The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Are you kidding? Is Adrien Brody our next action hero?

October 7, 2009 | 12:17 pm

Brody In a move that feels almost as weird as casting Jack Black in "The Manny Ramirez Story," Variety is reporting that Adrien Brody will play a heroic mercenary who battles alien hunters in "Predators," 20th Century Fox's new reboot of the "Predator" franchise. Yeah, that's right. The same Adrien Brody who won an Oscar as a frail musician in "The Pianist," the same boho hustler who was in Wes Anderson's "Darjeeling Limited" and Rian Johnson's "The Brothers Bloom," the same guy who played the village idiot in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" and an oddball screenwriter in "King Kong" is now set to play much the same character that Arnold Schwarzenegger played in the 1987 "Predator" original. [Note: An earlier version of this post misspelled Shyamalan as Shamaylan.]

Does this sound like a miscasting of epic proportions or what? This is no knock on Brody, who is shaping up to be the Jeff Goldblum of his generation, a quirky guy who's good in oddball parts. But can you imagine him fighting aliens, much less shooting the gun and kissing the girl? (I'm not sure Halle Berry's career has recovered from her smooch from Brody, either.)

If I were the head guys at Fox, I wouldn't just be wondering about whether Brody is a good fit for the part or not, but whether anyone would pay to see him in the leading role in a commercial film. His track record as a movie star is awfully thin, since most of the movies that relied on him for star power -- including such recent films as "Cadillac Records" and "The Jacket" -- barely made a dent at the box office, not to mention "Manolete," a film shot in early 2006 that stars Brody as the famed bullfighter that still hasn't been released in the U.S.

Am I being too tough on Brody? Or does he have some hidden virility that I'm missing here? What do you think?

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