Greetings fellow movie goers from around the globe. Today’s editorial is a special one. This is an overdue Top 12 List about my personal picks which actor should in a Christopher “Chris” Nolan movie. Chris is my idol and favorite director. The reason why I wanted to share my personal picks, is because I saved it as my 600th article. Because of many delays, I wanted to get this done. Thankfully, I did.
1. The Top 12 List featuring an individual actor is handpicked by me based on his filmography, iconic status, awards, box office etc.
2. Anyone who has worked with Chris’s favorite filmmakers including Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott & his late brother Tony are added to the list.
3. Darren Aronofsky is gonna be mentioned. What do he & Chris both have in common? They began their careers in 1998 starting with Pi & Following shot in black & white format. Made their second feature film in 2000 titled Requiem For A Dream & Memento shot in color format. Darren’s themes are arguably similar to Chris’ distinctive tropes. They also have a connection to Batman. Darren was nearly hired by Warner Bros. until Chris beat him.
4. Anybody possibly connected to Darren Aronofsky is gonna be included. Think of Chris & Darren as Coca-Cola & Pepsi who are very similar. Cue the line, “We’re not so different you and I.”
5. Actors who were originally handpicked by Chris, dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, are also gonna be featured.
6. Notable actors who already starred in a Nolan related project like Henry Cavill in “Man Of Steel” or Jeffery Wright in HBO’s “Westworld” will not be on this list.
If you’re a Nolanite like me, (fan name for Nolan) now’s a good time to read. This is just my personal picks and I want to retain Nolan’s style that fits in this Top 12 article.
Here are my Top 12 Male Fan Casting Choices For A Christopher Nolan Film Vol 2. Why Top 12? Because I don’t want an extra number to give me bad luck.
Top 12 Fan Casting Choices
12. Ray Winstone
An underrated British actor known for being typecasted as a bad guy, Ray Winstone appeared in notable movies such as “Sexy Beast,” “Cold Mountain,” “The Departed,” “Beowulf,” “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” & “Noah.”
Ray worked with notable filmmakers including Antoine Fuqua, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Chris Columbus, Gore Verbinski & Darren Aronofsky.
Ray worked with Darren in Noah as the main antagonist. I would like to see Chris casting Ray as a good guy much like Gary Oldman made a transition from playing bad guys to good guys since “Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban” as Sirius Black, Gary played Commissioner Gordon in “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” Ray has the acting chops playing an ally to the main character. He played Beowulf.
11. Alec Baldwin
Known for his versatile roles in film and television, multiple Emmy winner Alec Baldwin can be difficult to work with on and off camera yet he’s still a gifted actor in a variety of genres playing a hero, villain, mentor or a small role affecting the plot. Alec became known to the public eye in “Beetlejuice,” “The Hunt For Red October” & “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The latter film earned him critical acclaim. When his career was in limbo due to his appearances in lacklusters like “Thomas And The Magic Railroad,” “Pearl Harbor” & “The Cat In The Hat,” he managed to earn an Oscar nomination in “The Cooler.” He ultimately won numerous awards as Jack Donaghy from “30 Rock.” Unlike Mike Myers, he survived The Cat In The Hat. He appeared in the Best Picture winning movie The Departed. As of 2021, he hasn’t run out of gas thanks to his Emmy Award winning appearance as Donald Trump on “SNL.”
Alec worked with several filmmakers/showrunners including John Hughes, Oliver Stone, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese, Stephen Hillenburg, Ryan Murphy, Nancy Meyers, Cameron Crowe, Ryan Murphy, Tom McGarth, Nancy Meyers, Christopher McQuarrie & Spike Lee.
Originally handpicked by Todd Phillips to play Thomas Wayne in “Joker,” he turned the role, because he already played a corrupt businessman in Glengarry Glenn Ross. I think it would be wise if Chris casted Alec as a mob boss in a crime drama in a supporting role similar to Eric Roberts in “The Dark Knight.” Maybe a founding member of a mysterious organization like Anthony Hopkins as Ford Brody from “Westworld” who has an agenda with a complex backstory.
10. John Goodman
A versatile character actor known for partaking in a variety of movie & television roles, John Goodman earned fame as Dan Connor in “Roseanne.” He later became a frequent collaborator of The Coen Brothers in “Barton Fink,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “The Big Lebowski” & “O Brother Where Art Thou.”
John worked with a bunch of high-profile filmmakers including The Coen Brothers, Joe Dante, John Landis, Martin Scorsese, Pete Doctor, The Wachowskis, Ron Clements, John Musker, Kevin Smith, Shawn Levy, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, Todd Phillips, Jay Roach, Peter Berg, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Ben Affleck, David Leitch & Luc Besson.
I can picture Chris casting John playing a bad guy as he did in “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Think of the role as a combination of his roles either good or bad as Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski, Sully from “Monster’s Inc” and his role as Howard in 10 Cloverfield Lane. If the late Robin Williams can play the main antagonist from “Insomnia,” so can John.
