Tagged: Michael Gambon

 

Studio Canal have just given us the first look at The King Of Thieves. Starring Michael Caine (The Dark Knight, The Prestiege), Michael Gambon (Gosford Park, The King’s Speech), Charlie Cox (Daredevil, Stardust), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Beowulf), Jim Broadbent (Gangs Of New York, Moulin Rogue!) and Tom Courtenay (45 Years, Doctor ZhivagoThe King of Thieves is due out in September this year.

Robbie Williams

James Bond: The mysterious British Special Agent known worldwide as 007. It’s a coveted role for any actor. As the likes of Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan have shown, playing the role of James Bond makes you not only a bankable star in one of the highest grossing franchises of all time, but it can also make sure that your name lives on for generations to come. It is for that reason that it is hard to fathom why some actors have actually been offered the lucrative role and then turned it down.

In 1970, the producers behind the franchise were looking to replace one of the most popular James Bond actors of all time, Sean Connery. First on the list was one of the finest American actors going around: Clint Eastwood. The star had made a name for himself in western films such as “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” and “A Fistful Of Dollars,” so it wasn’t surprising that he was looked at for the role of James Bond. However, when offered the role, Eastwood turned it down because he felt the role should go to a British actor. It was probably a good thing he did turn down the role, or he would most likely not have gotten to play his most famous role – that of Harry Callahan in “Dirty Harry.”

The fact that Bond should be British also scared off a few more of the actors that were also approached for the role. TV’s Batman Adam West was also looked at the role, as was Burt Reynolds, another actor who had made a name for himself in the Western genre…this time in the television series “Gunsmoke.”

Also considered for the role of James Bond in the early 1970s was an actor who is known to fans of the Harry Potter franchise as Professor Albus Wulfric Brian Dumbledore – the theatre-trained Michael Gambon. Despite being a forerunner to play Bond, however, Gambon turned down the role because he didn’t feel that he had the looks to full off playing the debonair spy who was popular with the ladies.

In the mid 1990s, one of Ireland’s favorite sons, Liam Neeson, turned down the role of James Bond because he said he wasn’t interested in starring in action films. Something obviously changed his mind over the years as he is now the successful star of the “Taken” series of films.

Flash-forward to the 2000s and there was a fresh batch of performers who were threatening to take the role ahead of Daniel Craig. After he parodied the James Bond character in his “Millenium” video clip, popstar Robbie Williams was actually approached about playing the role in a feature film. However, he turned down the role saying he didn’t feel like he was refined enough for the role.

Aside from Williams, other actors considered to play James Bond in the 2000s were Dominic West, who went on to make a name for himself in “300” and “The Wire,” and Ewan McGergor who has received critical acclaim for films such as “Trainspotting,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Moulin Rouge” while winning over fans in George Lucas’ reboot of the “Star Wars” franchise. McGregor turned down the Bond role because he was afraid of becoming typecast, while West pulled himself out of the running when he heard that Pierce Brosnan may have been wanting to return to the role.

However, the actor who was the biggest threat to Daniel Craig was Australian actor Hugh Jackman. The Aussie actor was perfect for the role; he had the looks and was a guaranteed crowd pleaser, as his work as Wolverine in the “X-Men” franchise showed. The producer’s plans of naming Jackman as the new Bond were shelved, however, when Jackman read the script and didn’t like the direction the series was going in.

Whenever the role of James Bond is left vacant, there are never a shortage of names that are linked to the role. However, as time has shown in the past, just because an actor has made the decision to turn down what could have been the biggest role of their life, it doesn’t necessarily mean they still won’t become famous.

