Christoph Waltz was 30 years into his career before he became a household name, and in terms of Hollywood breakthrough roles, they don’t come much better than the Oscar-winning Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
The filmmaker lucked out when he stumbled upon someone that spoke fluent English and French as well as his native German, not to mention more than a little Italian for good measure, who also happened to be an incredible actor. Indeed, Landa is one of the most memorable movie antagonists of the 21st Century, flipping from cold, calculating and menacing to funny and charismatic on a dime.
Lightning struck twice when he scooped a second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor after he reunited with Tarantino for Django Unchained, but in the decade since, many of his most prominent gigs have seen him typecast as a sneering villain for the most part. However, a new rumor now claims he could be set for a meaty role in the Salem’s Lot remake, with Waltz reportedly being eyed for the part of Straker.
James Mason and Donald Sutherland previously played the character in the 1979 and 2004 adaptations, so it’s clearly a gig that requires no shortage of gravitas and presence. The initial report also names Jake Gyllenhaal as the top choice for Ben Mears, and the prospect of seeing two such hugely talented stars opposing each other as part of a vampiric Stephen King adaptation is a tantalizing one to say the least.
For now, though, neither Waltz nor Gyllenhaal are officially attached to Salem’s Lot, but if they do sign on the dotted line, then it’ll instantly become arguably the single most exciting King project on the horizon.