Last week, when the actress/adorable-pixie-child Amy Adams signed on as Lois Lane in the upcoming “Superman” movie re-do, there was an Internet shit-storm– a Poo-nami, if you will–of commenters from across the land weighing in with their opinions on the move.
Did the prospect of Amy Adams as Lois Lane mean that the movie would be terrific? Horrible? Excellent jerk-off material, or just average? A simple casting decision caused a whole bunch of folks to pass final judgment on the quality of a film. It was a bit akin to declaring a restaurant Four Stars or Zero Stars based on the fact that broccoli is featured in one of the dishes, or condemning a large oil company because of just one bungled, totally disastrous petroleum spill*.
[*The last sentence of this paragraph was paid for in part by a corporation that shall remain nameless.]
It is impossible–I repeat, (Mission:) IMPOSSIBLE–to discern the quality of a movie based on the casting of one person. Just because Amy Adams doesn’t have natural chestnut brunette armpit hairs like the comic book Lois Lane does not mean that the film is doomed. Nor does the fact that Adams is a convincing, chameleon-like actress whose facial features graph perfectly onto a 3D projection of Joe Shuster’s original Lois Lane drawing mean that the new Superman is going to be bat-shit Dark Knight awesome. Either of these things might be true, and both of these things might be false, but nobody knows how good the next Superman movie is going to be at this point–nobody, that is, except Jesus, who knows everything, and who is not a staff writer for The AV Club.
Great actors like Al Pacino have appeared in terrible movies. Terrible actors like Kevin Costner have appeared in great movies. Keira Knightley is also a person who appears in movies.
The point is that every minute detail leading up to the release of a film should not be treated with the gravity it is now. Things can only get worse if we continue down this road; I don’t want to wake up in five years to read something like “Second Unit Director Bill Jameson has hired Evan Page to be his Best Boy; the new X-Men sequel is f*cked!”
Now, it’s true, there are very specific instances that a casting decision dooms a movie from the start, like, say, if Kel from “All That” were to be cast in Marlon Brando’s role in M. Night Shyamalan’s remake of “The Godfather.”
But unless that happens (and given that Hollywood churns out things like “Tron Legacy,” it probably will), it’s time that we, as an over-reacting society, lay off the summary judgments, and the yelling, and the unwarranted exclamation points and sad faces whenever we hear about so-and-so signing on to play so-and-so in such-and-such movie (unless, I repeat, that situation is Kel from “All That” signing on to play Don Corleone in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Godfather. In that case, bring on the exclamation points in sad faces!)
I will close with an anecdote. When the first previews for a certain thriller were released with Bruce Willis as a hard-ass crime-fighting gun-toting type, test audiences broke out into laughter. Up to that point, Willis had only played goofy roles and romantic comedies, and the crowds did not buy him as an action movie hero on first glimpse. In subsequent previews, Bruce Willis’ name was removed and images of him were kept to a minimum. People judged the film before they had even seen it, and film executives considered pulling the movie out and never showing it.
Well, luckily they didn’t. “Die Hard” was released, and Bruce Willis as John McClaine is one of the most insanely awesome action movie heroes of ALL DAMN TIME.
This all occurred at the end of 1988. And do you know what happened in 1989?
THE FUCKING BERLIN WALL WAS TORN THE FUCK DOWN AND THE UNITED STATES WON THE WAR AGAINST COMMUNISM.
Is this a coincidence? No, it isn’t. Is there a moral? Shit yeah, there is. It’s called “STOP JUDGING MOVIES BASED ON CASTING DECISIONS, TROLLS.”
And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a dope-ass surefire Academy Award winning remake of The Godfather to pitch to my agent.