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ccmcacollister 110 ( +1 | -1 )
RJF: The Movie; & other GM's~What Actors ?! I just heard; "they" are talking about a Movie portrayal of the 1972 Spassky vs Fischer World Championship Match. The question has been asked: WHO should play the part of "Bobby Fischer".

So THAT is what I am asking... Who would you like to see play the part(s) of :

* Bobby Fischer
* Boris Spassky
* Lothar Schmidt
* Anyone else involved in that match
* The part of any other GM or person of Chess-related fame or notoriety that you would care to mention, just in case They might show up in a movie some day !? Of course you can use whatever criteria you wish in making your Cast Selection(s).

Myself, I am especially interesting in finding out what Actors vs GM's (et al) may have a strong physical resemblance. Or even somewhat so. \
But don't feel limited by that, if you think someone has the perfect temperment or
skills, or whatever. }8-)
ccmcacollister 150 ( +1 | -1 )
Right offhand ... as the closest physical resemblance I can come up with at this moment, I am thinking of Chevy Chase for the part of 1970's Bobby !?

I wonder: Should the movie be a Drama? Or might it Not come off better as a Comedy; perhaps on the order of "Airport" or Chevy's own "Vacation" film ?! EG The matter of chair swapping; what was in the arm of Bobby's !? Who was really shooting microwaves?! And with artistic license; why not throw in all the "Interesting" incidents from WC matches of history?
Computer in the bathroom; Moves transmitted by Yogurt Deliveries; Hypnotic Psychologist; FIDE President who 'Just this moment Decided' to stop the match ... due to health reasons--like the ones cited in the flyer passed out earlier that day

and . . . we must not forget, chanting meditationists, hilariously hidden cameras, men of The Potty Patrol and The Honorable Order of Bathroom Monitors Guild, and the opening variations tattooed to the Champion's left leg, plus his mother hiding in the audience in her blonde-wig.
Then just to make it Really Interesting; we don't forget to throw-in the CIA & KGB ala ColdWar, maybe some vibrating pocket phones/radios to signal players, and the Mystery Moment when the real Father is revealed.
The closest I'm getting for Boris Spassky right now, is Arnold Schwarzenegger ??!
There's an accent anyway. Or maybe George Clooney?
Seems like there should be a better match tho ... !?!


PS// Can you BELEIVE IT ...ARNOLD is actually in the SPELLCHECKER~! Now That's service [ Now if we could just get some GM's in there; like Roman Dsinz...Dzinszi....Dzzinnzzia .... Arrrrrrrrrrr~!

bogg 13 ( +1 | -1 )
Must be Tom Cruise would have to be my choice for RJF, although it might be difficult for him to portray someone as stable as Bobby was back in 1972.

lighttotheright 66 ( +1 | -1 )
1) Dustin Hoffman would be the best choice. His performance in 'Rain Man' is proof.

I don't think Tom Cruise has the right body type to play Bobby Fischer, although he certainly is talented enough. Dustin, on the other hand, just has that look.

2) Chevy would be better suited to play Boris instead. But I question how serious a role Chevy Chase can play. We are not talking about a comedy here, are we?

In that case, we could use somebody that has successfully crossed over from comedy to the serious role. My pick would be Robin Williams as Boris Spassky. He could really play off of the talent of Dustin. IMO.
ketchuplover 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Remember we're talking about a 29 year old Fischer.
chessnovice 57 ( +1 | -1 )
... I know this might seem like a really weird answer, but I think David Schwimmer could probably play a convincing Bobby Fischer if he were able to tone down his characteristic yelling humor. He has a similar facial structure, and has that inherent awkwardness that all top level chess players tend to have. If he were able to play a serious role, then it would probably work. And makeup could help the fact that he's 42 (plus the fact that Bobby did have a bit of a weathered face).
ionadowman 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Jim Carrey... We-e-e-ell, I reckon...
But, seriously, as an impressionist both of voice and manner, Jim C. could probably carry it off very well.
Much as I kinda like Big Arnie, he just ain't Boris Spassky material. You would probably better to find a Russian to play him anyhow. If you had to have an American playing Boris, a younger version of the guy who plays Gil Grissom (CSI) would be worth a look. He has the right kind of voice - quiet spoken - if not the accent!
apastpawn 28 ( +1 | -1 )
My choices As Bobby: Nicholas Cage as he has the right build and age. Would like to see him portrait an arrogant, egotistical sometimes neurotic role.

As Borris: Danny DeVito comes to mind but he's too short. Travolta has the pudgy face going now and I'm sure he could pull off a russian accent.
cairo 24 ( +1 | -1 )
My unqualified suggestion is:

Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt as Fischer!
Tom Hanks as Spassky!

