Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Of a Mouse and a Man

This mock poster from a French artist named Pascal Witaszek has been everywhere the past couple of days. It even lead some people to believe it was an actual movie coming out. Sadly, it is just the dream of  a Frenchman who should go into casting (It's a little hard to read, but the other actors who are apparently in the movie are Michelle Williams, Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard, Marion Cotillard, and...Matthew Fox. I'm not really sure who all those people would be playing in the biopic, but that's quite the cast he's assembled). And even though it may not be true, the general consensus is that someone should make it happen.

Ryan Gosling as a young Walt Disney is kinda genius casting. After all, Gosling got his start on the Mickey Mouse Club. And a biopic about Walt's career would be interesting. I happened to catch a documentary about Disney a couple months ago while I was flipping through the stations and ended up watching the entire thing. But, the thing about biopics that don't seem to work is when they try to cram a person's entire life into 2 hours. I like the one's that focus on an important moment in time. This also saves us from the annoying young-actor-in-bad-age-make-up-recapping-their-life narrative that seems to be so popular as well. (Leo in J. Edgar should serve as a lesson to all filmmakers who think that's a good idea). I think this film would work best if it focused on Walt's early career (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and ultimately, Mickey) and ended with the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. After that, Walt was going off in too many directions with different projects and the story would get jumbled. There should be some way to incorporate animated segments as well so it's not just a straight forward biopic. Which means Ron Howard as a director is out. His filmmaking is too humorless and dry. Someone on a website suggested Wes Anderson and I'd like to second that. Hopefully, someone at Disney is taking notice of all the good buzz this fake movie is having and make it a reality.

But, before that happens, it's looking like Oscar-winner Tom Hanks could be taking on the role of Walt Disney. It was reported last month that the company is trying to bring Saving Mr. Banks to the big screen with Hanks as Disney and Meryl Streep as P.L. Travers, the woman who wrote the Mary Poppins books. The script was on last year's Black List (an annual list of the best unproduced scripts) and focuses on Disney's pursuit of acquiring the rights to make the film and Travers' subsequent dislike of the final product. I, for one, hope this movie–with the proposed cast–actually comes to fruition. Mary Poppins is just one of those movies that reminds me of my childhood and a backstage look into the making of it sounds intriguing. Maybe if they move fast enough we can get a double dose of Disney biopics. Two of our finest actors playing an American Icon. When you wish upon a (movie) star, your (biopic) dreams come true...

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