“MISERY” has been on the mind a lot lately. In case you are unaware, MISERY is a Stephen King novel. It follows Paul Sheldon, a best selling author, as he is recovering from a bad car wreck under the care of a fan who found him. The fan is Annie Wilkes, a nurse who has read all of Paul’s books. As time goes by, Paul begins to realize Annie is not exactly sane, and he must fight to escape Annie’s home.
The book was made into a film in 1990 with James Cann as Paul and Kathy Bates as Annie. This is the film that launched Bates’ fame. She even won an academy award. The role had been offered to Bette Midler, but she passed on it. Midler has since stated it’s one of her biggest regrets.
I love the film. There’s nothing wrong with it. But, in this day in age, no film is safe. It’s bound to be “remade” or “re imagined” someday. Case in point: Stephen King’s CARRIE is being remade, and that hits theatres this October.
While I would love to pen the screenplay to a MISERY redux, that’s not really what this is about. This is just who I’d cast.
Let’s talk about PAUL SHELDON first. Paul is an older man. He’s an established writer. He’s very smart and isn’t weak in any way— normally. That’s one of the biggest themes in the original film. Paul isn’t weak. But after his car crash, he can’t walk or even feed himself. He struggles with this on top of dealing with a psycho.
Kevin Spacey needs no introduction. He’s a brilliant actor. He’s the male version of Meryl Streep, in my opinion. His talent combined with his overall look just brings me to the conclusion he’d make an excellent Paul.
The original film invented a few characters, for the sake of getting away from Annie’s house for a few seconds. They created BUSTER, the town sheriff who begins to investigate the car crash and eventually, find Paul. The original film had Richard Farnsworth in the role.
Matthew Mcconaughey. This might be a strange choice. But let me explain… first, I’ll admit, there’s a bit of sex appeal here. I’m not saying there would be sex. But, a younger, more attractive sheriff would be interesting. As a writer, I’d probably create some sort of ‘love interest’ situation with this. Love coming from Annie, you understand. Not Buster.
Spoiler: Buster finds Paul but is shot in the back with a rifle by Annie. I think that a younger, more in shape sheriff getting killed by a woman has more “gasp” potential. If in fact there was a “love interest” vibe, Annie killing him has a bit more believability. She kills him because he rejects her.
And now… Annie Wilkes. Annie is an introvert, mainly staying at home. She used to be a nurse, so she has a lot of experience with medicine and the like. However, she clearly has some psychological disorders— and is obsessed with Paul to the point that she’ll kill him if he tries to leave.
,Melissa Mccarthy… have you heard of her? She is a somewhat new actress, but is quickly sweeping the industry up. She’s got talent. You can just SEE it. Those who know her work, might find this selection odd. To my knowledge, she has not done any dramatic work. But, I feel this role could be the one that showcases her full potential. And, Annie can be “zany” in part, too. She’s not always dark and psychotic. Of course, this element might be all thanks to Kathy Bates. But a new script could certainly play to Mccarthy’s strengths. This is just a situation where I know if they gave her the role, she’d kick ass and excel at it. I will point out that Annie is meant to be a larger woman. And, I do feel that my selection could be misunderstood. I just really, really think Mccarthy needs this role. She could do it.
Alright. Where, there you go. That’s who’d I cast in a remake of MISERY. So, Hollywood— when you decide to go this route, give me a call. 😉