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Jason Reitman’s re-imagined readings of cherished scripts – can we call them The Reitman Readings? – are so clever, I’m amazed no one thought to do this before … at least, on this scale. To date, he has recruited all-star ensembles for celebrity line-readings of The Breakfast Club, The Apartment, The Princess Bride (with a few original cast members in different roles), and Shampoo. His next, according to EW.com, will be Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant Reservoir Dogs -- with a distinct twist.
“We’re changing the race of the race of the entire cast,” the Young Adult director told the magazine about his upcoming (sold-out) reading, which will be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday, Feb. 16. “This is kind of the first attempt at really looking at a screenplay through a different lens, and we’ll see what happens when we do that. Maybe nothing changes, or maybe the story becomes completely different.”
Makes sense, when you think about it. Tarantino’s gangsters go by color-coded nicknames, so the color of Reitman’s performances should be a determining factor. So, who does he have in mind? According to EW, Reitman has cast: Terrence Howard as Mr. Blonde, the sadistic bastard originally played by Michael Madsen; Anthony Mackie as Mr. Pink, Steve Buscemi’s original gangster; Cuba Gooding Jr. as Mr. Orange, the undercover cop Tim Roth played; and Anthony Anderson as Nice Guy Eddie, originally played by doughy Chris Penn.
Reitman has a week left to fill out the remaining roles. The hardest to cast, in my opinion, is Mr. White. Harvey Keitel is so freaking outstanding in Dogs, I wouldn’t want to try and change his reading. But Reitman also has to find actors for: Mr. Brown (Reitman should take that, as Tarantino played him in the original); officer Marvin Nash; and ringleader Joe Cabot.
It’s going to be great. The unfortunate part is that most of us won’t get to see it. Hopefully down the road, Reitman can package these into a DVD set, so we can enjoy how different these projects become in different hands. For now, though, what do you think of the casting … and the idea, in general?