Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ahoy, dude!

I saw some information this morning which made me want to claw my eyes out:
After traveling to Hell and back in "Constantine," Keanu Reeves is ready for his next journey.

The 40-year-old actor is in negotiations to star in the long-gestating adventure film "The 8th Voyage of Sinbad," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The project centers on the notorious rogue and thief Sinbad, who, with his loyal crew, are marooned off the coast of China in the 8th Century. The comrades begin a perilous quest for the Lamp of Aladdin and get mixed up with an empress, fight fantastical monsters and take on a Chinese general.

"Fast and the Furious" director Rob Cohen is in talks to helm the Columbia Pictures project.

Cohen's other directing credits include "XXX," "The Skulls," and the upcoming "XXX" sequel and "Stealth." He will be honored on Friday, March 17 as the ShoWest 2005 Director of the Year.

There are so many things wrong about this story, not the least of which is Rob Cohen being Best Director of Anything. Keanu as Sinbad? They're kidding, right? By coincidence, I've been watching the DVD re-releases of Ray Harryhousen's films, including Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Keanu is no Sinbad. Sinbad is someone who should strike fear into the hearts of pirates, who should make ladies swoon and mythical beasts cower in his presence. Most of the time, Keanu just looks confused about his next line.

You know--you just know--that the producers of this film had a meeting, and in this meeting they said, "We must have Keanu Reeves for this role! No one else will do! Only Keanu can bring to the screen the rugged sophistication and rogue panache that is Sinbad!" And you know that at least half of the people in the room had to have agreed.

Granted, Sinbad movies have always been high on the camp factor, driven more by special effects than acting prowess. But casting Keanu as Sinbad is an insult to camp. If I were casting a modern Sinbad film, I'd choose The Rock, or Colin Farrell, or even Johnny Depp (he do look good in the sea cap'n garb, don't he?). The key thing is that each of those actors would bring a sense of fun to the role. Keanu is going to try way too hard and it's going to be an embarrassment to watch.


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