Casting a Remake: How to Steal a Million

Here’s the thing about coming up with a dream cast for a remake: It is much too much fun for me to stop doing it. There are good remakes and bad remakes, so when it comes to the idea of more I’m pretty neutral. However, the puzzle of choosing the perfect actors for remake roles is becoming a blissful playground for me and my film obsessed imagination.

My cast picks for a remake of How to Steal a Million (1966):

Nicole – Mallory Jansen

Mallory in Galavant has become a favorite of mine, and while doing a Netflix re-watch I realized just how much she looks like Audrey Hepburn. It’s a striking resemblance, and given her humor and the ease with which she portrays royalty, she’s a natural fit for Nicole.

Simon – Paul Bettany

This was a total no brainer. Modern day Peter O’Toole? Check. Has the charm to play a brilliant art authenticator undercover as a thief? Check. Possesses a naughty smile that would make Mallory melt at 50 paces? That’s a hell yes.

Davis Leland – Jason Segel

Yeah, this is one of those weird picks that just works. Jason can do weird rich guy obsessed with art to the point of tricking Nicole to get closer to them, only to develop actual feelings for her, but not enough to choose her over said artwork. He could make the character likeable and crazy, but still stop short of making people want him to end up with Nicole. This is a fabulous instance where Jason Segel and Eli Wallach of all people intersect talents, and I love it.

Bonnet – Jean Reno

Set in his forging ways, and driving his daughter mad with worry, Jean would make the consummate unhinged Frenchman. He’s adorable, and I need it.

Head Guard – Keegan Michael Key

There are a lot of guards in this movie, but the two that matter are the Head Guard and Drunk Guard. These characters are the perfect opportunity for a fab comedy team, so who better than Key and Peele? Key of course would be the guard in charge.

Drunk Guard – Jordan Peele

I can easily picture Jordan as the guard hiding liqueur to fuel his rounds around the museum. It’s just the right call.

DeSolney – Shaun Micallef

There was an unfortunately short lived mystery series called Mr. and Mrs. Murder, in which Micallef displayed his easy charm. Thinking of who could play a modern Charles Boyer in this film and work well with Paul Bettany and Jason Segel, Shaun is the answer.


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