Jason Reitman, who recently directed the Charlize Theron film, ‘Young Adult,’ is looking to do a Los Angeles one-time-only live staged-reading of Quentin Tarantino‘s 1992 film, ‘Reservoir Dogs,‘ and will be using an all-black cast.
This isn’t the first time Reitman has done stage readings of classic films. In the past he’s re-created The Breakfast Club, The Apartment, The Princess Bride, and Shampoo. Tarantino’s film centered on the surviving criminals, who after a simple jewelery heist goes terribly wrong, begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.
Signing up for selected roles are Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Anthony Mackie, and Anthony Anderson.
Terrence Howard is Mr. Blonde (originally played by Michael Madsen), Anthony Mackie as Mr. Pink (originally played by Steve Buscemi), Cuba Gooding Jr. as Mr. Orange (originally played by Tim Roth) and Anthony Anderson as Nice Guy Eddie (originally played by Chris Penn).
Reitman says he liked Gooding’s good-guy vibe. “You can presume that he’s actually not a thug, not a crook,” he says. “I know Cuba a little bit and I like the idea of seeing him as this character, who talks a lot about the acting process and learning how to act to be undercover.”
“If we were going to make it an all-black cast, we wanted to make sure we started with an all-white cast,” Reitman said. “What makes the Reservoir Dogs script work so well is, despite the fact that it was cast with all white actors, it really is a script that could feature any race.”
The Film Independent event happens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Feb. 16, and although tickets were sold out well before the title was announced, there will be a wait-list line for those willing to take a chance. (Unfortunately, they aren’t recorded for broadcast due to rights issues.)
This time, in consultation with Film Independent’s Elvis Mitchell, who helps curate the event, they decided to make a more radical switch.
“We talked about the idea of changing the age, changing the gender, and of course changing the race of the characters,” Reitman says. “This is kind of the first attempt at really looking at a screenplay through a different lens, and we’ll see what happens when we do that. Maybe nothing changes, or maybe the story becomes completely different.”
The film, as it turns out, is surprisingly colorblind, given the names of its characters. But then, those code names were specifically chosen because the colors had no meaning.
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