka character maybe.

Oh, well...

Found the guy! Among the list Damn, You Ugly (http://www.imdb.com/list/i0z6Ir8co3k/?ref_=nm_rls_2) occupying Position #1 Robert Z'Dar (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0120494/) -- but not who I would pick for Mongo, just who I thought Brock Lesnar might be.

So, after spending over two hours poking at my memory and looking at dozens of lists at IMDb, I can think about something else. :)

notfrommensa
01-25-2014, 11:16 PM
John Ratzenberger (Cheers) could be one of the Townspeople. (Olson Johnson)?
Cloris Leachman could be old lady that that says Up Yours N***** and then brings Bart a pie.
Charlie Sheen as Heddy (That Hedley) Lamarr
Wayne Brady might be able to pull off Bart
Colin Mochrie as Howard Johnson
Ryan Stiles has Lyle
Tim Tebow as Mongo

D&R

Patch
01-25-2014, 11:43 PM
I think Don Cheadle would work as Bart.

That's the name I was thinking of. He would be brilliant in that role.

Patch
01-25-2014, 11:45 PM
These threads always make me cringe, for exactly what we see above.

Actors 20 years past the point where they could convincingly play the character, because people have a vision of them fixed in their head that isn't keeping up with time. Like the constant "Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania" crap on wrestling sites.

Orlando Jones is 45. Sam Jackson is 65(!) Cheadle is 49. None of them young enough for the part of a "Dashing young urbanite". Cleavon Little was, by contrast, 35 when he played Bart.

If you don't like Cheadle, how about Dulé Hill?

Little Nemo
01-25-2014, 11:53 PM
You have to have Chris Rock playing Bart. Otherwise don't even start.

I like the idea of Robert Downey Jr as Jim.

There should be cameos by Brooks, Wilder, Gilliam, Hillerman, and Huddleston.

Unrelated sidenote: I never realized that Jack Starrett (aka Gabby Johnson) also played the deputy who harassed Rambo in First Blood.

Ranger Jeff
01-25-2014, 11:55 PM
Cloris Leachman could be old lady that that says Up Yours N***** and then brings Bart a pie.

She'd love that role, but I don't see her in it. Leachman is more of a make you some ovaltine (wink wink nudge nudge) old woman, not an apple pie. You need more than an old lady, you need a sweet old grandmotherly lady. Maybe Betty White?

I can't see Salma Heyak as Lili Von Schtupp either. She's not Aryan enough. Maybe Charlize Theron, but they'd have to make her up to look like she'd been with thousands of men and like everything below her waist was kaput!

amorali
01-26-2014, 03:17 PM
What about Kristen Wiig as Lily? I don't know if she can sing though.

The Other Waldo Pepper
01-26-2014, 06:27 PM
I just wanted to glare at this thread in advance, since I can already feel it ruining CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER for me. I mean, there's inevitably going to be a scene where Anthony Mackie takes in that this here white guy really is the inhumanly fast kid from Waco Brooklyn, and now this is all I'll be able to think of...

Gyrate
01-26-2014, 06:48 PM
I was going to suggest Mos Def (or whatever he's calling himself these days) for Bart and Matthew McConaughey for Jim, but I rather like the idea of Andy Samberg for Jim instead. Mr Def is 40, if anyone cares.

Zeldar
01-26-2014, 06:53 PM
Tim Tebow as Mongo

D&R

If no other role on your list makes it, this one has to be included.

Jack Burden
01-27-2014, 04:19 PM
That would be interesting! But I don't know if Dwayne is "black" enough for the role. Dule Hill certainly has the facial expression talent; maybe him and James Roday as Jim?

I was picturing Dwayne as a perfect fit for Mongo! He's definitely big enough for the role and has enough presence. "Mongo only pawn in great chess game of life."

Agree with Cheadle for Bart. How about Ron Livingston for Jim?

Alec Baldwin would be great as Hedley Lamarr, Ben Stiller as Gabby Johnson, and this is a little bizarre, but I'm calling Donald Trump for Governor William J. LePetomane.

Gotta be Diane Kruger as Lili von Shtupp.

notfrommensa
01-27-2014, 04:46 PM
Donald Trump would be a great Governor.

Mayor Rob Ford as Mongo?

The Other Waldo Pepper
01-27-2014, 04:50 PM
Alec Baldwin would be great as Hedley Lamarr

I'm sticking with the guy upthread who said George Clooney.

Gyrate
01-28-2014, 04:48 AM
Gotta be Diane Kruger as Lili von Shtupp.Better idea: Lady Gaga

Charlie Wayne
01-28-2014, 05:37 AM
OMG! I just feel terribly, terribly inadequate to try to cast this film using today's actors.

Let me just try one or two?

Pick the biggest asshole in the film. I would cast maybe ... Quentin or maybe Billy Bob Thorton?

Clothahump
01-28-2014, 02:14 PM
Robin Williams as the Governor. And probably anyone else he wanted to be.

Ralphie May as Mongo.

Love Rhombus
01-28-2014, 04:33 PM
Johnny Knoxville IS the Waco Kid.

kaylasdad99
01-28-2014, 05:39 PM
OMG! I just feel terribly, terribly inadequate to try to cast this film using today's actors.

Let me just try one or two?

Pick the biggest asshole in the film. I would cast maybe ... Quentin or maybe Billy Bob Thorton?

I like Billy Bob as Taggert.

Whoever suggested Lithgow as Headley is a freakin' genius.

How about Jane Kazmerack (however it's spelled -- the mom on "Malcolm in the Middle") as Lili? She's got that "pooped" look, and can do hot-to-trot as well.

the_diego
01-29-2014, 05:56 PM
Eddie Murphy
Clint Eastwood
Madonna

Push You Down
01-29-2014, 06:06 PM
Donald Glover ... Bart
Joel McHale ... Jim
Matthew Perry... Hedley Lamarr
Kristin Wiig ... Lili Von Shtupp
Will Ferrell ... Governor William J. Lepetomane / Indian Chief
Dwayne Johnson... Mongo

drastic_quench
01-29-2014, 07:00 PM
Eddie Murphy
Clint Eastwood
Madonna

What is this, 1991?

the_diego
01-29-2014, 08:05 PM
^
Now. I have more faith in senior actors and actresses.

Little Nemo
01-29-2014, 09:59 PM
It occurred to me today that Dan Aykroyd would make a good Hedley Lamarr.

Ibn Warraq
01-29-2014, 11:01 PM
The guy from Modern Family (ironically, the straight actor who plays Cam) would be perfect.

That's a pretty ironic choice since Alex Karras(who played Mongo) also played a gay man in Victor/Victoria.

Ibn Warraq
01-29-2014, 11:04 PM
I think the guy who plays Alcide on True Blood would make a great Mongo.

I could totally by him punching out a horse.

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