Prestige project of the week is the Martin Scorsese-Mike Nichols-David Mamet update of Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low. Mamet’s screenplay will be produced by Scorsese and directed by Nichols, Variety reports. The 1963 original starred Kurosawa’s usual leading man, Toshiro Mifune (pictured), as a businessman who mortgages all he owns to make the deal of a lifetime, only to be asked to sacrifice it all as ransom when he is told his son has been kidnapped. Turns out the kidnappers snatched the wrong kid; it’s actually his chauffeur’s son, so Mifune’s character must decide whether to give up everything to save the other man’s child.
Scorsese has been trying to make this project for almost a decade, which raises the question of casting. If Scorsese had directed this film 10 years ago, he might have cast Robert De Niro or Harvey Keitel in the lead. If Mamet had directed it himself back then, he might have cast Anthony Hopkins or Alec Baldwin. A decade ago, Nichols might have used Harrison Ford or Jack Nicholson. By now, however, most of these actors have probably aged out of the part, so who does that leave? Russell Crowe? George Clooney? Denzel Washington? C’mon PopWatchers, help these A-list filmmakers find an A-list leading man.