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It's Official, They're Remaking Guys And Dolls. Let's Round Up The Classiest, Most Eligible Singers And Dancers

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | April 25, 2013 | Comments ()


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Here's what we know about the Guys And Dolls remake: 20th Century Fox has purchased the rights to the musical based on the stage play (based on Damon Runyon's short stories) and there is no writer or director attached yet. Here's what we've heard about the Guys And Dolls remake: the producers want Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum to star as Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, respectively. This casting skews a bit younger than what we're used to seeing for the show, but would, no doubt, kick the musical-loving audience into a Magic Mike-esque frenzy. But is it the best casting we can conceive of? And what of the ladies? Will we have to endure another round of Taylor Swift/Lea Michelle casting rumors? They might go Disney starlet. They might cast Anne Hathaway. And so the best that I can do is pray.

NATHAN DETROIT
The second male lead, I always thought of Nathan as a bit more of a comedic role. Charming Potato has proved he can do laid-back comedy very well, but he just seems a little wrong for the part. Here's how I would rank the options.

4. Hugh Dancy: Okay Dancy's not a serious contender, but I did want to remind you that your new TV crush, "Hannibal"'s Will Graham, did this. Yes he did.

3. Damien Lewis: The "Homeland" actor has got some pipes on him.

2. Channing Tatum: I don't hate the idea of C-Tates in the role. Lord knows he has the moves. I wasn't sure if I had heard him sing before, but his Meat Loaf impression here is pretty decent. It's possible that they won't give Nathan too many songs. (In the 1955 film version they gave Sinatra the titular song and added "Adelaide," but in the stage show Nathan only has two solos.) Detroit also isn't a very dance-y role, so I'm worried Tatum's sweet sweet moves will be wasted.

1. James Marsden: Marsden is the perfect blend of singing talent and slightly shady character. I'd love it.

SKY MASTERSON
Masterson is the ostensible lead. He gets to perform the showstopper "Luck Be A Lady" and anyone who takes on this role gets to say they followed in Marlon Brando's (slightly off-key) footsteps. It's a shame both Ewan McGregor and Peter Gallagher are too old for the role because they did the lovesick gambler credit. Oh, Sandy Cohen.

1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I mean. There's no competition here. I'd actually prefer JGL in the Detroit role but if he wants the lead, he should have it. Lord knows he's put in the song and dance time. His "Luck Be A Lady" will be divine and his "I'll Know" swoon-worthy. I wish I could give you that video of him doing Donald O'Conner on "Saturday Night Live," but this'll have to do.

ADELAIDE
Nathan's doll and lead singer at The Hot Box, whoever plays Adelaide has to bring both the screwball comedy and the sex appeal.

4. Scarlett Johansson: Listen, I actually think she's got much more comedic talent than she's given credit for. She's got the sex appeal part nailed and a connection to JGL through their work together on Don Jon. I think this would actually be surprisingly great.

3. Zooey Deschanel: Not sure she has quite the necessary sizzle, but I'd rather see her stretch into this role than to land another ingenue part. Once again there's a strong connection to JGL and I sort of miss seeing Zooey as a blonde.

2. Emmy Rossum: Though she bungled the National Anthem very recently, Rossum has actual training as a singer. Anyone who's seen her delightful performance on "Shameless" knows she can do working class sexy very well.

1. Megan Hilty: This, however, would by my number one with a bullet. Hilty has been languishing over on "Smash" but she is the real deal. She's got the talent and just the right look.

SISTER SARAH
A buttoned up, straight laced missionary ingenue-type who gets completely undone by both Sky Masterson and a whole lotta Cuban rum. (Not my favorite boy meets girl plot line, let me tell you that right now.)

4. Felicia Day: Day is not the strongest actress in the bunch but she does show, in this clip, that she has just the right kind of high soprano for Sarah's songs.

3. Alison Brie: This would be a big break for our favorite Greendale resident. She's been playing uptight over on NBC for awhile now and has built a sweet little singing career on the side.

