This could have been the year that Taylor Kitsch became one of the biggest working actors on the planet. He already had a cult following for playing the dreamboat, bad boy role on TV’s Friday Night Lights coming into 2012, and that was before two of the biggest studios in Hollywood put him in the position to star in their big budget, tentpole summer releases. By starring in Battleship and John Carter, Kitsch experienced a few months of marketing blitz and media saturation that have only been matched by rare names like Will Smith and Tom Cruise. If his movies had become hits, he would be seen as one of the hottest faces in the movie industry today.
But his movies weren’t hits. Kitsch got back-to-back shots at breaking into the world of blockbuster superstardom, and he experienced back-to-back failures. If anything, studios must be looking at the kid like he’s box office poison. So, what should the young actor do now that his career is visibly faltering? Taking a step back from the blockbusters and making something less hyped and less ambitious seems about right. How about an English language remake of a well-liked Québécois dramedy?
The Grand Seduction is a planned remake of a Jean-François Pouliot film (La grande séduction) that was about a poor fishing village trying to convince a doctor to establish residency on their island so that a jobs-creating factory could legally be built there. The original was written by Ken Scott, who also penned and was going to direct this remake, until he dropped out to helm DreamWorks’ upcoming Starbuck instead. Don McKellar is taking his place in the director’s chair.
There are several reasons why this project could be a great way for Kitsch to re-establish himself on the scene. First off, Scott’s original script has now gone through a re-write by Goon director Michael Dowse, and as FSR has made abundantly clear, we absolutely love Goon. With Dowse’s fresh perspective, it’s possible that this remake could now be even more delightful than the original.
Secondly, Brendan Gleeson has been signed on to be Kitsch’s co-star, and if you’ve seen Gleeson’s work in things like In Bruges or The Guard, you know that he has charm and screen presence to spare. Kitsch will be playing the role of the young doctor that the sleepy town is trying to recruit, and Gleeson the main salesman sent to sign him up. You could definitely come up with a worse plan to win back over America’s heart than being in a movie where you trade barbs with Gleeson; it certainly did wonders for Collin Ferrell’s career.
So, what do you think? Will Kitsch have a better chance breaking into films as the lead of quirky dramas than he did as the big action hero? Or is he doomed to be Tim Riggins for the rest of his life? [THR]