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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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Readers Talkback
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  • July 24, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    FIRRRRSSSTT!!!!!

    by Leafy McPlantsalot

    1st

  • July 24, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    The casting of hunt was not the problem here...

    by badboymason

    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

    Why bother?!

    by kalel1982

    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

    Would have preferred Meaney

    by supertoyslast

    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

    They will never touch the genius of the Original

    by phatmuther

    Its true, Philip Glenister made Gene Hunt and not even Keitel can come close. Gene Genie!

  • July 24, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    "Run the concept into the ground"

    by supertoyslast

    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

    Even life on Mars ending

    by emeraldboy

    was great.... I never watched ashes to ashes..

  • July 24, 2008, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Fucking hell!!

    by V'Shael

    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

    badboymason is correct

    by jbs0209

    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 & Kojak

    by jbs0209

    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

    You cant match the original...stop the madness!

    by ls420

    i still say it wont make it 6 episodes before getting the axe...

  • July 24, 2008, 5:50 p.m. CST

    jbs0209

    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, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Another step in the right direction...

    by Paul T. Ryan

    But it'll still have to work hard to convince me.

  • July 24, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Colm Meaney is too good for this shit.

    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

    supertoyslast

    by kalel1982

    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

    bollocks

    by Mr_X

    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

    DON'T MOVE!

    by RaveX

    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

    Meany\ey...

    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

    Philip Glenister isn't available?

    by snowpuff

    Still?

  • July 24, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    re: How fucking old is Harvey Keitel?

    by snowpuff

    According to IMDB he is 168.

  • July 24, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    what's the big deal?

    by punto

    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

    The original isn't that great

    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

    Jonas Grumpy

    by jbs0209

    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

    Crap in, crap out.

    by Baked

    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

    Endearing.. Correct

    by Mr_X

    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

    Tyron Leitso for Sam Tyler !

    by Mr_X

    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

    Please Replace The Lead Actor.

    by The Outlander

    And bringing in Harvey Keitel is a good start.

  • July 24, 2008, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Colm Meaney is cooler than a Voltron of Harvey Keitels

    by smackfu

  • July 24, 2008, 9:31 p.m. CST

    M-O-O-N. That spells Colm Meaney rocks.

    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".

  • so it's all bad anyways

  • July 24, 2008, 9:47 p.m. CST

    US Version

    by Blackguard

    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

    We needed an AMERICAN Gene Hunt...

    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

    Oh, it's been moved to NYC, too...

    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

    This will be great!

    by KazamaSmokers

    I've been a big fan of Harvey Korman for a long time!

  • July 24, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Colm Meaney is a bad-ass.

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    Need to see him in more stuff.

  • July 25, 2008, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Its Sam Tyler that needs recasting

    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

    Keitel - great actor BUT

    by elab49

    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

    jbs0209

    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

    Um

    by EvilSheila

    How about no? I like Keitel, but, I LOVE Glenister.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:16 a.m. CST

    At this point

    by tomdolan04

    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

    As long as he's drunk, nude, and making Chewbacca noises

    by Stuntcock Mike

    I'm there

  • July 25, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I thoroughly enjoyed Ashes to Ashes

    by tonagan

    It's nice and dark. Even creepier than Life on Mars.

  • July 25, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    The US re-made versions of Great british dramas..

    by emeraldboy

    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

    Barbra Streisand

    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

    Colm Meaney

    by Meglos

    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

    The Alienist

    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

    The Alienist & Jonas Grumpy

    by EvilSheila

    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

    To see an irish man on big show...

    by emeraldboy

    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.