2. Kristen Bell: Remember Burlesque, musical fans? Remember how they totally wasted Kristen Bell? She is a killer talent and would make a great unlaced missionary as evidenced by this, my favorite Bell performance.

1. Anna Kendrick : Kendrick ran away with our hearts last year with her absolutely adorable turn in Pitch Perfect. Added bonus? She's got the right neurotic vibe for Sarah. She and JGL would be perfection together.

Also did you know she's been doing this for quite awhile? Because she has.

NICELY NICELY
Though he's a side character, Nicely Nicely has what is unquestionable the best number in the show. Who could bring it home with "Sit Down You're Rockin' The Boat"?

2. Josh Gad: Gad is actually a little on the slender side for Nicely Nicely, but he does have a good set of pipes. I have not been enamored with his antics on "1600 Penn" but he is a damn sight better than Dan Fogler.

1. Jacob Wysocki: Wysocki would actually be my number one choice if he could sing a note. He's pretty young (only 22), but I think he could pull it off. Alas....

BIG JULIE
The imposing but comedic "villain" of the show, Big Julie doesn't have to sing much at all.

3. John Goodman: Because what couldn't be improved by a little John Goodman?

2. John C. Reilly: Yeah yeah yeah, his best musical moment is probably Mr. Cellophane from Chicago, but I have a soft spot for A Prairie Home Companion.

1. Nathan Fillion: Fillion proved in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing that he makes for EXCELLENT comic relief. He might have leading man looks, but he plays them for laughs.

DOLLS
The extra girls in the show don't have much to do outside of shaking it at The Hot Box. That being said, these cuties would shake it quite well.

Brittany Snow

Becca Tobin

GUYS
The extra guys, on the other hand, have great potential. "Benny" and "Rusty" get to sing "Fugue For Tinhorns," "The Oldest Established" and "Guys And Dolls." I'd happily see any of these chaps sip into a fedora and pinstripe.

Matt Bomer

Darren Criss

Skylar Astin and Aaron Tveit

Daniel Radcliffe




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    Guys And Dolls is too long, shrill and dull to warrant a remake.

  • reallynicecamper

    Guys and Dolls holds a special place in my heart, so it is really hard for me to see anyone but Frank or Marlon in the lead roles. But since I can't live in the past (or just shouldn't), I'll play along and throw in my two cents:

    First, let me say that I totally agree with all your picks for Big Julie, and Josh Gad would be awesome as Nicely Nicely. And as a Harry Potter fan, how can I deny Daniel Radcliffe? Sure throw him in there too!

    But as for the leading roles...

    I'm sorry to say it but JGL should
    play Nathan Detroit, not Sky Masterson. He was born for the Nathan
    Detroit role. JGL isn't a player like Sky Masterson. He is the
    charming, misunderstood guy (think 500 Days of Summer).

    Zooey would be really good in the Sister Sara role (not
    the Adelaide role, per the article). She can be straight-laced, but a
    little crazy when needed. But then she wouldn't be opposite JGL (hmmmm). I
    would also be stoked to see Alison Brie as Sister Sara (good call!)

    For the Adelaide role, you need a pretty, slightly trashy, and dumb-blonde type (opposite JGL).....and I don't mean Scarlet Jo-boobs.
    I agree, Emmy Rossum could be really good.

    And as for Sky
    Masterson, no Charming Potatoes need apply (OOF! He would be awful as
    either Sky or Nathan). If Ryan Gosling can sing (and who's to say he can't?), then he's our
    man. He proved he could be the player in Crazy Stupid Love. He would
    be excellent.

  • Alyson McManus

    John C Reilly's best musical moment was Dewey Cox. no question. BOOM. done. Seriously. Let Me Hold You Little Man? That song is so great its terrible and back around to great again.

  • Patty O'Green

    As if I needed a new reason to love - nay, adore - the JoRo, she gives me a video of Astin and Tveit singing a song from RENT.

    For realsies, lady, let's do this thang.

