Thursday, September 27, 2007


Now it's been a couple weeks since it happened (sorry I got a newborn at home) but it still lingers in my craw like a bad rash. So just a re-cap for the people who do not follow NFL football. A few weeks ago Bill Belichick, of the New England Patriots, while playing the NY Jets, sent an assistant over to the sidelines to film the Jets and their defensive signals. This is a pretty huge deal, for instance, if the Patriots know that the Jets are going to blitz the quarterback, there will be no pass coverage and if you have a good team like the Patriots they will score. Cody Dee and I were livid of course but if you listen to NFL Sunday on HBO or any of the other NFL broadcasts the announcers amazingly don't seem to care about this. They all say well this happens all of the time and only the ones who are good at it get away with it, so who cares? This is terrible!! Terrible for sports and terrible for the NFL. This is cheating, plain and simple. If there are others that do this then there needs to be an awareness here in order to stop it. It's been a rough year for pro sports as one scandal after another finds its way to the mainstream media. So what really can the NFL do to a team that can still win even if they don't cheat?

Well for one giving Bill Belichick a Celebrity Bucket o' Dumb may be a start. So that's what were gonna do. Most of us at the Bucket already hate the Pats and their annoying habit of beating on our favorite teams but to discover that they cheated and may have been cheating for a while.... Wow thank you Bill Belichick for proving all of us haters right you are a skeevy guy with your unwashed hoody and overall arrogant demeanor and you are a cheater who got his hand caught in the cookie jar. So what does the NFL do? They fine you, The Coach, 500,000 dollars. They fine the Patriots 250,000 and you have to give up your first round picks for next year. Does this sound like a proper smack down or just a light slap on the wrists? Well the Patriots, without cheating, are still one of the best teams in the NFL, in defense and offense. So what if they have to pay a few thousand in fines, they get much more in winning the Super Bowl anyway. So here is what they should do -- suspend the Patriots from competing in the playoffs for one to two seasons. That will pass the message along that the NFL will not tolerate cheating in any form and it will make other teams cautious about using this kind of tactic in the future.

But we all know that the NFL will never grow the balls to do something like this to the sweat hog we love to hate. So instead Mr. Belichick please accept this award from us at the Bucket because like Britany and Kenny "Sticky Fingaz" Rogers cheaters never prosper and if you've seen where Britany is now after her MTV stunt and Kenny after Detroit failed to make the playoffs this year, Kharma's a bitch and you will get yours.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Disney's Pluto says:

"Kids, never kick a dog in the nuts."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mila 18

I have been waiting for years for Hollywood to get their act together and make the film adaptation of the book Mila 18 by Leon Uris. I love reading books especially fiction but there have been only two books, in my 30 years, that I have read more than once and Mila 18 was one of them. This is a story about the invasion of Warsaw in Poland by the Nazis. The imagery of the Polish army, or Ulany army, charging into battle on horseback against the German Panzer tanks. I've had this vision in my head for years, the old world vs. the technological might of the Nazis. It would probably cost a fortune to film but damn what an amazing thing to see. The story also moves past the devastating loss of the Ulany brigade and the beginning of the Warsaw ghetto where a handful of Jews stand up to the Nazi army using the underground black market to revolt against their captors in an attempt to escape. It is a little different from our normal casting calls but it's one that I think could be a tour de force film and really show a different side to the Jews in occupied Poland during World War II.

Captain Andrei Androfski

The heart and soul of the Ulany Brigade. He is bold, he is brash he is almost superhuman. He is as hot headed as he is stubborn. Andrei is also in conflict with his jewish heritage. Unlike his friends and family he is a proud Jewish/Polish soldier who wants to live and die in Poland. He is always at odds with his friend and mentor Alex Brandel who is a strict Zionist with intentions of moving to Israel. Andrei wants to fight the Germans at every turn and it is very difficult to change his mind on this. He leads the resistance to revolt against the Germans and attempt to escape the ghetto. You obviously need a leading man action kind of guy for this role. I have three guys that I think would be great in this role.

Eric Bana - He was great in Munich and Troy the sympathetic warrior in both. He can be bold and he's got the chops to add depth to Andrei. In the book he is described as "Andrei indeed cut the classic figure of a Ulan cavalry officer." Actually as I look through the book Uris doesn't really give much description for Andrei. Just that he is built and has the dexterity of a soccer player. He always has a way with the ladies. So I think Bana fits well in this category.

David Wenham - He has also played warrior in 300 and Lord of the Rings. Wenham has a strength in his voice that suits Andrei very much. I think Wenham has put in his dues and deserves the shot at a lead role. I can definitely see Wenham charging into battle on horseback against a formation of tanks.

