Recently on an episode of MovieFights! by Screenjunkies on youtube, their guests were posed a very interesting hypothetical question. “Which Pixar movie should be made into a live action film?” One of the answers submitted was “Up”, the adventure bound tale of Carl Fredricksen, a disgruntled old man living alone in his home, and Russell, a young plucky boy scout full of optimism. Immediately I thought of several creative talents that I believe would make an incredibly entertaining adaption of the film while still maintaining a faithful rendition of the source material. Many of you know this film already, but mainly it’s about those two getting wrapped up in a whimsical international adventure in Fredricksen’s house as its hoisted by balloons through the sky. It’s one of Pixar’s greats and if it were adapted for live action you’d need to bring real talent to the table to successfully transfer the quality of this animated story to celluloid status.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg has the right kind of optimism in his directing style that would mesh well with his knack for adventures that can be viewed by anyone without pandering to children or adults. Obviously the man could adapt almost anything and have it be some sort of success but I believe his most filmic qualities play into making this adventure memorable and full of heart.
Writers: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Both “Star Trek Beyond” and the cornetto trilogy by Edgar Wright (‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, and ‘The World’s End’) prove that these two can imbue blockbuster flair with the intimacy of true character moments sparsed throughout their screenplays. I’m betting these two would make for quick witted quips and whimsical wordplay that fills you with wonder. They’re the right men for the job!
Carl Fredricksen: Mark Rylance
While Ed Asner’s voiceover work in the animated version was decidedly impeccable I doubt he would be as capable today at the age of 86 to pull off the performance, no harm meant however, the man is a legend. Mark Rylance, while a spry 56 years old, still has the look for an older gentleman and he hasn’t (since his scene stealing role in “Bridge of Spies”) had the opportunity to perform the curmudgeony role of Carl Fredricksen’s type, most of his performances paint him as likeable, he could have some fun with this one.
Russell: Julian Dennison
After his scene stealing turn as Ricky Baker in “Hunt for The Wilderpeople” Julian Dennison has proven his acting ability and outstanding charisma. Alongside Mark Rylance this could be another proving ground with a somewhat similar pairing as his previous outing, yes, but what a tantalizingly entertaining performance it would be.
Charles Muntz: Brad Pitt
Having the caliber of acting that Brad Pitt brings to the table could be the perfect dash of celebrity in this scenario. Muntz is a rich billionaire obsessed with finding the rare bird (Kevin) that follows our heroes around diligently. With the character being based on Howard Hughes and other classic americana adventurers Pitt could find merit and fun within this performance.
Voice of Dug the retriever: Paul F. Tompkins
Anyone that’s seen Netflix’s animated show “Bojack Horseman” can tell you that Paul F. Tompkins definitely has the voice of a golden retriever, because he plays one quite well in the form of Mister PeanutButter. I can’t think of a better voice work actor that could measure up for this sort of role than Mister Tompkins.
Kevin (the Bird) Noises: Bill Hader
This one is more of a fun suggestion really. If Kevin the bird came down to being voiced by a human instead of a sound design team producing the animal’s gutteral noises who better than Bill Hader to come in and record all kinds of ridiculous sounds for Kevin? He’s had multiple voiceover performances in the past and has proven to be another quality tool in any director’s bag of tricks when utilized, let the man crow and caw.
Those are my thoughts and musings on how I would organize a live adaption of the Pixar animated movie “Up”. Agree with my choices? Either way coment below or leave your own thoughts on the topic! As always, thanks for reading!