There you go :-))

Best wishes
fmgaijin 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Maybe Unqualified, But I Like It! Good suggestions, Soren! Depp and Pitt both have the depth and can still play the age range, and Hanks' easy-going amiability would work for Boris, who was certainly one of the most laid-back World Champions ever (who else could have put up with Bobby not once but twice??).

How about Alan Rickman for my "initial twin" Lothar, who came around to check me out when I played in the Olympics (see AR's current photos at IMDb and compare).
easy19 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Depp as ficher sounds good.
But i think Jude Law has the looks and the skills to play bobby also. And find him a better choice.

For Boris i would think of someone like Nikita Mikhalkov or Oleg Yankovsky from Poland
magna68 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Viggo Mortensen In my view no one is better suited for the role of Bobby than Viggo Mortensen. Great actor and not to well known. Please no "superstars" in the lead roles, it's just not believable in "historical" films.
chessnovice 7 ( +1 | -1 )
No superstars I dunno, Russell Crowe did a good job with A Beautiful Mind, imo...
ionadowman 139 ( +1 | -1 )
Russell Crowe... ... might make an acceptable "Big Boris". I quite like the suggestion of Nicholas Cage as Arjay as well. You need someone who is physically somwhat angular. And Alan Rickman is always worth watching (we don't see enough of Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, in my view).

It might be interesting to look at some of the other characters as well. Wasn't William Lombardy Fischer's "second" at Rejkjavik? How about Ed Edmondson? On the Russian side, Eric Bogosian would make a fine Tigran Petrosian (probably helped by both being Armenian - at least, I suppose Bogosian is of Armenian extraction). This if the movie involves a build-up to the main event by showing something of the Candidates' elimination matches. John Malkovitch might make an acceptable Bent Larsen and maybe Vincent d'Onofrio as Mark Taimanov. This last actor might equally well be cast as Efim Geller, part of the Soviet entourage in Iceland. However, as Geller seems to have been a bit of a sportsman with a sense of humour, you might pick Tom Sizemore instead.

All this supposes most of the casting comes from mainly the US or actors well known in the US. Personally, I'd look for actors from the counties represented: Americans for Americans, Russians for Russians, etc...

I did wonder if maybe Adam Sandler might be suitable for the role as Fischer...
magna68 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Rarity Must share this video with you. Had not seen the young rising star before.
ccmcacollister 109 ( +1 | -1 )
I got a message from mlazar some time ago suggesting Nicholas Cage for Bobby and Joe Pesci for Boris... and I was like "HUH"?? But now looking at some vintage Bobby 1970's, yeah, I must go with him and ion and apastpawn on that. There is an angular similarity and Cage is a versitile actor to start with. Sometime now I must look to some Spassky pics ... I wonder if Pesci can do a Russian accent now, after seeing Cage be so right on!
Maybe yes, I was thinking of Jim Carry for a comedy. If he could "can" the flatulance bits for this one :)
Cairo, yes I am with you that Depp can play Anything. (Also, Dustin, as someone mentions). But I tell you what ... He simply MUST play S. Tarrasch!! They are like Twins! If you saw Depp in the movie where he plays a buyer of rare books...
ccmcacollister 89 ( +1 | -1 )
Tarrasch and Depp Check out the first two of young Dr Tarrasch for Depp-ness :)

PAGE 9 Pic First column, 2nd down But also page 18 First

column, third down

Sorry I could not find a Depp from that one movie. He is a rare
book buyer and a coven or someone wants one of the books to
get closer to the Devil. Spook show, ya know.
spurtus 4 ( +1 | -1 )
William Fichtner as Bobby Fischer
ccmcacollister 46 ( +1 | -1 )
The Ninth Gate the movie~!

Thanks heinzkat for the info on the Depp movie being The Ninth Gate. That is the really Taraschy looking Depp role~!
ionadowman 55 ( +1 | -1 )
I was sceptical... ... But the first image of S. Tarrasch does look quite a bit like Johnny Depp. But for the other images I was thinking more of Matt Frewer or maybe John Malkovitch. Looking at the 9th Gate images suggests that J. Depp and M. Frewer have similar physiognomies (though of course they don't actually look alike).
At that, there's a feeling that I ought to be thinking of someone else, but can't place him. Matt Damon...?? No, not sure....

My earlier suggestion of J. Carrey as RJF was meant to be serious. Carrey can do drama, I believe...
ccmcacollister 85 ( +1 | -1 )
Tonight ... I saw a movie with Adam_Sandler. I did not see the name of it, but he plays a mama's-boy who is lacking all wit, but manages to become the town's football hero.
Maybe you know that one, Ion? I was sitting there wondering about him as a Spassky
when it occurred to me ... his facial structure is the spitting image of Garry Kasparov !? ! Or so it seemed to me. Same dark hair too. Just needs a bit of curl and new doo ... & I think he'd have it. But, that is the adult Garry of course. BUT, who could be playing him as about~what~, a pre-schooler(?) during the 72 match?
[ I was 12 (and started tournaments that year :), but don't know Kasparov's age ]
ccmcacollister 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh...... What about Mark Lenard or Martin Landau to play Mikhail Tal~!? Who is better? I cannot decide there.
I don't recall clearly, but wasn't Tal made to stay home? It might make an interesting "cameo" appearance anyway ... showing him following the games from afar, back in the USSR.
ganstaman 46 ( +1 | -1 )
"I saw a movie with Adam_Sandler. I did not see the name of it, but he plays a mama's-boy who is lacking all wit, but manages to become the town's football hero. "

Waterboy (or maybe The Waterboy).