Kevin McKidd - You may not recognize the name but if you watch HBO you probably have seen the mini-series Rome. McKidd's Vorenus is a tough guy with very strong principles and he's as stubborn as a mule, perfect for the Captain of the Ulany Brigade.

Gabriella Rak

Gabriella is the very beautiful girlfriend of Andrei's. She works at the American Embassy in Warsaw. She is always trying to keep him from going back to the front but doesn't have a lot of luck with that. She's a tough woman, she would have to be to keep a guy like Andrei in check. She wants to marry Andrei but because she is not Jewish she can't, which causes some tension in the relationship. There are a few actresses that I think could pull this role off. She isn't just your average phone in girlfriend role. There is more to Gabby and she needs to be chosen carefully.

Rachel Weisz - No one will deny that Rachel Weisz is an exceptional actress. She had some great performances in The Constant Gardner, The Fountain and About a Boy. I think she's the perfect beauty for this role and I see her pairing up with Eric Bana very nicely.

Kate Winslet - She is definitely one of the hardest working actresses in Hollywood. She is diverse jumping from a role as a strict mother in Finding Neverland to an carefree, slightly loopy, woman in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think she could bring a vitality to Gabriella that could really give this film some juice. She is sexy as hell and the more I think about it the more I really love her for this role.

Christopher De Monti

The American/Italian journalist who represents the conscience of this story. It's his responsibility as a journalist and friend to the Jews in Warsaw to tell their story to the world. Chris is deeply in love with Andrei's sister Deborah. It causes tension because Deborah is a married woman with children. She is also a strict Jew and although she loves Chris she won't leave her husband. Chris is a proud guy who, because of his childhood in Italy, has a deep seated hatred for fascism. When the Nazis take over Warsaw Chris is forced to keep his enemy's close in order to keep an eye on them for the resistance. He has to tow a very dangerous line almost like Schindler. I had a few actors in mind for Chris, it's got to be a guy who can start out as a secondary character and by the end of the film rise to be one of the more important leads in the film.

Leonardo Di Caprio - Before this past year I never would have suggested Di Caprio for any role as juicy as this one, but after the Departed and Blood Diamond, Di Caprio has proven that he has the chops to actually play an adult. Chris is a complex character who has sort of a faulty moral logic. Leo's character in Blood Diamond had a similar faulty morality to him that made him kind of a gray character until the end of the film. I think Leo definitely has the look of Chris and could navigate his complicated storyline.

Billy Crudup - He's always a favorite after great performances in Almost Famous, Big Fish, The Good Shepherd and, I'm gonna take a shot in the dark but, I think he's gonna be great as Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen film which will be coming out in 2009. Looking at his roles in the Good Shepherd and Mission Impossible 3, where he plays both sides, I think that Billy could do very well stuck between the push of the Nazi's and the needs of the Jews in the ghetto.

Deborah Bronski

Deborah is the sister to Andrei and the lover to Chris. She is caught in the middle of a triangle romance between her husband Paul and Chris while at the same time she is struggling to keep her children alive during the occupation of Warsaw. Deborah is constantly trying to hold everything together as the world comes apart seam by seam around her. In the book Deborah is described as having "raven hair...She was biblical. Black and olive. A Deborah from the bible. "

Lena Headey - Now I admit I have only really seen her in one film, but it was enough for me. Her role as Queen Gorgo in 300 impressed me. She was strong and beautiful and she held her own with 300 Spartans. She also fits the requirements for the look of Deborah with her dark hair and tanned skin.

Marion Cotillard - She is also an actress that I have not seen in great detail or very often, but I liked the look of her for Deborah. She had a very small role in Big Fish as Billy Crudup's wife, but like I said I really thought she was great and I liked her with Billy. So since I put him down as Chris I had to try her out as Deborah. Plus she is an international actress which I think is important for the role.

Alexander Brandel

If Andrei is the heart of this story and Chris is the conscience then Alexander Brandel is the brain. It is his diary that you hear describing most of the horrors of the ghetto. Brandel is a true Zionist with the intention of doing his duty as a good Jew and moving his family to the homeland in Israel. He spars constantly with Andrei trying to make him a Zionist like himself, and he is always trying to get him to come to speak at council which Andrei really detests. There are a few older gentlemen that I think could fill this role.

Liam Neeson - For some reason I really like Liam Neeson for this role. He's so good in the role as a teacher and father figure and that is exactly what Brandel is. He is always trying to guide Andrei to the right and moral path and I think given Neeson's roles in Star Wars and Kingdom of Heaven he can really build on this important role.

Gary Oldman - You wouldn't normally picture Gary Oldman playing an older father figure type, but after his roles in Harry Potter and Batman Begins I really think he could bring something to this role. I also think that Oldman has the intelligence and wit to bring out some of the humor in the old man.

