Learn Which Big-Deal Oscar-Nominated Movie Actor Replaces Colm Meaney on LIFE ON MARS!! Hint: Not James Caan!!
I am – Hercules!!
Harvey Keitel, who began his acting career as a German soldier on “Hogan’s Heroes” but may not have played a non-“SNL” TV role since 1974’s “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” has joined the cast of ABC’s “Life On Mars” as homicide boss Gene Hunt.
For those unaware, “Mars” is a remake of the 2006 Brit series about a 21st century detective who finds himself fighting crime in the 1970s. The American version is being overseen by the guys behind ABC’s purely awful “October Road.”
Read all of Mike Ausiello’s story for Entertainment Weekly here.
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July 24, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST
by Leafy McPlantsalot
July 24, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST
Even Kietel cannot save this mess - its worse casting than Colm Meaney if anything, unless they are taking it in a more serious direction Kietel doesnt have the charm or pomposity that the character needs - instead of Hunt needs to come across as full of self belief, effective at what he does, but deeply flawed and making many mistakes along the way. This is not kietel
July 24, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST
A recasting already?! Isn't this supposed to air this fall?! The original is perfect and will not translate well to American network television. Why? Because it had artistic integrity that's why. "Life On Mars" had two eight episode seasons that told a complete story. ABC will never adopt that narrative style and will run the concept into the ground. Thankfully, I doubt it will last long enough for this to happen. And one more thing: as awesome as Harvey Keitel is, there's only one Gene Hunt!!
July 24, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST
I'm sure that Keitel will be great, but I was only interested in this because of Meaney. Getting rid of Meaney and keeping the guy who plays Tyler? That's just plain stupid.
July 24, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST
Its true, Philip Glenister made Gene Hunt and not even Keitel can come close. Gene Genie!
July 24, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST
The makers of the original Life On Mars have said that they wanted LOM to be an ongoing series, but had to end it because John Simm wouldn't do a third series. In order to get their ongoing series, they came up with Ashes To Ashes. This will not be a two-series show and, I confidently predict, will be run into the ground long after every shred of originality has been wrung dry from it. John Simm had some artistic integrity - not the producers of the original Life On Mars (otherwise they would never have come up with a needless spin-off).
July 24, 2008, 5:36 p.m. CST
was great.... I never watched ashes to ashes..
July 24, 2008, 5:39 p.m. CST
The Bad Lieutenant himself as Gene Hunt? That's some ballsy casting. <p> Will people be able to take to him as Gene Hunt, or is Harvey just so big that every time you see him on the small screen, you'd say "There's Harvey Keitel!"
July 24, 2008, 5:41 p.m. CST
Colm could have done a great Gene Hunt ... IF ... they had let him fully run with the part. Instead, the pilot felt like he was held back. In fact, in the pilot Colm was the best cast of all the parts.<p> The problem is trying to make a non-PC show with PC constraints. The other problem is that police in the US are not so PC-bound as they are in the UK. See The Wire. <p> They need to not re-shoot the UK LoM script, but translate it to include the fun from the US 70's cop shows. Or, and this would flip the relationship, send a Wire-style cop back to a 40's50's style Adam 12 or LA Confidential.
July 24, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST
Keitel was a bad guy in the 1st episode of Kojak<p> Which shows some of the problem they have making LoM in the US. Any cop from the Wire would fit in reasonably well in Kojak's squad room. Whereas, none of the modern UK cops would have fit in well ni the Sweeney. There was your dynamic tension. You're missing that in the US version.<p> P.S.: Ashes to Ashes was rubbish.
July 24, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST
i still say it wont make it 6 episodes before getting the axe...
July 24, 2008, 5:50 p.m. CST
by Jonas Grumpy
Better yet, have a contemporary policeman travel back almost 100 years to the teens. Then, he would engage in high-speed chases with a squadron of near-incompetent, nightstick-flailing cops, dodging trains while crossing the tracks, careening down roads while narrowly avoiding pedestrians and other cars, and every episode would have to end in a pie fight. <BR><BR>That's gold right there.
