The bums lost… Magneto?
Of all the high-profile actors one might imagine stepping into the flip-flops and bathrobe of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, Michael Fassbender is probably near the bottom of the expectation list.
There’s something about him that’s … Precise. Controlled. Alert. In other words, the opposite of the walking laundry hamper that is poor Jeff Lebowski in the Coen brothers’ 1999 comedy-noir classic.
Yet, when filmmaker Jason Reitman went in search of a lead for his Live-Read of The Big Lebowski at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Comedy festival, the 12 Years a Slave Oscar-nominee eagerly said yes. Even Reitman was caught off guard.
“I heard from Simon Kinberg, who’s in Montreal now producing X-Men: Apocalypse, that not only is Fassbender an enormous fan of The Big Lebowski, but he apparently quotes it daily,” Reitman tells EW. Joining the cast at the July 24 event will be Patton Oswalt, a veteran of Reitman’s L.A. Live-Reads, in the role of Walter Sobchak, originated by John Goodman.
This is the second time the Up in the Air and Juno director has produced a live performance of the script, having done it in Los Angeles in 2012 with Seth Rogen as The Dude and Rainn Wilson as Walter.
“Unlike other Live-Reads where I have a decent sense of how, for instance, Seth Rogen going to play The Dude, I have no idea how Fassbender will do it,” Reitman says. “But he’s one of the our greatest performers, he’s on the current Mount Rushmore of actors, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.”
The performance is especially meaningful to Reitman, the son of Ghostbusters and Twins director Ivan Reitman, because Montreal is where he was born. “This is a homecoming for me,” he said. “I’ve never done one of these reads in Quebec.”