Paul Bronski

Is the very stiff and sometimes cold husband to Deborah. He is the Dean of the College of Medicine and according to his brother in law, Andrei, he is ashamed to be Jewish. He is a pretty complicated character, he kind of exists in the gray zone. He is a prominent doctor in the community and when Warsaw is taken over he is chosen to be the representative to deal with the Nazis. This of course causes him the most stress. He is a really difficult character to cast because of his slight hypocrisies. I think I have a couple actors that could do him justice.

Guy Pearce - He was cold and calculating in L.A. Confidential and he has an effortless efficiency to him that makes him perfect for Paul. As much as you may dislike him though he can still break through and surprise you and this is very important aspect of Paul that Pearce can achieve.

Jude Law - This I have to say is role that Jude Law was born for. I like him as an actor but for me the role I enjoyed the most was Jerome from Gattaca. He was cold, mean ruthless but when he climbed into the incinerator you're damn sure you thought better of him then you did when you walked in to the theatre. Paul is also a tragic character and I think that given the opportunity Jude could be looking at a Supporting Actor Oscar.

Wolf Brandel

Wolf represents the next generation in the ghetto. He is Alexander's son. He is brilliant and he is a teenager and it is most difficult on him living in these conditions. Not to mention that he has the hots for Deborah's daughter Rachel which causes some problems in the Nazi occupied Warsaw. Wolf starts out small but ends up becoming a pivotal figure in the resistance and the revolt against the Nazis.

Shia Labeouf - Why not Shia he seems to be the go to it kid for every major motion picture these days. He's a smart kid and a good actor and it's easy to fit him in pretty much any kind of role. He would bring a vitality to the role of Wolf that would grow as the film presses on.

Franz Koenig

Koenig is a German expat who works with Paul Bronski at the University. He is a decitful, petty and racist guy who really hates Paul Bronski and wants his job as Dean at the University of Warsaw. Koenig is described as "the little gray-haired man with the little gray mustache." He sides with the Nazis and becomes quite a burden for Paul and the other Jews in Warsaw. There are two actors that I think could fill this role well.

Paul Giamatti - He's great in whatever he does, but given his schmendrick role in American Splendor and his spine-less kiss ass nature in Planet of the Apes and Howard Stern's Private Parts. I think he would be an inspired choice for this antagonist.

Ian McShane - Nobody was a bigger ass hole than Al Swerengen and that is why the former Deadwood star would actually turn in a very menacing and almost terrifying role as Koenig. He may have to tamper a little of that rage and put forward a little more of the kiss ass but he was very good at playing both sides which is essential to this character. He's selfish and will do anything to get what he wants.

This honestly would be a great film if some studio out there was taking notice. I'm telling you oscars to go around. If you get someone like Anthony Minghella or Sam Mendes behind the camera you can't lose. I know right at this moment that Harvey Weinstein still owns the rights to this one but is having trouble with the script. Let me give you a hint Harvey don't focus too much on Andrei, this story is about getting the Jews' story out to the world, which means your true lead through at least the occupation sequences has to be Chris de Monti, the reporter. So if you guys have read the book and have any other ideas for other characters or the ones I've already listed let me know.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

CASTING CALL: He-Man and The Master of the Universe

Since the success of TRANSFORMERS this summer, there has been a plethora of rumors and rumblings of other potential 80's cartoons-turned-feature film projects in development. Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Voltron; all great cartoons from my childhood, and all have great potential to be kick ass live action features. But the one I'd have to say that I am excited about the most is HE-MAN and THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. Sure, they tried to pull it off in the 80's with Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, and Courtney Cox. And while I will admit I do own it on DVD and do harbor a certain affinity for it, the Gary Goddard directed 1987 feature is extremely cheesy and low tech. I can only imagine what a mushroom cloud budget and the right director could do to re-envision such a badass cartoon.

It is no secret that many big shot, Hollywood, heavyweights frequent The Bucket often. And as New York's former most powerful casting assistant, I thought I'd weigh in, throw my two cents into the development fountain, and post my CASTING CALL for the live action version of HE-MAN and THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE.


He-Man always kind of looked like Barbie's boyfriend Ken on HGH. I think it's very important that his look be updated for a new generation. Less of a pretty boy and more of a bad ass. With that said, here are my top three casting choices for the role of He-Man:

Gerard Butler. Sure it's a bit of type casting, after THE 300. But there's only a handful of interesting actors that are physically appropriate to play the role. He's big. He's scary. And he's a decent actor. Make him an offer!

Eric Bana. A brunette He-Man? Why the hell not? They made James Bond blonde. Another guy who is physically imposing enough to pull it off, and he can act. Played a warrior already in TROY... I don't care, come up with a better idea.