July 24, 2008, 5:51 p.m. CST
July 24, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST
by Paul T. Ryan
But it'll still have to work hard to convince me.
July 24, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST
by Uncle Stan
I'd love to see Meaney and Goldblum do an over-the-top, out-of-bounds cop show. Screw this remake abortion.
July 24, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST
Interesting....your comment totally raises my already high respect for John Simm to a whole other level. In all seriousness, this new series is going to be complete dogshit and a bastardization of the original.
July 24, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST
Colm Meaney was actually good as gene hunt, or could have been, it just felt like his hands were tied behind his back as they've watered down gene hunt. bringing in mr wolf is not going to help. a more dynamic lead would have been casting. again.. maybe he was so wooden because of the script. i have my doubts . Tyron Leitso from Wonderfalls, or Josh Hopkins from that global frequency pilot would have been a better shot. josh plays the cop well. Tyron could play Sam with a wider range of fricking emotion.
July 24, 2008, 6:41 p.m. CST
You're surrounded by armed bastards! <p> btw., I also think that Meaney would've been a better choice.
July 24, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST
by mr. flibble
...was the only reason I was going to give this a chance. Fuck it now. Hunts character is a brash physical brutish creation reminiscent of the 70s era, Keitel is more of a psychological force, intimidating yes but not in the right way. The teaser trailer I saw looked garish and phony, i'd hoped Meaney would give it some grit...no chance of that now...
July 24, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST
July 24, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST
According to IMDB he is 168.
July 24, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST
sure, season one of the original series was great, but season 2 got too preachy, and the ending was horrible, so why get so bothered about the ruining a show that was already ruined by its original creators? <p> I do hate the idea of them having guns, the fact that they would pack only on special occasions was pretty cool.
July 24, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST
by The Funketeer
I'm halfway through season 2 right now and I've got to say, while it's a great and original idea, the execution isn't all that good. Gene Hunt is awesome to be sure, but everyone else is kind of a bore and the plots are no better than what we get here on CSI or NYPD Blue. The action is pretty weak and they really need a bigger budget for extras or am I to believe that at any given moment in 1970s England, there will only be 2 people walking down the street? It's a nice diversion but it's hardly brilliant.
July 24, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST
The best part of that would be that no one but our time traveler could talk.<p> They would mouth words and suddenly a black screen with white text would appear.
July 24, 2008, 7:20 p.m. CST
Colm Meaney was actually perfect casting. YOUR STAR IS THE PROBLEM! He's not funny or endearing.
July 24, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST
Baked, that was the word i was looking for. endearing. simms was, this remake lead looks like a tough sob, but not endearing. Tyron Leitso = Endearing.
July 24, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST
http://tinyurl.com/5mvmce - someone give this man a job. I'm not even his fucking agent. RIP Wonderfalls Damm you FOX!
July 24, 2008, 9:05 p.m. CST
by The Outlander
And bringing in Harvey Keitel is a good start.
July 24, 2008, 9:06 p.m. CST
July 24, 2008, 9:31 p.m. CST
by Tom Cullen
And would have been a perfect Gene Hunt for the US version, besides, just how long do you think Keitel is going to stick around? The man is hard enough to keep on set during a movie, without alienating most everyone else there, or getting fired, do you really think this man is going to last on series television? He's going to make the bumpy times on James Woods Shark set seem like happy happy fun time nirvana by comparison. On the flip side, this'll probably be cancelled inside of half a dozen episodes anyway, so...<p>M-O-O-N. That spells "sport".
July 24, 2008, 9:33 p.m. CST
so it's all bad anyways
July 24, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST
I just watched the "Pre-Air" version of the US version. It was unwatchable. I don't see how the series will last. Colm Meaney as the Gene Genie did an OK job but not quite up to par with his UK counterpart. I'm still trying to figure out who Lenny Clark was playing. Raymondo? Chris? Some new random douche? I guess I'm just spoiled. I watched the entire run of "Ashes to Ashes" (The UK sequel show) and you just can't beat that team. I hope there's a 3rd UK series set in the early nineties. They can call it "Smells like teen spirit". I wonder who would have the mullet??? Probably Chris.....
