Casting Rumor: JB up for The Walking Dead? (Did we mention this is a RUMOR?) - Jamie Bamber News
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Casting Rumor: JB up for The Walking Dead? (Did we mention this is a RUMOR?)
This is only a rumor at this point - I did say that, right? :) But the Big Shiny Robot gang have faith in their sources. And they do point out that is their most reliable source which states that Jamie is in the running for the lead role in Frank Darabont's TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman's epic comic series The Walking Dead. (For anyone who hasn't been following this story, he's developing it at AMC with Gale-Anne Hurd.)

For those unfamiliar with The Walking Dead, here's the summary:

The Walking Dead is centered on Rick Grimes, a small-town police officer from Cynthiana, Kentucky, his family, and a number of other survivors who have banded together in order to survive after the world is overrun with zombies. As the series progresses, the characters become more developed, and their personalities shift under the stress of a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair — and sometimes each other — the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home.

Personally, I'm trying not to get too excited about this yet; I've been burned by too many casting rumors in the past. And it's something I'm likely to watch even if JB isn't cast in it. But it IS exciting - I'm a huge fan of the series and an even huger fan of Darabont, who IMO is a genius as well as a lovely, lovely man. (Met him at a screening a couple of years back and he chatted with me at length and signed my copy of his unproduced Indy 4 script. Hee.) This would be a huge score for JB as the show has enormous buzz behind it. Now, granted it won't be to everyone's taste - the comics are beyond dark, inventive but extremely bleak and I'm sure they'll retain at least some of that tone in the series, if not all of it. (It'll be harder to sustain that on the screen than it is on the page.)  Although... well, comments for the rest of the speculation. ;) GO!...

ETA: I'm hesitant to reference too many links in case they end up casting somebody else. :)  But this interview with Robert Kirkman should tell you everything you need to know about the potential of this pilot, esp. if you have preconceptions about the zombie genre.

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Comments
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 12th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Jamie on a dark, bleak series? I don't know if I can picture that. ;p
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Right? That'd NEVER happen. ;)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: February 12th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
OK, I just read the description you provided and it occurs to me he has a familiarity with the material. ::cough:: Pulse 2 ::cough::
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Heh... thought Pulse 2 comparisons might arise. Of course, being a purist I'd argue that Pulse 2 isn't a zombie movie at all (neither are 28 Days/Weeks Later, et. al) but they definitely share some storytelling conventions. I have a lot of faith in FD to adapt a script that... well, doesn't suck, for one thing. ;)
indigo419 From: indigo419 Date: February 12th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home.

I don't think Jamie has any experience with this kind of show. ;0P

But hey, if it gets him on my TV screen on a regular basis, I'm all for it! And your assessment of the series and the creator reassure me (far more than the synopsis, I must say :)).
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: February 12th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Heh. All I can think is: LOL Zombies.

:)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
As in the terminology, or as in you can't take the genre seriously?
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: February 12th, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I just find the idea of zombies funny for some reason. And they're so wildly popular now, such a resurgence.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
A lot of people find them funny, more often than not as a result of zombies being played for a cheap giggle somewhere down the line. (As opposed to smart giggles, in something like Shaun of the Dead where yeah, it's incredibly funny but it's not without its true horror moments. The scene where (spoiler): Shaun has to shoot his mother (end spoiler) is heartbreaking and played perfectly straight.) I tend not to try to talk people around, but I will make recommendations; I'm fan of the old shufflers from Uncle George's canon on down so I tend to great the genre as SRS BSNS by default unless I know there's a humorous intent. ;) It's a genre that's not kind to half-assery, too; it can totally be unintentionally funny if not executed well.

I will say this, though - if Darabont brings even half of the intensity to this source material that he did to The Mist (Which is one of the most relentlessly terrifying movies I've ever seen), it'll be amazing. Like The Mist, it's a story which is as much about the monsters as it is about how monstrous we can be to one another, and how important it is to try to rise above that.
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: February 12th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I have never seen a zombie movie! Unless you count Thriller. I think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has gone a long way towards me finding OMG ZOMBIES to be kinda funny just because it's just the current reach-for in publishing (my field). We joke a lot about adding zombies to all kinds of things to make them sell. (And certainly PPZ has paved the way for a huge line of crazy paranormal/lit classic crossovers. Hello Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter!)

I saw The Mist on a burst of Sam Witwer love! I didn't find it quite so terrifying as you did, but the ending was definitely horrific and bleak. I understand it's quite different from the book. I enjoy Darabont. The Green Mile is fantastic, as is Shankshaw of course.

zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I have never seen a zombie movie! Unless you count Thriller.

