Casting The ESPN Movie
According to Deadspin, the ESPN book is being made into a Social Network style motion picture. This makes perfect sense, since we could definitely see Scott Van Pelt hurrying across the Bristol campus while an ominous Trent Reznor score plays in the background.
Anyway, hearing this news got us wondering: which actors would be cast as which personalities? And which actors would we try to cast if we could? You will see the results of that exercise below. Keep in mind, this is a hypothetical world in which: 1) money is not an object; 2) all of our top choices say yes. And now that you’ve adequately suspended disbelief, SportsGrid’s casting results for some of the major players in the forthcoming ESPN movie.
It’s not just because they’re both Chris Bs. Bauer has the powerful screen presence and intensity necessary for playing someone who is essentially the definition of “powerful screen presence” (for better or worse). As for Berman’s remarkably old-fashioned tendencies (no e-mail, not really any internet in general)? Bauer played a guy trying to save a dying industry done in by modern times in The Wire (Frank Sobotka), so he’s got that covered.
After starring as “It” girl Serena van der Woodsen in the hit CW television series Gossip Girl, Blake Lively has experience portraying leggy, center-of-attention blonde bombshells. From the mean girls of the Upper East Side to the mean girls of Bristol, Conn., Lively undoubtedly knows what it’s like to have people be jealous of you. She should be completely at ease channeling Erin’s bubbly personality. The jury’s still out on whether Blake can tell the difference between Derek Jeter and Derrek Lee, but whatever, that’s what writers are for.
While the ability to yell “Booyah!” a bunch of times will be essential to this role (and we’re perfectly confident in Yarbrough’s ability to do this), there’s much more to it. And that’s the real reason we feel good about Yarbrough, who honed his comedic chops on Reno 911. Additionally, the fact that Yarbrough has significant voice acting experience (The Boondocks, in particular) gives us all the more reason to believe he, too, can own the style that made Scott a household name.
A regular on All My Children with a brief stint on The O.C. to his credit, Michael Nouri has also recently appeared as Glenn Close’s cheating husband in the critically-acclaimed series Damages. So yes, much like Olbermann, he has experience making women (read: Suzy Kolber) cry. No telling how well he’ll be able to convey Keith’s very neurotic tendencies, but after 30-plus years in the business, we’re willing to give Nouri the benefit of the doubt.
We entrust the other half of SportsCenter’s most successful team to one of TV’s most successful fake newsmen, and we’re confident Daily Show correspondent Jones is up to the task. Working with Jon Stewart & Co., he’s picked up a thing or two about putting an irreverent spin on the news of the day. And if he needs to turn the joke back on himself? He can do that, too.
Griffiths has 86 roles to his credit, so we think he’ll be able to step right in and assume the persona of Walsh, leader of ESPN’s editorial/newsgathering side. While it’ll require subduing his British accent, he’ll be up to – oh, okay, fine, yes, he came up in a search for actors who look like Santa, and that pushed him over the top for this role.
When we first heard Colin Cowherd describe SportsNation, he compared his future co-host, Michelle Beadle, to Cameron Diaz. As soon as the show debuted, we realized we’d finally found something we agreed with Cowherd about. Remember that scene in There’s Something About Mary where Diaz invites Ben Stiller up to her apartment to watch SportsCenter? You could totally see Beadle doing that, right?