Josh Harnett. I know. Seems like a really bad idea on paper. But he's 6'3", has the chisled chin thing going for him, and he's almost a movie star. Have him pack on 20lbs of muscle or so, I think he could be an interesting way to go.


Frank Langella was a fucking badass as Skeletor in the 1987 feature film. And hell, if Frank wasn't pushing 70, I'd say let him put on that cheesy latex mask again. Casting old skull head is a bit of a tough one, because you're looking strictly at performance, and not so much appearance. The actor who plays Skeletor has to be able to deliver alot of emotion from behind a mask. That being said, here are a few that I think could pull it off:

Alan Rickman. One of the best bad guys ever! Such a great actor, such a great voice. Hans Gruber, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Severus Snape... SKELETOR!!!

Jason Isaacs. A great second choice, if Rickman passes (Which he would). Can bring all the same qualities as Rickman, but can also offer more in terms of physicality.

Michael Keaton. Another oddball choice. But if you think about it, it could be a fun idea. A different way to go. Keaton hasn't played a great bad guy, since Beetlejuice. I think he could chew this role up and spit it out.

He-Man's trusty right hand man and Teela's father. Always the faithful soldier, Man-At-Arms needs to be somebody who plays a rough military type, but also has a paternal quality. So here are some thoughts:

Sean Bean. Always plays a bad guy, but I think it's time for him to show he can play good guys as well. Always brings a great edge to his characters, but also a soul.

Kurt Russell. The original badass. Has played some great roughnecks throughout his career, he's almost too perfect for the role.


The actress who plays TEELA needs to possess alot of qualities. She needs to be athletic, she needs to be edgy, but most importantly she needs to be HOT. Like really, really hot. And look really, really smoking in a gold bikini. Guys, tell me I'm wrong when I pitch the following three:

Jessica Biel. They don't get much hotter than her. And I know we put her on every CASTING CALL post we do, but as soon as she stops being hot, The Bucket will stop putting her on lists. They say she has the best body in Hollywood, so who better for the role of Teela?

Kate Beckinsale. Was almost a big, sexy, movie star, but then she married that schmuck who shoved her into Underworld and ruined her career... and then shoved her into the sequel and ruined her career even more. But she is still super sexy hot. So come on Kate, let's make another bad career move and sign on the dotted line to play inter-galatic sex pot Teela.

Evangeline Lilly. Sexy, sporty, scary. She's three fifths of the Spice Girls in one. Would look amazing in the get-up. And she kicks major ass on LOST. Lilly offers up the best combination of physicality and hotness.


I had a long coversation with G.I. Jeff as to whether Evil Lyn should be cast as bizarre or as seductive. In the end, I think we both decided as heterosexual male moviegoers that seductive was the way to go. These three ladies can seduce me anytime (although I would resist their advances, since I am happily married man):

Maggie Q. Evil-Lyn always had an exotic quality about her. Even though she was a caucasian in both the cartoon series and the 1987 live action feature (played by freaky eyed Meg Foster), I thought this was a good opportunity to insert a little color into the world of Eternia. And Maggie Q could bring a great mix of athleticism and sexiness to the role. She can be drop dead gorgeous and drop dead deadly.

Aishwarya Rai. Another exotic beauty. Look at her for god sake. She'll kill you with that stare. She could play the black widow vixen to a T.

Carrie Anne Moss. A bit older than the other two, but also a good mix of bizarre and beautiful. And she's a bad ass.

The Sorceress, hmmmm. I can't remember what the hell she did on the cartoon. All I remember is that she was a hot, hot, hot bird lady. So with just that to go on, here are three ladies that I feel would look hot in a form fitting bird costume:

Rachel Weisz. Sexy and intelligent... and British, which for some reason, feels right for the role of The Sorceress.

Julianne Moore. She almost didn't make the cut, but then I saw this pic and it kinda clicked. Look at her. I mean, she looks like a sorceress... what ever the hell that is.

Jane Seymour. Probably the hottest old lady... EVER. She's a freakin G.I.L.F. So, if we're going older, more maternal, with The Sorceress than at least let's keep her hot.

I have to throw in some ideas for some of the main henchmen. MER-MAN was always one of my favorite toys as a kid. Andy Serkis would be a great choice. I mean look at the resemblence... it's uncanny.

And then there's the BEASTMAN the muscle of Skeletor's posse of evil. The actor who plays Beastman needs to be big, he needs to be scary, and he needs to be Michael Clarke Duncan: one intimidating, big, black, man.


Well, there you have it. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Some fun choices. Please share your thoughts on any of the above ideas or any ideas for characters and actors I may have overlooked. BY THE POWER OF THE BUCKET!