Has the the world gone certifiably insane? I just came across some disturbing casting news which I’m having a hard time dealing with. According to AICN, Forest Whitaker will not be featured in Sylvester Stallone’s action flick The Expendables. This is so sad. He was one of the people who could have brought some real acting talent to the film. In place of Whitaker, Sly has tapped rapper-turned-actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson! (Pause) Don’t worry, I had the same reaction as you. I was completely shocked. What makes Stallone think that 50 and Whitaker are on the same level?
The Expendables shoot has been delayed a month, causing Whitaker to back out due to scheduling conflicts. This is the second recast that’s happened during the development of this film. Before this, Oscar winner Ben Kingsley dropped out and was replaced by Eric Roberts. Not to say that Roberts is on the level of Jackson, because he’s a very talented man. He may not have the fame and recognition as his sister Julia but that mans been working steadily for years. He can act, but Jackson’s a different story.
I think Stallone knew fans would feel the same way I do regarding this news, so he typed up a letter explaining his “50″ logic.
The anger of the casting of 50 Cent is understandable, but not fair. A player is only as good as his coach. If a man can communicate in one medium, he can communicate in another if his strengths are brought out and he has the support of well-wishers. So, trust me, the change of Forest Whitaker to 50 Cent AKA Curtis Jackson is a good one. No one thought Dolph Lundgren was a good choice for ROCKY or Mr. T. Carl Weathers was an afterthought when Ken Naughton fell out. The same with Talia Shire and Richard Crenna, who was known as a comedic actor, not a serious one.
It sounds to me like he was ready for the backlash. He had his statement already together. He brought up some good examples, but he forgot to mention the correlation of the actors talent versus their roles. Dolph Lundgren played a steroid infused athlete, why wouldn’t he be able to pull that off? Does the guy look like he’s a stranger to the gym? Richard Crenna was a good actor, period. He had the acting chops to support a role, whether he was inexperienced in the genre or not. I can’t see a role tailored for Whitaker being fulfilled by Jackson. He has a long way to go before he can move past “I’m a get rich, or die trying.”
What do you think about the Whitaker recast? Can 50 Cent fill his shoes?