  • Patty O'Green

    Also, someone ::AHEM:: already knows all the Hot Box Girls songs...

    https://www.facebook.com/photo...

  • Derreck

    I'm not familiar with the stageshow or movie, but if it helps to get Megan Hilty a good role than i'm all for it. That woman deserves all the good things.

  • You mention John C. Reilly in a musical casting and YOU DON'T EVEN MENTION WALK HARD . WHAT THE FUCK.

  • Justin Timberlake as Sky Masterson.

    Jack Black as Nicely Nicely.

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, is it wrong that an old bitch like me is saying FUCK NO to this whole thing?

    Except for the Anna Kendrick part. If they ever make a film of Company, Anna Kendrick should play Joanne no matter if she's old enough or not.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    She will be playing the Shiksa Goddess in movie version of The Last 5 Years...so she might be too busy for Gusy & Dolls (and would've made the better choice)

  • John W

    I didn't think it possible but I think I'm more in love with Felicia Day.

  • Yes to Megan Hilty!! That girl is amazing! I can't believe that you guys listed Daniel Radcliffe last

  • Three_nineteen

    I think John Goodman should at least be Nicely Nicely if not Sky Masterson. If he or John C Reilly is Masterson, then Megan Mullaly can be Sister Sarah. Then JGL can be Nathan Detroit. Ooh, ooh! Or maybe NPH. Megan Hilty would be great as Adelaide.

  • Tinkerville

    Good list, but I hate that you reminded me that the movie version of Ella Enchanted exists.

  • Robert

    Wow. Felicia Day can go legit. I don't think she has the high notes for Sister Sarah but now I want hear her do a legit score.

    The problem with Sister Sarah and Sky Masterson, as characters, is that they're totally vanilla. They don't evolve onstage. They face no real challenges. There songs together are nondescript duets that could slip in and out of any number of shows and no one would notice. You need BIG personalities to make them work and I don't see it. James Marsden would probably be a better choice for Sky than Nathan since he could sell the romance angle with a lot of charm. Zooey Deschanel could probably pull it off if she had a dynamic Sky to work off of.

    Josh Gad probably doesn't have the top note for Nicely Nicely. Just cast Tituss Burgess since Nicely Nicely won't be selling tickets in any production lest Stubby Kaye rises from the grave. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • MelBivStillCan'tLogIn

    Megan Hilty for EVERYTHING. Yes.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Wow, I hate all of this proposed casting,with the exception of Hilty as Adelaide. And Marsden is generally good, but I don't know about Nathan Detroit. Maybe. Switch it around - How about Nathan Fillion for Detroit and John C Reilly for Nicely Nicely? Hathaway as Sarah Brown would actually be perfect casting - maybe even *too* on the nose. Emmy Rossum would also be more appropriate in that part.

    Gallagher already did Sky, on Broadway (eh, all right). Skewing the cast this young is foolish though - how can Adelaide have been waiting 14 years for a 26 year old Nathan to propose? ew. For Sky - go Cheyenne Jackson. No reason to do anyone else.

  • e jerry powell

    I will agree with that, provided that Nathan Fillion agrees to perform the role completely pantsless.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love Peter Gallagher for a very simple reason. He gave an interview about working with Jack Lemmon and said until then he had never seen anything with Lemmon in it because "I am, and always have been, an ignoramus". Mr. J. and I have been quoting it for years.

  • $27019454

    Am I the only one who really did not like Guys and Dolls? It's kind of creepy, actually. I'm probably the only one, I guess. But since I don't like it and since I do not like AnnJazzHands Hathaway (as much as many of you like to insist that Hathaway Hate is "not happening" or an internet hoax, I actually still/always did loathe her, so, yeah) I'd like to see her cast in this just because it would concentrate much of the Icky Factor in one place. Sort of like a clown convention.

    #coulrophobia.

  • Alarmjaguar

    Nope, not alone

  • Agreed.

  • BWeaves

    I always thought it was a weird show, too.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I know nothing about this musical, but I heartily endorse any list that includes this header pic and/or James Marsden.

