The Prisoner (UK) Forums

ITV (ended 1968)

Re-casting

  • Avatar of fastfilm

    fastfilm

    [1]Aug 19, 2005
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    There was once some voicing of a re-make of "The Prisoner" to be produced by McGoohan, info about which even appearing briefly on the IMdB, which ultimately came to naught. Whom would you all re-cast in a remake? My vote for # 6 is David Duchovny, the Butler would be Vern Troyer (Mini Me), and the Leo McKern #2 would be Sir Ian McKellen for his similar sense of command. Ideas?
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    nel68

    [2]Aug 20, 2005
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    Well, my first thought is "No, no, no, no, NOOOOOO."

    But I'll try to get past that and give it some consideration!!
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    GusF

    [3]Aug 20, 2005
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    Personally, I would have Pierce Brosnan as Number Six and Patrick McGoohan as Number Two. Sir Ian McKellen would be great too if there was more than one in the film.
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    fastfilm

    [4]Aug 20, 2005
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    Pierce Brosnan looks the part, but I don't think possesses the right combo of only partially sublimating a smoldering intelligence, righteous anger and snarky wit to truly inhabit #6. You can see the wheels turning in Duchovny's mind even when he's not saying anything. But I REALLY like the idea of McGoohan as the ultimate #2, gus. Good one.
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    fastfilm

    [5]Aug 20, 2005
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    Could anyone see Russell Crowe as #6? At least the film would get funded to be made! ( still rooting for Duchovny.)
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    crazyrhythm

    [6]Aug 20, 2005
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    Yeah,with Russell Crowe,you've got a definite green light. How about Denzel Washington?
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    GusF

    [7]Aug 20, 2005
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    [This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
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  • Avatar of GusF

    GusF

    [8]Aug 20, 2005
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    fastfilm wrote:
    I REALLY like the idea of McGoohan as the ultimate #2, gus. Good one.

    Thanks, fastfilm. I think he'd be great and if it came down to it, he'd probably be willing to do it.
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    crazyrhythm

    [9]Aug 20, 2005
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    How about Helen Mirren as No.2?
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    GusF

    [10]Aug 20, 2005
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    Helen Mirren would be great! I just hope they keep all the Number Twos British. Not that I'm racist against other nationalities (BTW, I'm Irish) but "The Prisoner" was a British series and just about everyone in it (I know McGoohan's technically Irish but he was playing a British guy) was British. I don't think it would have been as creepy or effective if it was an American series or had many American actors. In fact, David Bauer (The Judge/Number Two in "Living in Harmony") is the American I can think of who was in it.
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  • Avatar of fastfilm

    fastfilm

    [11]Aug 20, 2005
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    Gus- prepare for a bombshell: Patrick McGoohan is American! He was born in Astoria, New York, USA, although spending most of the first half of his life in the U.K., then from the 70's on, back here in L.A.

    Since most corporations, governments and hence espionage have gone global, I think an international cast would do fine in 2005 and not hinder the creepiness factor. I am really liking the suggestion of Denzel Washington as #6 with Helen Mirren as the main #2.
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    celsig

    [12]Aug 20, 2005
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    I think the show would have to be British-based, and No. 6 in particular would have to be British, or have a completely convicing English manner, or else it would lose its very characteristic tone.

    The acting in the original series was very British, a sort of "hyper Shakespearean" style. The episodes were also very dialogue-oriented, and the specific kind of short, clipped, dry, and intensely intellectual repartee between McGoohan and the various Numbers Two (McKern especially) is essential to the "feel" of the series, and would be nearly impossible for an American actor to duplicate. The intense dialogue is like the *real* soundtrack of the original series.

    Number 6 would be almost impossible to cast, because it was so much McGoohan's identity. Funnily enough, although I usually don't care for his work, Crowe might not be a bad idea.

    You would need someone who could project incredible intensity, like a perpetually-coiled spring, or like a tiger waiting to pounce. Anger, yes--the actor would have to have tremendous anger simmering just under the surface, fuelling his every action.

    I think the stumbling block would be that any known actor would find it impossible to resist the temptation to make No. 6 more "likeable," and he's not supposed to be likeable. He's supposed to be practically a force of nature.

    I think one might wish to look to the English theatre to find an actor for the part. The original series was very much based on the dynamics of stage acting (and not just the "Once Upon a Time" episode, which was in every way a stage play).
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  • Avatar of GusF

    GusF

    [13]Aug 21, 2005
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    Actually, technically Patrick McGoohan IS Irish. Both of his parents were Irish, born and bred, and he was raised in Leitrim (in Ireland) until he was about six.

    And I think David McCallum or Judi Dench would be great Number Twos.
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  • Avatar of fastfilm

    fastfilm

    [14]Aug 21, 2005
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    celsig and gus, I like your explanations r.e. theatarical tradition. Let's root for someone in Russell Crowe's management to pick up on this for development. I'm not a generic Crowe fan, but liked his work in "Master and Commander" and ADORED what he did with his character in "The Insider." I've never seen such a visualization of someone thinking, regreting, self-fortifying. Since he could project all that, the intensity of #6 ought to come through.

    There's lots of #2's yet to cast: who besides Dame Judy, David McCallum and Helen Mirren? I can see Rufus Sewell, Gary Oldham, Emma Thompson, and in the Leo McKern role, Alan Rickman, as he is such a sympathetic adversary.
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    timgueguen

    [15]Aug 21, 2005
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    The only problem with using someone like David McCallum in the Number 2 role is the danger of it being perceived as stunt casting, or a lame inside joke. "Oh look, Number 2 is the Man From UNCLE guy!"

    Rickman would make a good Number 2. But he'd also make a good Number 6. Unfortunately they'd probably want a "star" actor as Number 6, so Rickman would likely be a no go.

    The real danger of a new Prisoner would be casting a Bruce Willis type in the role and turning it into a lame action adventure flick.
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    GusF

    [16]Aug 21, 2005
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    I really doubt that having David McCallum as Number Two would make people think that but agree with you that Rickman is a big enough star to play Number Two but not Number Six. Besides, he'd be a little too old. Jeremy Irons would be a great Number Two as well because of his voice.
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    crazyrhythm

    [17]Aug 21, 2005
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    Lots of good suggestions,but for now I'm sticking with Denzel and Helen. Are we assuming that there will be multiple #2's? How many can you have in a two hour movie? I disagree with the statement that this must be Brit-based. The movie is not the tv show,nor should it be. To ensure that this will not be turned into a Bruce Willis action flick,who will we get to write the script? To direct it?
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  • Avatar of fastfilm

    fastfilm

    [18]Aug 21, 2005
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    Yes, multiple #2's, Mirren, Oldham, ending with Rickman or Irons, to advance the continuity of the series concept of interchangeabilty of adversaries who always keep coming. Have Terry Gilliam direct, Ridley Scott produce. Have Russell Crowe star to get the property developed at all.
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  • Avatar of GusF

    GusF

    [19]Aug 22, 2005
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    Ridley Scott would be a great choice.
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  • Avatar of GusF

    GusF

    [20]Aug 23, 2005
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    I know I'm kind-of contradicting myself but I think that Guy Pearce would be great as Number Six.
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