Quartet

Summary: Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly) are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean (Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Screenwriter: Ronald Harwood

Cast: Shola Adewusi (Sheryl), Colin Bradbury (Olly Fisher) Virginia Bradbury (Daisy), Michael Byrne (Frank White), Pauline Collins (Cissy Robson), Billy Connolly (Wilf Bond), Tom Courtenay (Reginald Paget), Sarah Crowden (Felicity Liddle), Alexander Duczmal (Marta), Ania Duczmal (Eva), Ronnie Fox (Nobby), Michael Gambon (Cedric Livingston),John Georgeiadis (Bill),  John Heley (Leo Cassell), Ita Herbert (Regina), Jack Honeyborne (Dave Trubeck), Ronnie Hughes (Tony Rose), Jumayn Hunter (Joey), Dame Gwyneth Jones (Anne Langley), Denis Khoroshko (Tadek), Patricia Loveland (Letitia Davis), Iona Mathieson (Young Violinist Iona), Isla Mathieson (Young Violinist Isla), Cynthia Morey (Lottie Yates), Luke Newberry (Simon), Kent Olesen (Lars), Trevor Peacock (George), Eline Powell (Angelique), John Rawnsley (Nigel), David Ryall (Harry), Andrew Sachs (Bobby Swanson), Graeme Scott (Fred), Maggie Smith (Jean Horton), Sheridan Smith (Dr. Lucy Cogan), Patricia Varley (Octavia), Melonie Waddingham (Marion Reed), Nuala Willis (Norma McIntyre)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Quartet’ Review: 

‘Quartet’ is unashamedly aimed at an older audience, but that certainly shouldn’t put you off if you’re of the younger generation and enjoy a good film. Because age demographic aside ‘Quartet’ is an enjoyable film that is likely to provide a chuckle or two along the way.

Directed by legendary actor, Dustin Hoffman (who hasn’t directed a film since 1978’s Straight Time) Quartet’ finds three members of England’s once-most talented opera quartet living together in a retirement home for retired musicians under the charge of young doctor, Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith – Mr. Stink, TV’S Jonathan Creek).

The first member of the group is Reginald (Tom Courtenay – Gambit, The End Of An Era) who seems  so active and ‘with-it’ it would appear he has gone into the home too early. He is still extremely active and keeps his mind going by passing on his musical knowledge to young students. When asked why he went into the home he always says he is in there to be with his best friend, Wilf (Billy Connolly – Brave, TV’S House) who has lost the ability to censor himself after a stroke affected his brain. Rounding out the group is Cissy (Pauline Collins – Albert Nobbs, TV’S Mount Pleasant) who knows suffers from such severe dementia that she constantly needs to be reminded what she should be doing.

The trio’s world is turned upside down though when the new resident who moves in just happens to be Jean (Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, TV’S Downtown Abby) – the missing member of their quartet. While Cissy and Wilf thinks it would be great to get Jean to rejoin their quartet so they can perform in a gala night being put together by the extremely bossy Cedric (Michael Gambon – Restless, TV’S Luck). It seems like a good idea however Jean seems like she is reluctant to ever perform again while poor Reginald is at a loss at what to do as Jean once broke his heart.

Hoffman brings together a wonderfully brilliant film that certainly captivates it’s audience, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made a couple of mistakes along the well. On the surface the idea of having the central characters played by actors and the other residents in the home being played by some of the Europe’s finest opera performers and musicians seems like a great idea, however during the film the ‘others’ seem to get dangerously out-acted by what can only be described as an A-List of some of the United Kingdom’s finest actors.

No matter your age you will find yourself drawn to the characters of ‘Quartet’. It’s a heartfelt story and let’s be honest you don’t have to be in this film’s demographic to know what heart ache or the lack of self-worth feels like. Don’t take any notice of the advertising this really is a film that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

Of course as you would expect one of the standouts about ‘Quartet’ are the acting performances. As usual Maggie Smith is brilliant while Pauline Collins also does a fabulous job. But even they seem to be outdone by Michael Gambon who seems to embrace a slight comedic part while Billy Connolly leaves everybody in his wake and he gathers up laughs left, right and centre.

‘Quartet’ is a great little film that reminds us all that you don’t need a big budget, just a great script, to work as a cinema piece.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Quartet′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Quartet’. Dave’s other review of ‘Quartet’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Quartet (2012) on IMDb