  • BWeaves

    Christopher Walken does surprisingly good song and dance, and yet he gives off a old time gangster vibe. I have no idea who he'd play, but he needs to be in this.

  • $27019454

    Pennies From Heaven! Sucky movie but he was gold.

  • sjfromsj

    Aaron Tveit for Sky. I will accept nothing else.

  • mswas

    Because you know you want to have this in your head all day long. "Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, Sit down you're rockin' the boat. "

    http://youtu.be/o7kzsZreG0o

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Don Henley version, anyone?

  • Conor

    Great list. I honestly feel like 20 people were born completely sans-talent to accommodate JGL.

    Also, there is only one reaction for a straight man to that Emmy Rossum video:

    http://eragon-sporkings.wikisp...

  • periwinkled

    I'm slightly disappointed that this is an all-white list. This is a show that caters to diversity very easily. In fact, the last time I saw it performed, Nathan, Adelaide, and Nicely were played by black actors. How about Taye Diggs? Hell, Terrence Howard and Jamie Foxx can credibly carry some tunes.

  • e jerry powell

    I'd say Jennifer Hudson, but I'm looking at her more for the remake of On The Town. Anika Noni Rose would be too obvious since I just said Jennifer Hudson.

    As a pop culture blog, I know you're looking at "names," but I'm thinking that putting Diedre Goodwin in another movie could be a good thing. She did play Magenta once upon a time...

  • MissAmynae

    bring in the kid from Hairspray, i'm on my phone and can't look him up right now. He's phenomenal.

  • Taye Diggs...hell yes!

  • pfeiffer87

    Took the words right out of my mouth!

  • JoannaRobinson

    Inarguably excellent point.

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    Well, they'd need at least 1 Latina for the Cuba part.

  • periwinkled

    True, but I'm talking leads.

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    I know, I was being slightly sarcastic...

  • periwinkled

    Ha, fair enough.

  • tmoney

    Is it wrong to say that I got goosebumps from reading this list? However, t might be a good idea to throw some actual Broadway folks in this as well to up the sangin' and dancin' quality...and to avoid a Russel Crowe situation.

  • Samantha Klein

    I was under the impression that casting would be reversed. I mean, based on the original film, wouldn't Potato be more along the Marlon Brando lines?

  • JoannaRobinson

    Exactly. One would think. But no.

  • fracas

    Didn't Oliver Platt just play Nathan Detroit on Broadway? I'm of the opinion that if you can cast Oliver Platt in a part you should.

  • A-schaef

    He did, and he was excellent, but for some reason the critics did not like that production.

  • Robert

    The critics didn't like the production because it was ugly as sin and really poorly conceived. It was slapdash. The cast was good but the direction, choreography, and production design were horrendous.

  • Mrs. Julien

    They called Lauren Graham's singing "stentorian", but not in a good way.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    In the high school production of G&D I was in (sort of, I played in the orchestra), Nathan Detroit was taller and lanky while Sky Masterson was shorter and huskier, so that's how I'll always imagine the characters. That said, I can get behind JGL as Sky. And you're right, Anna Kendrick is MUCH better for Sarah than Adelaide. And OH MAN, Nathan Fillion as Big Julie is PERFECT.

    Damn but I love Guys & Dolls.

  • periwinkled

    That's not actually Hugh Dancy singing in Ella Enchanted. I don't know if he CAN sing, but they dubbed him in the film.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Damnit, really? It didn't sound good enough for a dubbing to me.

  • periwinkled

    Yeah, it's Jesse McCartney.

  • telyra

    Jesse McCartney did the soundtrack version.

  • JoannaRobinson

    According to Dancy "Oh yes. The little song and dance number at the end - that's me, my voice, howling out. It was a new experience for me. I've never sung before and I've certainly never sung on screen. I think I sung on stage when I was 13 and for some reason nobody's asked me to try it again since."

  • Guest

    YES! For Brittany Snow Anna Kendrick, and Felicia Day.

    But FAIL! For no Gillian Jacobs or Brie Larson.

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