Being a fan of Jess Weixler’s performance in Alexander The Last, I contacted Rod Lurie and urged him to consider casting her in the Susan George role in his Straw Dogs remake. He took my advice and sat down with her, but finally decided to go with Kate Bosworth.
Lurie has written the Straw Dogs script and will begin directing it in rural Mississippi in August. He told me a while ago that he did a lot of research on the original Sam Peckinpah version, including reading old yellowed drafts of the script and asking Dustin Hoffman for advice about casting the David Sumner role.
One interesting sidenote is that back in 1971 “no name actress would come within a mile of [the Susan George] role,” he mentioned. Bosworth was no doubt influenced by the first-rate performance that Kate Beckinsale delivered in Lurie’s Nothing But The Truth, but the Straw Dogs character isn’t going to be substantially different than the one George played so that in itself makes Bosworth look pretty fearless.
An insider-the-looper claimed earlier today in an e-mail that she’s going to give “a ballsy ballsy performance.”
Alexander (son of Stellan) Skarsgard is going to play her ex-boyfriend and plunderer. James Marsden will play the Dustin Hoffman role, although it’s a different character — i.e., a lot less dweeby and cowardly and socially awkward. He’ll be playing a moderately smooth, go-with-the-flow L.A. screenwriter who relocates with his actress wife (Bosworth) to her Mississippi hometown in order to finish a script.
Will Lurie be shooting in Tupelo? Philadelphia? If it’s Oxford he’d better watch the wifi.
Skarsgard (who’s 6′ 4″) will play Bosworth’s her ex-high school boyfriend who was a top jock in his heyday. Ancient Chinese curse: “May you peak in high school.”