If you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the last five days, you’ve likely seen the rumors about Robert Downey Jr. being in talks to take on the role of Lestat in a film based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
My guess is you’ve seen the tweets both for and against, the various posts like the one from Elizabeth Rappe at Cinematical, the comments and story over at Bloody Disgusting, or the variety of entertainment and news sites that picked up the story.
That means, you know the back story for this --- and if you don’t, you’ve been under a rock or something and I’m sorry you had to have it broken to you this way. ;-)
Let me just add my two cents here, because it’s the internet and everyone has an opinion and I have my own little piece of ether in which to be calm and clear and adult about this issue, right?
What the frak are you talking about? Robert Downey Jr. isn’t Lestat, he can’t be Lestat and why is it that anyone is even indulging him in “talks”? He’s in “talks”?
I think there's two options here:
a) RDJ thinks he can play the role and approached Universal Pictures about playing the role.
b) Universal Pictures let a rumor drop regarding a film that likely hasn’t been written yet in order to float the idea so it’ll spread all over the internet and give them an instant survey of the bankability and rationality of the idea in the first place.
If it’s option A, then someone please help me talk Mr. Downey out of this idea? Look, let’s be honest. You’re not right for Lestat. Not in age or physical appearance. You’re a phenomenal actor but there’s something to be said for knowing when you’re just not right for a role. Marius? Maybe. David Talbot? That would be hot. But really now, Lestat? Lestat was a hot blond “in his 20s”. You’re 44 years old and, while I think you’re sexy and I’d let you bite my neck...well, yeah.
If it’s B, then someone needs to whap Universal right up the head and explain to them that it’s not nice to tease the Vampire Chronicles fans. Trust me. We’ve been messed with enough. Between the odd “did we cast Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise backwards?” casting in Interview With The Vampire and some of the wretched acting in Queen of the Damned (I’ll even admit to liking this movie and Stuart Townsend as Lestat and I watch it with guilty pleasure, but we all know some of the acting in it blew bloody chunks) we’ve been teased with reboots and restarts and hopes of someone “getting it right already!”.
Oh and - between yesterday when I started this post and this morning when I started linking things up, I saw that Anne Rice has given her blessing to the RDJ idea. And, I'm not buying the "It's okay if it's Robert Downey, Jr. because he's such an amazing actor" theory. I know it's her story, but can we take a moment and breathe here and remember that more than one writer has been fine with a bad casting choice if it means more money and success for the project?
I call bullsh*t.
Look, we know what this is about – Vampires are hot right now. I get it.
But if you’re marketing geniuses, then market a new Lestat film to the Twilight fans and cast some hot blond and just be honest about it.
That way I can go back to sitting in the dark and being gothy while wishing Lestat had turned Rutger Hauer when he was “in his 20s” so he could make the movie instead.