Well, if you're ever up to try one I'd say start with Romero because he more or less invented the genre. Night of the Living Dead holds up incredibly well given that it's over forty years old, and Dawn of the Dead is about as good as it gets. (Thing with Romero is he's never shied away from gallows humor in his stuff, but he always blends it seamlessly.) If you want to dive in with both feet, try Lucio Fulci's movies. Just make sure you have a strong stomach!

As Simon Pegg once said, no offence to the King of Pop, Thriller's great but making zombies do body-popping didn't do their scare cred any favors for a long while. ;)

PPZ has paved the way for a huge line of crazy paranormal/lit classic crossovers. Hello Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter!

PPZ is great because it is funny, and yet the zombie-bashin' sequences are so well constructed that it plays like proper horror. I've been a little concerned that the trend is getting out of hand, but I'm such a history nerd that the Abe Lincoln one has totally piqued my interest. (On the other hand, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters just sounded like pants so I wasn't surprised to see it get trashed!)

That's so funny you mentioned Sam Witwer. Earlier my nerdy cogs started turning and I realized he'd be an excellent choice for another key role in this. XD
cynicalshadows From: cynicalshadows Date: February 12th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Oh I hope he gets it! This sounds really interesting.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 12th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link Me)

Re Walking Dead

Would seem that the show is a go. Not sure about the casting. Should start filming in May. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Grimes
mzcalypso From: mzcalypso Date: February 12th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well, it can't sink below Devil's Tattoo,, and he's got kids to raise. But I'd rather see him in something where the SFX don't have a bigger budget than the script. I loathe comic-to-film adaptations.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 12th, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'd rather see him in something where the SFX don't have a bigger budget than the script.

Agree with you 100% on this, which is precisely why I find this rumor so exciting. FD isn't the kind of director (or in this case, I guess he'd be the exec producer/showrunner) who generally goes for insane FX without something deeper at its core. He's all about the script. And not generally the kind of guy you work with because you need a paycheck for the kids' college fund. ;)
sarmoti From: sarmoti Date: February 13th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) (Link Me)
If it happens, I wonder if Jamie would need to use a Kentucky accent for this? Not sure how I feel about that.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 13th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Possible. I have a friend from Kentucky and he doesn't have a much of an accent at all, so they might allow whoever plays the lead to go easy on it.
mzcalypso From: mzcalypso Date: February 13th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
He's an Honors grad from Cambridge in languages. I think he could manage.
esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: February 13th, 2010 10:59 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm curious if this is 'people who have been in, read, and have done well' or if this is 'people the casting director would like to see'.

I was sure I'd read somewhere that the Law and Order contracts were for three years as I remember thinking at the time that I'd always assumed UK contracts were a year, two years, tops as our TV shows have a high turnover of cast. I could be wrong though, or the person that wrote up the interview could have had it wrong. Either way, this looks more interesting, I have to confess to being disappoined in Law and Order: UK, only ITV could mess up what should have been a fool proof concept.

Edited at 2010-02-13 11:00 am (UTC)
From: leeloo86 Date: February 13th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah I agree, could mean anything, it's probably too early to say.

He did say that he would be without contract after finishing shooting in summer in his last interview. Though if they start shooting this in May it wouldn't leave him a lot of time...

Surprisingly I've quite enjoyed a lot of the L&O eps, but I'm always significantly less interested in scenes he's not in.
esmerelda_t From: esmerelda_t Date: February 13th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm always significantly less interested in scenes he's not in.

Snap. :) I quite enjoy the police part because Jamie and Bradley Walsh have made a great double act, but I find the law bits unwatchable.

I found what he said re the future in his last interview so vague it could go either way, but that's pretty normal for actors, it's meant to be bad luck to talk too much about future plans that aren't set in stone isn't it?
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: February 13th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Though if they start shooting this in May it wouldn't leave him a lot of time...

It's cutting it very close. Granted, we don't know how solid that start date is either, they could delay it. And esmerelda_t makes a good point, the article is unclear whether these are actors they are actually auditioning or the wishlist. The Ricklist. ;)
From: leeloo86 Date: February 13th, 2010 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm not usually a fan of the comic book adaptations, but dark dystopian futures are always okay in my book. Plus Darabont's involvement is confidence inspiring.

I think it's probably too early to get excited though, casting is a long process. also I didn't think he wanted to do another scifi-project...
From: bamberfan Date: February 13th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm opened minded to anything that would cast Jamie.

I just want to see him in something soon. Thanks for the info.

Your enthusiasm for the project makes me excited about it.
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