HERE'S MY VISOR, MY DIXON TICONDEROGA #2 PENCIL, AND MY BIG FINISH! So I was thinking again about that article on the non-"star"ness of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and trying to figure out this: if they had decided to recast The Producers with bigger names for its film adaptation, who should it have been?
Here's my first pass: I don't know if he can sing, but it strikes me that Al Pacino's constant overplaying and mugging for the camera might make him a perfect Max Bialystock. All the traits that make him occasionally unbearable work perfectly in that role, and I can easily envision him barreling his way through big numbers like "Betrayed" ("Wait a minute! My name's not Alvin! That's not my life! I'm not a hillbilly. I grew up in the Bronx! Leo's taken everything. Even my past!") It's about time Pacino did a Brando-in-The-Freshman and ran with his excesses for comedic gain.
And for Leo Bloom? I know Edward Norton can sing, because I remember his light touch on "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "Just You, Just Me" from Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You. We know he can pull off the innocent-lured-astray. The only question would be whether an actor so often interested in dramatic and challenging roles would be interested in doing musical work.
Your nominees are, of course, welcome.