Recasting the College Basketball Movie Blue Chips
Recasting Blue Chips
There haven't been a lot of solid college basketball movies grace the silver-screen. Really, it is safe to say that Hollywood prefers to do football style movies for numerous reasons. Considering football is the more popular sport, I guess I can understand why they would go that route since they are a money-first business. I mean, it's not like the life story of Bootsy Thorton would draw millions, although, it is something I'd personally like to see.
Even though the lack of college hoops movies is evident, there has been one that holds a special place in my cold heart; Blue Chips. The 1994 drama starred a less wild Nick Nolte, an always intolerable Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway and a slew of other actors as well as real life basketball players to compose other team's rosters.
Unfortunately the movie is pretty dated at this point. The draw to the movie for basketball fans were the actual basketball players in it. The storyline was second fiddle, but it was a pretty amusing tale of a booster hijacking a program so their long-time, legendary coach (eerily reminiscent of Bob Knight, but with a soul) could go on one final run with a program he has built into a power (albeit one whose best days are clearly behind it).
Regardless, it is now 2013 and while the storyline does not need to change, the people who play the characters do -- possibly with some small adjustments to their personalities. So, with a lack of better judgement clearly behind me, let us recast the movie Blue Chips so it is a tad bit more relevant.
Note: We are not going to reinvent the wheel here. Only some of the major characters will be recast and as far as all the "extras" who were either real life coaches or players relevant to the time, just use your imagination.
Joseph is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone
Tony was originally played by Anthony C. Hall. For those of you who are unaware or have forgotten, Tony was the seemingly lone veteran on the Western University Dolphins. He also had the rare ability to flunk TV. Long story short on Tony, he once shaved points -- to the much disheartened coach Pete Bell -- but eventually took his talents overseas to play pro basketball.
His story was about a guy coach Bell believed in and put all of his faith into. When Bell finds out Tony was shaving points he essentially loses his marbles. Granted, Tony made a nice save and made his way to Europe where we can only assume he was a success.
Since Anthony C. Hall is definitely a little bit too old to play this character, we need a new guy for the job. Tony's character was someone you rooted for despite his ability to let his coach down as well as letting a bunch of freshmen take over the direction of the program. Clearly, any seniors that have ever played for a John Calipari coached team could handle that role easily (outside of the points shaving). Trying to avoid a real actor at all cost, Julius Mays gets the nod.
Ricky Roe was just a farm boy from a family who loved themselves some free John Deere related equipment. He also rocked (presumably) a deadly jumper. Coach Bell did his best to use Larry Bird to convince Roe to join the Dolphins. His family on the other hand would prefer for Roe to get a tractor.
Again, Roe eventually was convinced to go and then stay (he threatened to leave if he were not given more tractors I guess) thanks to some impermissible benefits.
Roe was portrayed by unknown actor Matt Nover. Whoever is going to replace him will need to be able to emanate that farm boy with a greed problem Nover did so well. Remember, it also has to be someone who resembles an 18 year-old kid -- meaning Harrison Ford is out of the running. If forced to cast someone who is a stretch-four who also possesses a finesse game I'd like to cast Jerry Trainor. He too is fairly unknown (well, unless you have kids). I could not find an accurate height on the young man so camera angles would likely need to fix whatever issues we have in making him look like a big man. I smell a dramatic star-crossed turn for Mr. Trainor.
Aw, our buddy Butch McRae. He was played by Penny Hardaway and his skill-set seemed to mirror what we though Penny's would be for a long time. Hardaway's mother was the evilness behind looking for some financial gains from her son going to college. McRae was also in on the gig to the point where it was clear he had some serious mommy issues.
A tall, athletic do it all point guard? This is actually one of the tougher guys to cast. I am not sure how old he looks (or if his lack of ACLs would allow it) at this point in his career, but I'd take a flyer out on Shaun Livingston.
I dislike Shaq in every aspect of his life. I hated him when he played basketball (for no good reason) and hate him even more now that he is on TNT (for good reason, he stinks). Still, Boudeaux may have ended up being the most crucial freshman character to join the cast. Boudeaux didn't ask for a Benz, but that is what he got.
Poor coach Bell. He went out of his way to find Boudeaux at a gym where Nerf style rims were implemented, had his ex-wife teach him to read and all of that still came back to bite him in the rear. Boudeaux had lottery-pick written all over him despite his inability to finish a Curious George book.
So we need a dumb, super-freak of an athlete whose talents and size are only exceeded by his lack of self-awareness. Dwight Howard, your phone should be ringing shortly.
Ed was that journalist who knew something fishy was going on with the Dolphins. Despite every other major sports network at the time being oblivious, Ed was the only guy fishing for the dirt (sound familiar?) on coach Bell as well as his ridiculously successful recruiting class.
Al Bundy portrayed Ed (Okay, Ed O'Neil), but we need some youth infused in this spot. Plus, newspapers are dead -- we need a blogger or something like that. Anyone from DeadSpin will do. I mean, they were the only ones who actually checked on a birth certificate of a supposedly diseased Heisman hopeful's girlfriend.
Coach Bell's ex-wife. She was also a tutor. Call this self-serving, I don't care, but Christinna Ricci. That is all.
The booster that all NCAA officials fear. Happy ended up being a villain despite coach Bell being in on the violations from the get-go. What was particularly awesome about Happy's character was the actor's ability to come off as a pure jerk-face from the start. Even with Bell clearly being as wrong as the booster, Happy was so unlikable that you felt more than bad at the end of the movie for the "swindled" coach.
We are going with a real life actor for this. Someone with chops is certainly in order to carry off a role that has little screen time but has a huge impact on the movie. There is no finer actor in the world than Daniel Day Lewis, so someone needs to throw a bunch of loot at his head.
Coach Pete Bell
This was Nick Nolte's -- pre-Gary Busey-ish type of lifestyle turn -- movie in which he played a crazy person, sans a gun. Bell was clearly a rip off Bob Knight and other famous coaches over the years. The movie led you to believe that at one point in time Bell was one of the best coaches in the country who ran one of the best programs in the nation. Although they also made it more than abundantly clear that the best days of Bell's career were behind him.
Bell was not the biggest name in college hoops. He felt like that second-tier group of coaches who we all know are very good, but don't put them in that elite class with the Rick Pitino and the Bob Knight of the world.
I doubt he has any acting experience, but I don't give a rat's rear. This role has Jim Calhoun written all over it. Heck, change the story from giving players cash, gifts and tractors to free grades and we almost have a Calhoun autobiography.