Calm down, folks – this isn’t a Nirvana biopic.
Horror scribe Joe Hill spoke to IGN about the upcoming adaptation of his novel, Heart-Shaped Box, and dropped hints about his preferred casting choice for the lead. If it were down to Hill, it’d be the Aussie acting powerhouse Russell Crowe:
I try not to say this person or that person should play the part, because until there is a movie, I want the reader to have the freedom to cast the movie in their own mind” he explained. “But I do think that Russell Crowe knows how to hold a guitar. He’s the right age. And I think that he can play anger well – he can rage with the best of them – and Jude is a very angry man. I think he’d be great.
And Russell Crowe is big – he has a kind of physical immensity to him which is sort of interesting because I always saw Jude as a big man. His body itself is as big as his larger-than-life stage presence.”
The novel tells of a boisterous rock star, Judas Coyne. Rolling in dough, he does what any rich artist would – buy weird crap off the internet. Snuff movies, a real confession from a witch and last of all: a haunted suit. The suit comes delivered in the titular box and the ghost is immediately intent on killing everyone. Even the dead aren’t keen on the USPS.
Crowe has definitely got the bulk and acting chops to pull off the tortured artist persona, and it’d mark a welcome change away from typically serious fare the actor is normally drawn to. That is, if the movie ever goes into production.
In development for some time now, the movie rights are still owned by Warner Bros. Hill went on to confirm that scripts have been drafted – he’s just not seen any of them:
“I was out in Hollywood a year ago and I was talking with someone and he said ‘What did you think of the latest version of the Heart-Shaped Box script?’ And I said ‘I’ve never seen a Heart-Shaped Box script.’ I’ve heard that there are such things but I’ve never been allowed to read one. And this guy said ‘Ah, the new one’s pretty good.’
And I became aware that there are people out there in the film business who have read not just one script for Heart-Shaped Box, but three or four. Who knows? There’s always a possibility that there might be a Heart-Shaped Box film, but until the cameras are rolling, I’m not going to hold my breath.”
There’s the chance that Warner are waiting for the release of Hill’s other adaptation Horns, which has a limited theatrical release in October and stars Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple as a couple who face a world of insanity when Radcliffe awakens with horns growing from his forehead. It’s likely to attract a cult following based on the darkly comic tone of the novel, which seems to have translated nicely to the flick (if the trailers are anything to go by).
Let’s hope it’s a success. Just so there’s a chance we’ll see Russell Crowe in leather pants. Too much? Let us know what you reckon to Hill’s suggestion for Heart-Shaped Box.