I used to live at a house in Fairfax that most affectionately called “The Perch”. While living there, my roommates (and JL) and I had quite a few games we played while sitting around, imbibing beverages and watching TV. One of these games was the “Re-Cast” Game. Basically, we would take a movie that was somewhat outdated and attempt to re-cast it, as if it was going to be re-made today. One such movie we happened to toy around with was Cool Runnings. I did some extensive research to come up with four solid options for each character. I’ll run through these and we’ll see if we can get some discussion going on which would be the best choices if a re-make was made.
- Will Smith
What we’ve seen him in: I Am Legend, I Robot, Bad Boys, Men in Black, Independence Day, Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Why he’s a good fit: Smith is a highly talented actor and he’s also in impeccable shape, as we saw in I Am Legend. I’ve also got confidence in his ability to play this type of highly motivated hero character.
Why he’s not: It’s easy to forget that actors age, because we re-watch older movies of their’s all the time. Smith will be 43 in September, but with today’s technology, he may be able to pull this off. I have doubts about his ability to pull off the accent, but that’s going to be a concern for almost all the actors listed here.
- Jamie Foxx
What we’ve seen him in: Law Abiding Citizen, The Kingdom, Miami Vice, Ray, Collateral, Ali, Any Given Sunday
Why he’s a good fit: I know some people blast his acting, but I’ve actually liked him in a lot of stuff he’s be in. Very similar to Smith in that he’s in good shape, though I don’t think he would evoke the same emotional feeling from viewers that Smith would.
Why he’s not: Again, similar to Smith here. He’s aging (44 in December) and who knows if he could get the accent down?
- Jaleel White
What we’ve seen him in: Family Matters
Why he’s a good fit: Yes, he was Urkel. But remember those handful of episodes where he played Urkel’s alter-ego who was smooth and cool? Couldn’t you see that guy playing Derice? And if he can pull of the nerd act/voice, I think he could play Jamaican.
Why he’s not: He was Urkel for God sakes!
- Don Cheadle
What we’ve seen him in: Oceans 11/12/13, Hotel Rwanda, Crash, Swordfish, Traffic, Volcano
Why he’s a good fit: In my opinion, he’s a very underrated actor. He carries a lot of the films he’s in. And we know he can do accents, so I don’t think that would be an issue. I might even consider him for the part of Junior or Sanka if he didn’t land this part.
Why he’s not: I’m not sure he has the look, and specifically the physical stature to be a fit. Like Smith and Foxx, he’s aging (47 in November).
- Martin Lawrence
What we’ve seen him in: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Wild Hogs, Big Momma’s House, Bad Boys, Black Knight, Blue Streak, House Party
Why he’s a good fit: He’s a comedy guy, and that’s a necessity for this role. He’s probably got the requisite build too, as he’s a little on the smaller side.
Why he’s not: He’s more of a comedian than an actor, so the accent might be a problem. And to be honest, I don’t even think he’s that funny.
- Chris Tucker
What we’ve seen him in: Rush Hour, Money Talks, The Fifth Element, Friday
Why he’s a good fit: Again, he’s a comedy guy.
Why he’s not: He’s got a very distinctive voice, which is going to make it very tough. He’s also gotten pretty big recently, which is going to make it tough for him to pull this off. Again, I think he’s overrated in terms of his humor.
- Chris Rock
What we’ve seen him in: I Think I Love My Wife, Head of State
Why he’s a good fit: He’s small and he’s incredibly funny. He’s also got the physical build needed for this role.
Why he’s not: Like Rock, he’s got a very distinctive voice that might make it hard for him to pull off the accent. He’s also much more of a comedian than an actor.
- Dave Chappelle
What we’ve seen him in: Half Baked, Chappelle’s Show
Why he’s a good fit: He’s funny as hell, he’s got the skinny build we’re looking for and for someone with a very distinctive voice, he does excellent impressions.
Why he’s not: He’s got that distinctive voice that makes me nervous, but if you’ve seen Chappelle’s Show you know he can do voices. Another guy who is much more comedian than actor.
- Alfonso Rebeiro
What we’ve seen him in: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Why he’s a good fit: This is the exact role he played in Fresh Prince, without the comedy. If he’s still in shape, he’s also got a good build for this as well.
Why he’s not: He’s kind of got a funny voice and the fact that he hasn’t been in anything noteworthy besides Fresh Prince says something.
- Mos Def
What we’ve seen him in: 16 Blocks, The Woodsman, The Italian Job
Why he’s a good fit: He’s got the build and, judging by his role in The Italian Job, he’s great at playing the quiet guy who gets pushed around and doesn’t say much.
