When Warren Ellis' Red was first optioned, I wasn't particularly excited. As readers have pointed out, Ellis has many books that would be more exciting to see on the big screen. The initial casting of Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman didn't inspire a lot of excitement, either. (I love both, but Willis as an ex-assassin? Hardly inspired.) But as Robert Schwentke has filled out his cast, things have gotten a lot more interesting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mary-Louise Parker and John C. Reilly are in talks to join Red alongside Freeman, Willis, and Helen Mirren.

Reilly would play a retired CIA agent who is paranoid that everyone is out to kill him. Willis' predicament will naturally prove him right, and it's the frantic, nervous role that Reilly specializes in. Again, it's not the most inspired casting, but it's exciting to see Reilly finally land a comic book role. I like to see actors drawn into this world, even if it is in a more "standard" storyline.

Parker will play Willis' love interest, an ordinary employee of the federal pension office who becomes embroiled in his struggle to stay alive. As if relationships aren't hard enough, it's "Honey! My former employers are trying to kill me! Get your passport, we have to hide in Bruges." She is a talented actress, so I sincerely hope she gets a little more to do than run around and be frightened. Perhaps she can be trained in the arts of action by Mirren's character.

It's a really good cast so far, and there's undoubtedly more to come as Willis' opponents are lined up. This could be something a little more in the mold of A History of Violence, which would be a refreshing change from the flashy adaptation attempts like Wanted. Red is officially on my radar.
categories Movies, Cinematical