Who should play Louie Zamperini in the movie? I read a blurb in Louie Zamperini's Wikipedia entry (the source led back to a non-existent document though) that a movie based on his life was in the works with Nick Cage playing the title role. Based on Cage's recent film work, I kind of cringed when I read that and hopefully it was just a bad rumor. I did however start to wonder who would be a good Louie. IMO they would need to be physically built to sell the idea that they were a world-class miler or it wouldn't work. I think Tobey McGuire would be a good Louie but we'll probably end up with Shia LaBeouf.
how about James Franco?? He's a bit similar in looks to the real Louie and has the lean build for the role of an athellete? It's an interesting thought - the book being made into a movie - but from what I've read in Louie's older biography (Devil at my Heels) previous attempts to make a movie out of his life stalled over his insistence on a proper portrayal of how important his religious awakening was to him. It will be interesting to see what film makers might do with the story.
Zamperini is athletic as well as tall and thin... and VERY Italian looking. Whoever plays him really must have that look. The suggestion of James Franco is pretty good, but he may be too "pretty". Nicolas Cage, especially the most recent Cage ("Season of the Witch") has gained a depth that's pretty wonderful, but keep in mind most of the book takes place in Zamp's 20's. Penn is also too old, and would sap it up too much, and Zamp never was a sap. Adrian Pasdar, the "Flying Man" from Heroes has some life experience that helps him be able to relate to suffering, having been confined to a wheelchair during his freshman year of college at the University of Florida, and having endured intensive physical therapy. But he is 45, and any actor would have to undergo severe dieting to become believable in the part especially of being a POW. Justin Baldoni would be GREAT. He was a track star in high school. He's the right age. He's tall and thin... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1682573/resumephotos He'd be GREAT! Joseph Mazzello? or maybe he'd make a better "Phil".
I agree to all of that, and to the post that follows about, "I wonder what Louie would think ...?" I suggested Sean Penn, because I've liked his movies, but I agree -- it has to be someone whom Louie would feel comfortable with as 'him.' Too bad Jimmy Stewart's not alive any longer and wasn't of Italian descent! Wow! They don't make 'em like those guys any more very often, do they? (And Stewart was a flyer!) Anyhow, I keep hoping it will happen soon enough that world at large (i.e., non-readers!) can see the immense impact that encouraging one person can have on another person's life and the good that it can do, throughout that person's life ... Without his brother, Louie would have been lost as a young boy ... Over and over throughout his life, people who loved him continued to encourage and build his sense of self. That's not to say he didn't have incredible gifts and graces, but he would be the first to say, I believe, that he'd never have made it alone. I hope the movie comes out before he and Billy Graham die ... I think it would be great for them to know what a great thing happened through that encounter, and how many lives have been made whole and had a chance for happiness and joy because of Louie's life, energy and incredible spirit. His life, even with all the suffering that he and others endured in the war, and all that it did to his family, gives me hope for humanity ... Heck, in comparison to what he went through, it really gives me hope for ME! I'm also deeply grateful to Lauren Hilldebrand for her incredible work in writing Louie's story ~ what a gift she has! It is not just another biography or "war story." It is an epic tale, a spirtual journey and a meditation on grace. The truth of what POW's endured and later lived with throughout their lives makes a lot of what I hear about on "television" these days (reality shows and such which I don't watch ...), pale into insignificance. I mean no disrespect to anyone who watches them ~ some people don't like to read or find history dull. I can't imagine finding Lauren Hilldebrand's book/writing anything less than gripping. I could hardly put it down to sleep or do other important things I had to do. It was mesmerinzing, touching and compelling, all at the same time. I'd love to know what she is working on next ... Louie is going to be hard to top, in my estimation.
"I wonder what Louie would think?" Good question! The actor would have to convincingly be able to play a WIDE variety of personality and temperament. From "incorigible" to a man that is capable of opening the door of his heart and totally, completely and without reservation, recognize the truth that had been his life up to that point. Zamperini was a man of SUCH resiliance. I love Christian Bale, and he's capable of some good depth, but again the challenge of age comes in.