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carole lombard 04

'Fireball,' the film: Cast your Clark and Carole

Posted by vp19 on 2015.07.02 at 21:59
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

Earlier today, Brian Lee Anderson at the "Carole Lombard !!!" Facebook fan page brought up this topic, one I thought worth discussing here:

"I got asked today what actors I hope portray Carole and Clark in the film version of 'Fireball' ... I said Jennifer Garner and Henry Cavill. Fun question.... Who would you like to see?"

That is a toughie. I'm not sure whether Robert Matzen, author of the book, has publicly said whom he'd wish to cast (which from his perspective is just as well; why alienate someone who might be interested in purchasing the movie rights?). Fortunately, the rest of us don't have to worry about that, so we can deposit our two cents.

Here are the candidates mentioned so far (9:45 p.m. Pacific), in order of their being named:

Carole Lombard: Jennifer Garner, Melissa Joan Hart, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, Blake Lively, Kristin Chenoweth, Charlize Theron, Christina Applegate, Carey Mulligan, Amber Valletta.

Clark Gable: Henry Cavill, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Pratt, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Brad Pitt.

In a way, it makes you appreciate the difficulty Universal had in casting the leads for the 1976 biopic "Gable and Lombard." Jill Clayburgh won the Carole role (selected over, among others, Candice Bergen), and James Brolin was cast as Clark after several stars of the time, fearing it was self-defeating to challenge Gable's ghost. Both Clayburgh and Brolin gave it their all, but what ultimately doomed the film was a script that played fast and loose with history and never gave the impression that it fully understood these people.

So, whom would you cast as Clark and Carole? One, or both, from the lists mentioned above, or other candidates? You can answer here, or you can go to the Facebook thread, https://www.facebook.com/groups/421288827952473/835403169874368/?notif_t=group_comment_reply. Either way, let's hear from you.


(Anonymous) at 2015-07-03 13:27 (UTC) (Link)

Mythical Monkey here ...

Tough call.

The problem with most biopics is they rarely remind you why the subject was a star in the first place. Finding two actors who can make you say, "Oh yeah, this is why Gable and Lombard were giants," is going to take a bit of a miracle.

Carole Lombard was great at screwball comedy, cool sophisticated Ernst Lubitsch-style comedy and romantic drama, which is a tough combination to replicate even in three actresses.

Maybe Jennifer Lawrence -- can play mixes of comedy and drama, Oscar winner, etc. Could be convincing as a salty-tongued beauty with great comedic timing who nevertheless is wounded by love.

Clark Gable might even be tougher. I saw George Clooney's name on the list, but I see him as more of a Cary Grant type than a Clark Gable type. To me, you'd need somebody who could do comedy or tough, romantic roles, but who also has a bit of the bully about him, maybe even a little mean at times. Maybe more of the Christian Bale type.

Or maybe it's somebody we've never heard of. Many of the great casting choices in history were people you'd never really heard of until they were perfectly cast in what proved to be their breakout roles -- say, Carole Lombard in Twentieth Century or Clark Gable in Red Dust.

Eh, probably the Lifetime Channel will get hold of it and we'll wind up with the cast of Fifty Shades of Cr@p.
(Anonymous) at 2015-07-11 02:55 (UTC) (Link)

Tough call

I agree with the posted comment, it's a tough call but Kate Hudson would be an interesting choice for Carole Lombard. Let's see how this will unfold.
(Anonymous) at 2015-07-14 21:49 (UTC) (Link)
Evan Rachel Wood. She would at least look the part better than anyone in Hollywood.
(Anonymous) at 2015-07-23 01:13 (UTC) (Link)


From the list shown above I would cast Reese Witherspoon as Carole. I don't know about Clark.
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