Recently, director Jason Reitman has been doing a special series of script readings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Basically what he does is he takes the script for a beloved film, recasts the whole thing with new actors, and does a stage reading in front of a live audience. Rights issues being what they are, something like this can’t be recorded, so getting to experience one of these events is a très exclusive honor. Reitman has already given this treatment to five universally loved movies (The Breakfast Club, The Apartment, Shampoo, Reservoir Dogs, and The Princess Bride), and tonight he’s set to cap off his series with a reading of everyone’s favorite film, The Big Lebowski.
Who does he have on tap to bring legendary characters like The Dude and Jackie Treehorn to life on stage? Inside Movies has the scoop, and some of his decisions sound like they’re ripe with fun-time possibilities. For the part of The Dude (or El Duderino, if you’re not into that whole brevity thing) Reitman has chosen Seth Rogen, the man with the best stoner laugh in Hollywood. His best friend and security expert, Walter Sobchak, will be played by The Office star Rainn Wilson, a man not unfamiliar with bluster. As the other Jeffrey Lebowski, the millionaire (and a fucking goldbricker if I’ve ever seen one), is Jason Alexander, a man used to spinning unbelievable yarns. And for Lebowski’s red-headed and inappropriately sexual daughter Maude, they’ve tapped Mad Men star Christina Hendricks…a perfect bit of casting if I’ve ever seen one.
To fill out most of the smaller roles that make up the rest of the cast, Reitman was hoping to use Nick Kroll, Hank Azaria, and Patton Oswalt. Unfortunately, Oswalt had to drop out. But don’t fret, because they were able to get Kevin Arnold himself, Fred Savage, to step in and take his place. Watching all of these great actors take a crack at such iconic roles isn’t just going to be an interesting experiment in alternate reality casting, it sounds like it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Now let’s all get jealous at the jerks who get to go.