Monday, May 25, 2020

New blog project: 'Recasting'

In 2014, I wrote a series of posts where I "reimagined" Meryl's film career.  I had been interested in what it would have been like had she actually been cast in certain roles we never got to see her play. The period of the early 90s had been a major question mark for me at the time, wondering how she ended up taking the roles she did, and why she wasn't in more popular or more acclaimed fare for an actress of her caliber. With very few exceptions, I kept it limited to those that she was rumored to have been attached to at one point, or had dropped out of.

But I haven't been satisfied with leaving it there. I've thought about what her sort of "perfect career" would've looked like occasionally since then, and at some point, I'll post about adjustments I'd make to my previous piece on her "reimagined history." An updated version would mostly consists of additional deletions. I wanted to fit so much in!

So why not just write separately about what would've been fun to see her in outside her normal or my reimagined filmography? Call it a sort of parallel career to the one she's had (or even that I wished she could have had). There are so many roles over the past forty years from movies I've either never seen or absolutely adore for which I'd give my eyeteeth to see a version of Meryl in.

So I'm going to do it. I'll go one year at a time, starting with the beginning of her career. I'm going to try to not just randomly choose a bunch or roles, but to consider how it would've been if she truly did do them all the order I have planned (meaning she would mix things up and not do anything that was too similar too close together, for example). I'll of course take several liberties and apply certain ground rules to keep myself on task. A few guidelines I'm going to follow:

1. I will chose one role for each calendar year, with at least one exception.
2. The roles have to have been reasonable for her to play at the time (age, career stage, whether she was pregnant).
3. The roles will all be lead, with one exception...sort of?
4. Every role will be for a project that was officially released (no unproduced films that I just wish would've come to fruition and didn't).
5. I will start her film career with a film being released in 1976--the year prior to her current filmography (the audacity!)

These are subject to change, but I'm pretty good at sticking to my rules. At some point I might do the same thing with supporting roles, but we'll see how this all goes first. I've pretty much already solidified every choice. Some of my picks will probably make people scratch their heads, but this is after all a personal list. It's fun to choose things that are a bit more risky than I expect Meryl would have ever gone for, regardless of where she happened to be in her career. But those are the ones we probably want to see her play the most anyway!

What I'm possibly looking forward to most about this is all the film history I'm diving into starting in the mid 70s--seeing which roles and films were prominent at the time that I may not have remembered or thought of, or haven't even seen! And then getting to imagine her in the ones I do remember fondly, or happen to consider exciting and well-made, but she either was never offered, or may not have had interest in accepting.

I'm going to try to do one post per week, which means the first entry (probably next week) will be for 1976. Keep in mind my choices may not necessarily be films that were exactly released in that year, but generally they will be. If not, it'll be within one or two. Any guesses?

Looking forward to undertaking this compulsion project!


  1. Cannot wait!

    Chicago in 1980 then Frances, Sweet Dreams, Dangerous Liaisons, Fatal Attraction, Evita, Six Degrees of Seperation, The Price of Salt (should have been produced sooner), Serial Mom,Safe, Requiem For A Dream, In The Bedroom, Notes On a Scandal, Il y a longtemps que je t'aime, Blue Jasmine.

    I've always wanted to insert those into Meryl's filmography!

    1. I will say that of the fifteen films you listed, six are included in my Recasting list. But I won't say which ones!

  2. I'm hoping for a role that was originally cast for a man