Russell Brand is... Batman?
Technically, yes. And Luis Guzman is Robin.
Which means I may be obligated to love "Arthur" when it comes out, no matter what.
Russell Brand is currently starring in a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy "Arthur," which told the story of a perpetually drunk millionaire bachelor who is expected to marry an heiress, but who wants to marry a woman he catches shoplifting instead. And he's got a reeeeeeeeeeally sarcastic butler.
In the Dudley Moore version, John Gielgud played the part, and he did so with such precision lacerating wit that he won an Oscar. Moore was nominated for one, and the screenplay by Steve Gordon was nominated as well. Gordon was a first timer, and I wonder what career he might have had if he hadn't died of a heart attack the year after "Arthur" was released. To knock it out of the park the way he did as writer and director on "Arthur" marked him as a pretty natural talent, and the film wasn't just a hit... it was beloved while it was out. If you weren't around in 1981, let me tell you... the Oscar-winning Christopher Cross song was omnipresent. You couldn't leave the house without hearing it somewhere. The film was huge.
I have no idea if Russell Brand is a draw for people or if he isn't, but I'm interested to see what he's capable of. So far, he impresses me as a naturally talented guy who has yet to push himself as hard as he can, which means there's more we'll see from him. There's honesty in the big broad work he does, and that implies there's a solid dramatic performer in there somewhere. So far, Brand has carefully kept up the outrageous like a smoke screen. With "Arthur," I think he's going to have to give us more than we've seen from him so far, especially with Helen Mirren playing the role that Gielgud won his Oscar playing.
Over the weekend, some truly bizarre photos from the set have leaked, and it looks to me like Brand's Arthur makes eccentric but excellent use of his money. If I were a millionaire, I'd be an eccentric one, and if I were an eccentric one, I'd probably end up buying an actual Batmobile from one of the movies.
And if I had my own Batmobile, I'd need a Robin. And I'd probably hire Luis Guzman.
There are a ton of huge clear photos of Russell Brand in the get-up when you follow this link. Here's an example of what you'll see, a great close-up of him in the Batsuit with a particularly great take on the utility belt. Is that a Bat-flask I spy?
Latino Review is where I saw these first, and they have a few great exclusive ones as well, including this amazing view of Guzman at his most majestic:
And then Russell Brand was Tweeting images all weekend on his own, including this one:
"Arthur" will be in theaters next year, with no firm release date yet. Color me curious.
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