But I could never take Adam Sandler seriously enough (does he have any non-comedies where we would even attempt it?), so I would not like him for this. On the other hand, I didn't think it was possible to take Robin Williams seriously, but apparently he does pull that off well.
ketchuplover 18 ( +1 | -1 )
chessnovice 14 ( +1 | -1 )
ganstaman Check Punch Drunk Love. Sandler was relatively serious in that role. Pretty good movie, at the very least.
steverand67 59 ( +1 | -1 )
Matt Damon ionadowman may be on to something here, IMO Matt Damon would be a pretty good Fischer...he's played a complicated, sort of neurotic character in the Bourne movies.

Another question: How would Fischer be portrayed. It would be easy to make him a sort of hero, but I think a more accurate representation would make for a better movie.

Also, it seems to be an unwritten rule that all movies have to include a pretty female actress...Nicole Kidman maybe?
bitterbierce 379 ( +1 | -1 )
If he were 5 years younger I would actually elect Josh Lucas to play Fischer. He'd be perfect for the role, circa 2001 (remember his role as cocky Go-playing rival Martin Hansen in the math Grad department at Princeton, opposite John Nash, in "A Beautiful Mind"). However, barring this, I'd vote Ryan Gosling to play Robert James Fischer. He's come into his own as an actor with movies such as "Half-Nelson," playing a crack-addicted Jr. High School teacher, "Fracture," playing an amoral assistant DA as a foil for Anthony Hopkins, and recently, "Lars and the Real Girl," playing a pathologically shy, introverted man who anthromorphizes a sex doll (RealDoll) as a real person to have a "normal" girlfriend. Ironically, they have a very chaste pairing. These are all radically different roles...Ryan is closest in age rage to Fischer of any suggestions on this board and shares some of Bobby's physicality, confidence, swagger and presence.

I would elect Leland Orser to play Boris Spassky. Leland Orser is an American character actor whose been around the movie & TV business for some time now, usually typecast in hysteric/unhinged supporting roles. (Seven, Very Bad Things, Bone Collector, Alien: Ressurection). Lately he's had a semi-regular role on E.R. in a more muted performance which doesn't necessitate him hyperventilating on set, which I think is a lot more nuanced. Leland is rather chameleon-esque; depending on his hair/beard/glasses he can alter his look a great deal, and I think he bears a strong resemblance to Spassy's hawkish features. Also, personality-wise, with the correct accent couch, could really bring the level of melancholy to the role that the real-life Spassky had at the time. He's a little older than Spassky would have been in '72 (well, more than a bit), but very well-preserved for his age and I think he could do a sterling job.

My fallback choice for Boris Spassky would be Hank Azaria. Best known as a comedic actor for his voice work on "The Simpsons," he has some dramatic heft as well in movies like "Uprising," in which he plays one of the resistance heads that docudramatizes the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and the showtime series "Huff" where he plays a psychiatrist in the throes of an existential crisis after a client commits suicide in his office. He is arguably more a dead ringer for Boris, and Hank Azaria is naturally talented at accents.

David Paymer can play Sammy Reshevsky in a bit part. He'd be perfect.

Oliver Platt can play William Lombardy. Platt's inimitable screen presence and wit can also provide all the necessary dry comic relief to a film without it becoming too crass.

Cary Elwes (Princess Bride, Crush, Shadow of the Vampire, Uprising) can play Bent Larsen. Similar physicality and age for Larsen at the time.

Judd Hirsch can play Henry Kissinger in a bit part, calling Mr. Fischer to plead him to play on patriotic behalf of his country.

Eugene Levy can play Paul Benko in a bit part. It'll give his career a modicum of dignity which he'll probably happily leap at.

In a flashback scene to American Chess's golden 30s era, to better illustrate in a cinematic fashion the reclamation of "what was lost" in the heady glory days of U.S. chess, James Cromwell will play Frank Marshall.

As far as femme material; Kidman's the best you can do? Throw the brainy, sultry Leelee Sobieski in there, or the adorable Michelle Williams, or the smoldering Samantha Morton. If you need an A-lister, Kate Winslet's far superior.

In the next chess biopic, this one about Paul Morphy's meteoric rise, Michael Pitt should play Paul Morphy.