Populating a Brave New World

In a move that surprises no one, Leonardo DiCaprio is angling to get cast in Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Brave New World. Since DiCaprio’s production company (Appian Way) had already optioned the rights, it was pretty much inevitable that he’d want in, and while the article doesn’t confirm any casting, it hints that DiCaprio would like to get his hands on the role of pivotal Alpha citizen Bernard Marx.

I’d be surprised if DiCaprio didn’t go for Oscar bait John Savage instead—that frowny-browed scream-cry only he can do would come in handy in the movie’s last act!—but I’m not thrilled with the idea either way.

Brave New World is one of the few dystopian books that hasn’t been slaughtered by Hollywood yet (minus a 1998 TV version starring Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows), and even though Ridley Scott is not above bad decisions and might end up delivering Brave Runner, there are worse fates for SF books. (Total Recall, I’m looking at you.)

However, casting makes or breaks a movie, and is DiCaprio really the best man for the job? Can’t we come up with a better cast than that?

Sure we can! We’re on the Internet! Opinions are what we do.

The roles. Alpha Bernard Marx, Beta Lenina Crowne, Friendly Neighborhood Dictator Mustapha Mond, John the Savage (“Mr. Savage”), and his mom Linda.

The Stakes. Depending on who has final say over the casting, these hypothetical movies will either be an incisive look into an increasingly media-brainwashed society that places more value on celebrity than the integrity of the human experience, or The Island.

The Studios. The studio push would be, of course, for an A-List cast that would get asses in the seats no matter what. Leo is right at home here, and extrapolating from the casting of other recent blockbusters, the cast would look like this:

Bernard: Leonardo DiCaprio
Lenina: Angelia Jolie
Mustapha: Daniel Craig
John: Matt Damon
Linda: Oh, any woman over 45. They all look the same once they get old.

Tagline: IN A WORLD, where you can have everything you want…how do you fight…FOR LOVE?

The Director. Our man Ridley has a hit-and-miss history of casting, and an occasional weakness for the flavor of the month (Orlando Bloom? Really?), which seems to stem from a desire to get the look right rather than from having tested the actor against the material. (Some people call these “auditions.”) The good news is that at least he’ll cast people who can manage English accents, and the casting for all the smaller parts will be amazing.

Bernard: Russell Crowe
Lenina: Cate Blanchett
Mustapha: Liam Neeson
John: Robert Pattinson
Linda: Helen Mirren

Tagline: From Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner. (What? That’s all he ever gives you! Nobody knew what Kingdom of Heaven was about before they saw it!…or after they saw it.)

The Internet. Just in case you wanted proof that we’re a society doomed, a casting based on popular search results:

Bernard: Robert Pattinson
Lenina: Megan Fox
Mustapha: Robert Pattinson
John: Robert Pattinson
Linda: Lindsay Lohan

Tagline: WTF, dude, take some soma and shut up.

Naturally, it’s too early to know how badly casting for this movie will end up, but despite my general faith in Ridley Scott, this DiCaprio business is not a good sign.

How about it? Does this casting leak worry or enthuse you? What would your dream cast be? And how many ways can this movie go deliciously, horribly wrong?

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