If you judged an artist’s legacy by the actor that helms hisbiopic, Bob Dylan could probably claim “greatest entertainer of alltime” status. In the Todd Haynes-directed I’m Not There (due November 21), Dylan has not one, not two, but six actors playing him: Christian Bale,Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, and…CateBlanchett!? The trailer that’s been knocking about the Internet goes for theusual biopic strategy of playing a song and flashing some vaguely provocativephrases — He is everyone. He is no one. But what’s really got me intriguedand slightly disturbed is this clip of Blanchett playing Dylan in an impromptuexchange with Alan Ginsberg (David Cross). There’s something about herappearance and tone that conjures images of BoysDon’t Cry, lady boys, and other things that make me feel weird. I mean, I’venever found Dylan attractive, just confusing. I guess the same could be said of lady boys.
Anyway, while Dylan even has actresses clambering to fillhis shoes, the late Notorious B.I.G. doesn’t have anyone to play him. Clearly ignoringGary Susman’s excellent casting picks for the Biggie biopic back in 2005 (whenFOX Searchlight secured the rights to his story), the producers — including momVoletta Williams and manager Wayne Barrow — have put out an open casting call for therole of Christopher Wallace. (The Village Voice even ran a gallery of potential nominees.) Barrow says that only Forest Whittaker stands outin the Hollywood crop, though clearly he hasn’t seen Norbit. The obvious choice for hip-hop fans has always been West Coast rapper Guerilla Black, who might be able to turn the flack he caught for his Biggie-jacking on 2004’s “Compton” into a silver-screen debut.
But there are some less obvious picks, as well. A guy named Jed, who houses mybrother in a You, Me, and Dupreetypeof situation (note: my brother is Dupree), suggested John Goodman, butI think was pulling my leg in that way that people fromPhiladelphia do. But then again, if Blanchett can play Dylan, isn’tanything possible? I bet Horatio Sanz could pull it off. Meryl Streep’sprobably run out of ways to challenge herself by now, so maybe her?Carmen Electra once rapped on “Go Go Dancer.”Sort of. Sign her up! And I’m betting within 48 hours, some bloggersomewhere will start a Rosie O’Donnell rumor. Who else shouldplay Biggie? Who will be the best as Dylan? And which of them is abetterrapper? Hallelujah holler back!