9. Bryan Cranston
Beginning his career playing rubber suit monsters in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” Bryan Cranston went on to play the bumbling dad from “Malcolm In The Middle” which made him a comedic actor. After the show ended, Bryan made a dramatic shift as Walter White/Heisenberg in “Breaking Bad” winning multiple awards as a chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer turned drug kingpin attempting to make enough money for his family’s future with help from his former student turned drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. As the show progresses, he becomes ruthless as his double life jeopardizes his protégé and loved ones. Besides appearing on television, Bryan appeared in a few movies like “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Contagion,” “Godzilla 2014,” “Trumbo,” “Argo,” “Drive,” & “Madagascar 3.”
He has work with directors/showrunners Vince Gilligan, Andrew Stanton, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Winding Refn, Steven Soderbergh, George Lucas, Gareth Edwards & Wes Anderson.
I can envision Chris selecting Bryan in a mentor role similar to Michael Caine as Alfred in The Dark Knight Trilogy and Dr. Brand from “Interstellar.”
8. Jackie Chan
An action movie icon around the globe, Jackie Chan has gone from being an extra in Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon” to becoming one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors in the action movie genre. The Drunken Master is notorious for enduring dangerous stunts/fight scenes relying without a body double. Appearing in many action comedies in China, he eventually earned international stardom in “Rumble In The Bronx” setting a benchmark appearing in more American films including “The Rush Hour Trilogy,” “Shanghai Noon,” “Shanghai Knights” just to name a few.
Jackie’s legacy continues to inspire future action stars for his comedic timing, stunts/fight scenes without a body double enduring a number of injuries he managed to survive resulting in earning a lifetime achievement at The Oscars in 2016.
If Jackie has nothing on his plate, perhaps Chris could hire him as a wise mentor of the main character showing him/her the ropes in Kung Fu like his role in “The Karate Kid” with Jaden Smith.
7. Benedict Cumberbatch
Best described as a modern-day Laurence Olivier, Benedict Cumberbatch has made a name of himself appearing on stage as a Shakespearean actor before he jumped to television and motion pictures. “Sherlock” on BBC earned him critical acclaim for his performance Sherlock Holmes. He went on to play a variety of roles as Smaug from “The Hobbit Trilogy” reuniting with is Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, Khan in “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” real life mathematician Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game,” voicing “The Grinch,” starred in the Showtime mini-series “Patrick Melrose” & portraying “Dr. Strange” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU for short.
Benedict has worked with a list of directors including Terrence Malick, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Joe Wright, Andy Serkis, J.J. Abrams, Taika Waititi, Sam Mendes, & The Russo Brothers.
If Chris can hire Benedict without anything on his plate, I think the latter can star in a spiritual successor to “Paths Of Glory” or “Spartacus.”
6. Vin Diesel
After his star making role the title character known as “The Iron Giant,” Vin Diesel eventually became an action star in his roles as Riddick from “The Chronicles Of Riddick” series” & Dominic Toretto in “The Fast In The Furious” series. Both franchises solidify him as one of Hollywood highest paid and recognizable actors. Besides his roles as Dominic Toretto & Riddick, Vin also played notable characters like Groot in the MCU. Triple X & the title character “Bloodshot.” Despite starring in some hit or miss movies, Vin manages to win back critics and movie goers for his signature role as Dominic Toretto & Groot.
Vin’s resume has a list of well-known directors like Steven Spielberg, Brad Bird, David Ayer, James Gunn, Justin Lin & The Russo Brothers.
Chris confirmed he’s a fan of The Fast And The Furious franchise. I can picture Vin playing an antagonist in a spiritual successor to “The Shining” as a demonic ghost who guides the protagonist into a villain on the same level as Harvey Dent losing his good side becoming Two-Face.
5. Keanu Reeves
Known as The Internet’s boyfriend and one of my favorite actors, Keanu Reeves has come a long way as an A-lister starring in many great films including “Bill & Ted,” “Point Break,” “Speed,” “The Matrix Trilogy” & the “John Wick” franchise. Despite staring in flops like “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” & “Replicas,” Kenau still manages to win back the crowd in the John Wick franchise, his charismatic personality both on and off camera. You remember his appearance at The 2019 E3 Expo? You know his two charming words: “You’re breathing!”
Kenau has worked with high profile directors such as Ron Howard, Gus Van Sant, James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Francis Ford Coppola, Kenneth Branagh, The Wachowskis, Nancy Meyers, Francis Lawrence, David Ayer & Scott Derrickson.
It’s pretty difficult to tell what role Keanu could play in a Chris Nolan movie. I think it would be best if Chris directed a number of episodes of the upcoming anime series based on Keanu’s comic book series “BRZRKR.” Chris & Keanu are both anime fans. “Paprika” is one of the inspirations of “Inception.” If not, a Cyberpunk 2077 movie focusing on Keanu’s character Johnny Silverhand might work. Cyberpunk 2077 is influenced by one of Chris’ favorite movies “Blade Runner.”
