Recasting “Miracle on 34th Street” With Sports Stars
Recasting “Miracle on 34th Street” With Famous Athletes
The holiday season is in full swing, with just a couple weeks left until Christmas. At this point, it’s almost impossible to avoid watching a holiday movie. Some channels run the classics one after the other, but some channels like Hallmark continuing to churn out brand new, unwatchable Christmas movies, leaving us with visions of washed up TV stars dancing in our heads. There have been some solid Christmas movies in the past couple decades, like Elf, Bad Santa, The Polar Express, The Grinch, Fred Claus and Jim Carrey’s Christmas Carol. Even Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus movies have become staples during the holiday season. No matter what the rookies do, nothing beats a wily veteran. Miracle on 34th Street is about as classic of a Christmas movie as you can get.
Sports and the holiday season go together hand in hand these days, with huge NBA games on Christmas Day, and a 100 college football bowl games played December through January. The NFL season winds down, and playoffs begin soon. Even the NHL experiences a slight boost in popularity with people yearning for televised “winter” sports. Sports around the holidays have become a tradition, so why not fuse them together even more by recasting the eternal classic Miracle on 34th street, using only stars of the sports world.
The main characters I will be recasting include Judge Henry X Harper, Fred Gailey, Doris Walker, Suzie Walker and of course, Kris Kringle. It’s important to take into account their personalities, in addition to their looks. Some of these athletes might look the part, as they say, but all I believe will do an amazing job portraying the sentiment of the character, and not rely on a simple TV version impression.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that all characters are based on the original 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street.
Judge Henry X Harper – Tim Duncan
At first glance, the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan seems like a crotchety old man with no heart, and just wants to follow the fundamentals of the game, which makes him boring and soulless. In the movie, Judge Henry X Harper also seems like an old man with no heart, until we learn otherwise.
Duncan has proved over the years that he plays the game the right way, with lots of heart, and it’s his adherence to the fundamentals that make him great. We’ve also learned through candid moments and stories that he’s actually quite jolly. It’s Judge Harper’s heart and fundamental adherence to the law that allows him to rule in favor of Kris Kringle, since the Post Office considers him the real deal.
Fred Gailey – Drew Brees
In the movie, Fred Gailey defends the case for Kris Kringle as the real Santa Claus. He takes on what seems like an impossible task, just like when Drew Brees came to the New Orleans Saints. The Saints were an awful team for decades. They struggled to find a true leader, until Brees brought them eternal faith, now that they’re a perennial playoff team. Brees would make an excellent Fred Gailey because of his ability to beat the odds and make everyone around him better.
Doris Walker – Venus Williams
Venus Williams had to deal with an upstart young lady trying to prove something to the world with her sister Serena. She tried to teach her, then she learned from her, and became a great supporter of Serena. It’s that experience that would make Venus a great Doris Walker.
Suzie Walker – Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick has been going up against non-believers her whole life, trying to prove to a world of skeptics that she can race with the men and beat them. It’s her tenacity, faith and experience with fighting the odds that makes her a great Suzie Walker.
Kris Kringle – LeBron James
After leaving his comfort zone in the North, for most of the movie, Kris Kringle was vilified as a crazy person, relying on a small fan base (Suzie Walker) to keep up his spirits. He was a stickler for detail, as is the Miami Heat’s LeBron James, telling shop owners how to arrange their reindeer correctly. An attribute that would make Kringle a solid point forward, along with his size and distributing capabilities. After proving he was the real deal, he won back fans all over the world, as did James. Plus, you know, that neck beard thing.