The news came out over the summer that some Hollywood folk would be remaking the legendary "Slap Shot", king of all hockey movies and one of the best sports movies of all-time. When I read about this I immediately wondered, "How dire are the financial straits of the Hanson Brothers?"
There's no word on who might be part of the new cast or how much the remake will stray from the original script. We've seen more bad remakes ("Fun with Dick and Jane", directed by "Slap Shot" remake auteur Dean Parisot, no less) then good ones ("Ocean's Eleven") in recent years. Hockey fans have suffered through two reprehensible sequels (if anyone even dared to watch) that featured Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey in "Breaking the Ice" and Leslie Nielson (not dead yet!) in "The Junior League".
Clearly, writer Peter Steinfeld and director Dean Parisot's version of "Slap Shot" will be highly scrutinized and, more than likely, given a thumbs-down by the hockey world just because it should be sacrilege to update the classic.
In case you need a refresher, here are the main characters we're casting:
Reg Dunlop- Played by the late Paul Newman in the original, he is the veteran player/coach of the minor league Charlestown Chiefs.
Joe McGrath- Played by the late Strother Martin, he was the stingy general manager of the Chiefs.
Ned Braden- Played by the still-breathing Michael Ontkean in the original, he was the flashy offensive player who refused to fight before eventually performing a strip-tease during a game.
Hanson Brothers- Cult icons from the original film who personified minor league goonery.
Denis Lemieux- Played by Yvon Barrette, he was the quirky goalie who showed the world "the finer parts of hockey."
Ogie Oglethorpe- Played by Ned Dowd, the brother of "Slap Shot" screenwriter Nancy Dowd, Ogie remains the go-to reference for the most feared thug in any hockey league.
Francine Dunlop- Played by Jennifer Warren, she was Reggie's estranged wife who eventually corrupted Braden's lady by bringing her to the sexy side.
With that, the fantasy casts and directors begin!
Tim Burton's "Gloomy Gothic Slap Shot 3-D"
Reg Dunlop- Johnny Depp
Joe McGrath- The Ghost of Vincent Price
Ned Braden- Johnny Depp
Hanson Brothers - Two Claymation skeletons and an oompaloompa
Denis Lemieux- Helena Bonham Carter
Ogie Oglethorpe- George "The Animal" Steele
Francine Dunlop- Johnny Depp as Wynona Ryder
You could go two ways on this one: either a live-action Sweeney Todd-esque version or go the "Nightmare Before Christmas" stop-motion route. Either way, Johnny Depp will be prominent and, instead of roughing you up, George "The Animal" Steele as Ogie Oglethorpe will now rip out your insides and eat them like a turnbuckle.
Tyler Perry's "Slap Shot: Madea's Big Shift"
Reg Dunlop- Blair Underwood
Joe McGrath- John Witherspoon
Ned Braden- Chris Tucker
Hanson Brothers- Shawn, Marlon, and Damon Wayans
Denis Lemieux- Tommy Davidson
Ogie Oglethorpe- Tiny Lister (Zeus)
Francine Dunlop- Tyler Perry
Casting Perry as Dunlop's wife is a no-brainer since every time I see him he's dressed as a woman. John Witherspoon is an underrated comedic character actor. The Wayans brothers could possibly give us a "White Chicks" line. Ogie Oglethorpe was one scary dude, and if you remember Tiny Lister back in his WWF days and in "No Holds Barred," he was quite intimidating -- until Hulk Hogan gave him the triple leg drop at Summerslam '89.
"Quentin Tarantino's Slap Shot Vol. 2"
Reg Dunlop- Bruce Willis
Joe McGrath- Samuel L. Jackson
Ned Braden- Tim Roth
Hanson Brothers- Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox
Denis Lemieux- Steve Buscemi
Ogie Oglethorpe- Michael Madsen
Francine Dunlop- Uma Thurman
Not so much a remake as a "homage" to a hockey film made in Hong Kong some years ago, the film's climax includes Ned Braden doing a strip tease to a Nancy Sinatra song while Denis Lemieux paints Francine's toes. With John Travolta in drag as the team's owner.
Woody Allen's "Slap Shot: Crimes and Two-Minute Minors"
Reg Dunlop- Alan Alda
Joe McGrath- Chazz Palmintieri
Ned Braden- Woody Allen
Hanson Brothers- A Greek chorus of a New York deli counter worker, a nebbish accountant and musician Paul Simon.
Denis Lemieux- Albert Brooks
Ogie Oglethorpe- Colin Farrell
Francine Dunlop- Scarlett Johansson
While having the foxy Johansson on board as Reg's wife is my personal casting choice to appease the eyes, the thought of seeing Alan Alda in hockey gear combined with Woody Allen's striptease on the ice is enough to enlarge the knot in your stomach. The film is highlighted by a 25-minute monologue about Ned Braden's Jewish parents.
Albert Brooks (fun fact: born Albert Einstein) will forever be known as Hank Scorpio.
The Coen Brothers' "Slap Shot: No League for Old Men and/or Chris Chelios"
Reg Dunlop- George Clooney
Joe McGrath- Tommy Lee Jones
Ned Braden- Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hanson Brothers- The Nihilists from "Lebowski"
Denis Lemieux- Tony Shaloub
Ogie Oglethorpe- Javier Bardem
Francine Dunlop- Frances McDormand
Substitute Oglethorpe's hockey stick with a cattle gun and you've got a movie bloodier than any Clint Malarchuk or Richard Zednik mishap combined. Worth it for the extended musical dream sequence in which Reggie Dunlop imagines himself as a puck going through the 5-holes of a series of chorus girls dressed as goalies.
Since we're discussing casting "Slap Shot," what actors/actresses would you like to see play the various roles that we've grown to love?