Why he’s not: Rapper first, actor second. Can he get the accent?
- Dule Hill
What we’ve seen him in: The Guardian, Holes, Men of Honor, She’s All That, Psych
Why he’s a good fit: He bears a striking resemblance to Junior himself. A somewhat underrated actor who really hasn’t been given a good shot. Solidly funny.
Why he’s not: He’s got little experience in major roles.
- Omar Epps
What we’ve seen him in: House, Love and Basketball, The Mod Squad, Scream 2, Major League II
Why he’s a good fit: Another smaller guy who is a pretty solid actor. Honestly, he’s been better in roles where he is quieter (Love and Basketball) than roles where he’s loud (Major League II).
Why he’s not: I don’t think a big(ish) star would work in this role. You need someone who can play the subdued quiet guy.
- Wesley Snipes
What we’ve seen him in: Blade, Undisputed, The Art of War, U.S. Marshals, The Fan, Major League
Why he’s a good fit: He’s a big dude and he’s actually a decent actor. Great in the tough guy role.
Why he’s not: He might still be in jail.
- Michael Clark Duncan
What we’ve seen him in: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, School for Scoundrels, Talladega Nights, Sin City, Daredevil, The Scorpion King, Planet of the Apes, The Whole Nine Yards, The Green Mile, Armageddon
Why he’s a good fit: He’s big, he can act and he’s surprisingly funny.
Why he’s not: He’s old and I don’t think anyone is buying that he can run the 100 meters in 10 flat.
- Dennis Haysbert
What we’ve seen him in: The Unit, 24, Heat, Major League, the Nationwide commercials
Why he’s a good fit: Imagine him playing Cerrano in Major League and then look at the picture above. Pretty damn close right? And he had a mean accent in Major League.
Why he’s not: Major League was made 22 years ago!
- Djimon Hounsou
What we’ve seen him in: Gladiator, Blood Diamond, Eragon, Constantine
Why he’s a good fit: He’s an extremely underrated actor and I think he’s been a little typecast. He should be able to handle the accent and the role seems to fit his tough guy persona perfectly.
Why he’s not: Is he acting with that accent or does he really speak like that? Because he has to sound Jamaican, not African.
- Kevin James
What we’ve seen him in: King of Queens, Grown Ups, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Hitch
Why he’s a good fit: He’s very funny and he’s fat.
Why he’s not: He’s more comedian than actor and I don’t believe he can be serious, though the same could have been said of John Candy when the original was made.
- John Goodman
What we’ve seen him in: Roseanne, Fallen, Coyote Ugly, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Flintstones
Why he’s a good fit: He’s fat, he’s funny and he’s a surprisingly decent actor.
Why he’s not: I don’t know that he’s a good enough actor to handle this role. This guy really has to carry the movie to a certain degree.
- James Gandolfini
What we’ve seen him in: The Sopranos, Fallen, 8MM, Crimson Tide
Why he’s a good fit: He’s fat and he’s a good actor.
Why he’s not: He’s completely typecast and probably can’t play any prominent role outside of an Italian mobster the rest of his career.
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman
What we’ve seen him in: Pirate Radio, Charlie Wilson’s War, Patch Adams, Along Came Polly, Mission Impossible III, Red Dragon, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Big Lebowski
Why he’s a good fit: He’s an excellent actor, he’s a big guy and I think his comedic ability is pretty underrated (Along Came Polly anyone?).
Why he’s not: He’s got that voice and attitude that makes you think he’s a little too successful to be a deadbeat has-been.
So who do I think should get the nod for a possible re-make of this classic?
Derice: I’m thinking Will Smith. The guy is a good actor and this type of role really suits him. My only worry is really the accent, but I have confidence he could be at least passable.
Sanka: This part was clearly the hardest to fill. Funny actors are hard to find these days, and you are mostly left sorting through comedians who can’t act. I think I’d actually go with Don Cheadle. He’s a great actor and is excellent with accents.
Junior: As tempting as it is to go with Alfonso Rebeiro for the part of the quiet rich kid with the overbearing father, I think I would have to go with Dule Hill. He’s a little known actor who has the look and feel for this part.
Yul: I’m going with Djimon Hounsou here. He’s a big dude who is also an excellent actor. I’m making a leap of faith on the accent thing.
Irv: I’m going with Philip Seymour Hoffman and I don’t think it’s even close. The guy is an excellent actor, one who I really don’t think gets his due from the national media. He’s big and he’s funny, but he also plays serious roles very well.
What say you? Who do you want on your second Jamaican bobsled team?