Last fall I talked with Rod Lurie for his film Nothing But the Truth. That movie disappeared when the distributor, Yari Film Group, collapsed, but I did run the portion of my interview where Lurie and I discussed his remake of Straw Dogs, Sam Peckinpah’s powerful film about a nerdy Dustin Hoffman, his foxy wife Susan George and a town of shitkicking Englishmen who torture them both. If you’ve not seen Straw Dogs, shame on you – go rent it today. And before you read the rest of this news item, check out my original interview with Lurie right here.
The remake is moving forward with casting, and James Marsden, aka Cyclops from the X-Men films, will be playing the Dustin Hoffman role. Lurie’s changed some things up – this time an Englishman gets shit from a bunch of Southern Good Old Boys, for instance – but I wonder what else he’s changed up. Marsden, frankly, seems to be a terrible choice if you’re remaking Straw Dogs. The guy looks like a movie hero, and the whole point of the original was getting a dweeb worked up to the point of extreme violence.
Now, I haven’t read the script, and all I know about the remake is in that interview I linked, but wouldn’t it be interesting if Lurie swapped more than the countries? What if Marsden is Susan George? What if he’s the one who gets raped, Deliverance-style (and what if, a la Susan George in the original, he likes it?)? What if the female lead is actually the Dustin Hoffman character, and she’s the one who gets pushed to the edge?
Somehow I doubt this will be the case. This is a Screen Gems movie, after all. But that would be the only way I could see justifying a remake of Straw Dogs and casting a movie hero looking guy (he played Prince Charming in Enchanted for fuck’s sake!) in the lead role.