4. Idris Elba
Thanks to his participation on HBO’s “The Wire,” Idris Elba earned praise for his titular role as “Luther.” He later transitioned to movies in versatile roles as Heimdell from the MCU, “American Gangster,” “Prometheus,” “Mandela,” “Beasts Of No Nation,” “Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book 2016,” “Finding Dory” “Star Trek: Beyond,” “Hobbs And Shaw” and James Gunn’s upcoming “The Suicide Squad.” Idris is capable of portraying good guys and bad guys. He’s also a talented DJ, rapper and singer with a lot of range besides acting.
Idris worked with powerhouse directors Ridley Scott, Guy Ritchie, Kenneth Branagh, Guillermo Del Toro, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Jon Favreau, Andrew Stanton, Justin Lin, Taika Waititi, The Russo Brothers, David Leitch, James Gunn & George Miller.
Chris can hire Idris as a tormented tragic villain like Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone from “The Godfather Trilogy.” His roles I’ve listed, indicates he can pull off a complex hero turned villain choosing a path he cannot go back resulting in losing those close to him are either dead, disowned or separated. Idris has experience in American Gangster. Ridley Scott is one of Chris’ favorite directors.
3. Edward Norton
Edward Norton is of my favorite actors. He starred in critically acclaimed films including “Primal Fear,” “American History X, “The People VS. Larry Flynt,” Fight Club,” “25th Hour,” “Birdman,” “Kingdom Of Heaven,” “Red Dragon,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Illusionist,” “Moonrise Kingdom” & “Isle Of Dogs.” Although a hothead on and offset like Sean Penn, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe & Alec Baldwin, Ed is a well-respected method actor willing to immense himself in difficult roles as a hero or villain. He’s not pretentious, he’s given praise on the same level as acclaimed method actors. Daniel Day-Lewis & Joaquin Phoenix. Ed is also a talented writer and invested on Uber. It’s a shame he left the MCU due to creative differences. I have nothing against Mark Ruffalo, but Ed is my favorite Hulk actor,
Ed worked with notable filmmakers like David Fincher, Frank Oz, Julie Taymor, Spike Lee, F. Gary Gray, Ridley Scott, Wes Anderson, Alejandro González Iñárritu & Robert Rodriguez.
I would love to see Chris & Ed collaborate together with Keanu Reeves in a Cyberpunk 2077 based movie focusing on Johnny Silverhand. Ed can play the bad guy who has a deep connection to Johnny. That would give me chills seeing my two favorite actors fighting to the death.
2. Jason Statham
Jason Statham is my favorite action star of all time. Primarily known for portraying British anti-heroes with a buzzcut typecasted as a getaway driver or good at driving any vehicle, Jason is a former male model turned actor made his film debut in “Lock, Shock And Two Barrels” in his first collaboration with Guy Ritchie. Co-starred with Jet Li in “The One” and they later reunite in “War” and “The Expandables” series. His starring roles are “The Transporter” series, “Crank” and its sequel, “The Mechanic” and “The Meg.” He also appeared in “The Fast And The Furious” sequels since “Fast And Furious 6.” Like Jackie Chan, Jason does his own stunts without a body double.
Jason collaborated with notable filmmakers including Guy Ritchie, John Carpenter, F. Gary Grey, Michael Mann, Luc Besson, Justin Lin & David Leitch.
Again, Chris confirmed he’s a fan of The Fast And The Furious franchise. Maybe he can cast Jason in an ensemble western set in the dying age of outlaws as a throwback to “The Wild Bunch” or “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.” Chris and his brother Jonah mentioned their favorite western is “Once Upon A Time In The West.” One of Westworld’s primary influences.
Michael K. Williams
1. Joaquin Phoenix
My number one pick is Oscar winning actor and one of my favorite actors is the one and only Joaquin Phoenix. Younger brother of the late River Phoenix, this versatile method actor is capable of playing a variety of roles as a villain or hero portraying a Roman emperor, a legendary country singer, a hippie detective & a failed stand-up comedian turned Clown Prince Of Crime etc. Joaquin managed to fool the public intending to retire from acting in favor of becoming a rapper in the documentary film “I’m Still Here.” Like method actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, he can be picky when it comes to movie roles offered by studios. He turned down the role of Captain Hook in a live action remake of “Peter Pan.” He’s lucky Joaquin got the opportunity to star in a one and done DC movie earning him his first Oscar. Somewhere in Heaven. River & Heath Ledger are lookin’ down with a proud smile for Joaquin’s accomplishments.
Joaquin worked with acclaimed directors such as Ron Howard, Gus Van Sant, Ridley Scott, James Mangold, Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze & Todd Phillips.
Here’s a fun fact, Joaquin was originally gonna be Batman in Darren Aronofsky’s Batman movie. Plans were scrapped. I think Chris & Joaquin can work on a movie together something experimental and risky like a Terence Malick movie or something innovate they haven’t done before in their respective careers.
That’s my Top 12. Which actors would you like to see in a Christopher Nolan film? Please leave a comment.