July 24, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
What's the point of having a US version if you fill it with UK actors? The show has to be Americanized if it hopes to have a sliver of a chance of succeeding in the US. Now if they could just replace "Life on Mars" with a song title that actually means something to Americans...
July 24, 2008, 9:58 p.m. CST
by Bill Clay
I guess they had a hard time finding parts of LA that still looked like the '70's. They won't have that problem in NY. My old neighborhood in the Bronx still looks like the 60's.
July 24, 2008, 10:11 p.m. CST
I've been a big fan of Harvey Korman for a long time!
July 24, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST
Need to see him in more stuff.
July 25, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST
by Mr Cairo
the guy playing him in the American version was as wooden as hell , Colm could be great if he was let loose a little and as mad as it sounds i think Travolta would make a good American Gene Hunt. Better yet don't friggin do it don't remake it
July 25, 2008, 1:31 a.m. CST
Far too old, doesn't evidence comic ability. I'm assuming this has now gone so far beyond Life on Mars they'll ditch the title?
July 25, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST
by Jonas Grumpy
While the main character could hear only himself speak, the only other sound he would hear at all is constant, frantic pipe organ music. <BR><BR>Also, when he meets the cop played by Fatty Arbuckle, he'll say, "Listen, about that party you're thinking of attending..."
July 25, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST
How about no? I like Keitel, but, I LOVE Glenister.
July 25, 2008, 5:16 a.m. CST
it's so far removed from the original premise, it wouldn't suprise me if those crazy coked up producers put in a twist whereby the characters actually fight crime in the 1970's ON MARS. <p> "We'll you can't not say it's Life on Mars and be on Earth, THAT WOULD BE TEH STUPIDS"
July 25, 2008, 9:10 a.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
July 25, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST
It's nice and dark. Even creepier than Life on Mars.
July 25, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST
never work. Cracker is great example. The UK version is legendary and remains Robbie Coltraines finest career performance to date. Whoever played him was always going to come up short. plus it had one of the best writers working in the UK today. Jimmy McGovern. The street is, if you havent seen it is unmissable. Speaking of tv. There is bad news for those who were looking forward to seeing Freema in Torchwood. BBC have denied that there is a rift with freema. It looked at the end of journeys end that she was of to join capt jack as member of Torchwood. as of today it aint gonna happen. Though freema is doing the survivors remake, She has signed up for a new ITV 1 drama called law and order. BBC have denied that thier are any rifts but it most cant look good that she joined itv after seeming going to torchwood. Ouch!
July 25, 2008, 10:51 a.m. CST
by The Alienist
Well, they could replace the David Bowie version of the title tune with Streisand's. And yes, Streisand did a recording of "Life on Mars"...I'm a little embarrassed to say it was the first version of the song I ever heard. Gawd I'm gay.
July 25, 2008, 1:29 p.m. CST
was the only reason I was going to give this show a chance. Oh well, I'll always have the R2 DVDs of Life on Mars.
July 25, 2008, 7:10 p.m. CST
by Jonas Grumpy
I heard Streisand's version long before I even KNEW it was a Bowie song. I can thank my mother for that, playing that album near-incessantly when I was a wee child. <BR><BR>She also played Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow over and over and over. And yet, we're not Jewish. And I'm not gay. So much for nurture over nature, I guess.
July 26, 2008, 1:04 a.m. CST
I'm with you on using Streisand's version of the song. It would be the final nail in the coffin of this aberration.
July 26, 2008, 3:59 a.m. CST
like this or star trek the next generation, without losing the accent is really cool. There was only one film that he was in that I didnt like and that was how harry became a tree. its stars Meaney and Cillian Murphy.
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