Our ‘Casablanca’ reboot

Earlier this week, I asked readers to cast a fictional remake of "Casablanca" to win tickets to tonight's screening. Oddly enough, a number of readers had similar ideas about who should play Rick, Victor, etc. in 2010.

Here are some of the entries for your board-at-work reading. Only a few won, but these are all pretty interesting. Jennifer Aniston? Katy Perry? Sean Penn? Hmmm.

1. This is a team effort from my boyfriend and I -- we'll actually be in Casablanca on New Years Day… Rick’s Café does exist (well, a version of it opened a few years ago) and I can’t think of a more romantic place to start another year together!

Rick Blaine: George Clooney

Ilsa Lund: Cate Blanchett

Victor Laszlo: Ralph Feinnes

Capt. Renault: Steve Buscemi

Maj. Stasser: Sergi Lopez (evil stepfather in Pan's Labyrinth) or Christian Bale

Signor Ferrari: John Cleese

Carl: Ricky Gervais

Ugarte: Mark Ruffalo

Sam: Morgan Freeman (His choice), Chris Rock (my choice)

Annina Brandel: Rachel Weiss

Yvonne: Katy Perry (I know, I know… but it’s about time for a film debut)

2. Hi Meredith,

I have never seen Casablanca and neither has my boyfriend. My best guess for modern day remake would be Dermot Mulroney (only because I love him) and Scarlet Johannson (because men love her).
I hope we win because we just spent all our money at the Nantucket Christmas stroll and this would be an awesome way to do another romantic pre holiday weekend. Also because although I'm am avid reader, I hope to never need your advice. After a failed marriage and broken heart I found (running the 2009 Chicago marathon) the man of my dreams.

Thanks,

Ran towards a new life and into my dreams

3. Rick: Ralph Fiennes

Ilsa: Kate Winslet

Lazlo: Daniel Day Lewis

Cpt. Renault Sean Penn

Strasser: Daniel Craig

Signor Ferrari: Anthony Hopkins

Ugarte: Philip Seymour Hoffma

Sam: Wynton Marsalis

Director: Clint Eastwood (only director who could get all above to act in this without being the star)

4. Casablanca is my all-time favorite film. Hands down. And yes, recasting is blasphemous, but also kind of fun.

* Rick - Robert Downey Jr. (The all-American tough guy, rough around the edges but a decent and brave man at heart. Does the right thing in the end. I went with Clooney at first, but felt he was a bit too obvious and too obviously Clooney on screen. RDJ can bring the star power without reminding the audience they're watching a celebrity.)

* Victor Laszlo - Daniel Craig (The sexy, stoic foreigner with something to hide, whose personality is a little too cold to have the same chemistry with Ilsa that Rick does.)

* Isla - Natalie Portman (The toughest decision to come to - but I think she can achieve that onscreen presence of being fragile yet determined that Ingrid mastered.)

* Captain Renault - Steve Martin (Random, yes - but think of Claude Rains and tell me you don't see it!)

Let's hope this remake never happens! :)

5.
Rick David Duchovny

Ilsa Kate Winslet

Victor Viggo Morgenson

Capt. Renault Donal Logue

6. One of my earliest memories is watching Casablanca & the Maltese Falcon with my dad! The love story line is stuff that a good letter to LL is made of... As soon as I read your challenge to cast today's re-make of it (blasphemy aside!) I was excited because I know exactly who I would want to see: Daniel Craig would be the ultimate Rick Blaine, hands down. Cate Blanchett as Ilsa would be a lovely complement to his Rick. I envision Andy Garcia as Victor Laszlo in that conversation between Rick & Victor discussing Ilsa coming for the papers. Jaime Fox would be a great addition as Sam. And who else can play Ugarte but Steve Buscemi?! I thought of Brad Pitt for Capt. Renault, hesitant but I think he can pull it off. Mads Mikkelsen would make a good Major Stasser. And Giancarlo Giannini could easily be Senor Ferrari.

Thanks for this opportunity - I had fun doing it!

7. Hi Meredith,

I have never seen Casablanca, but I have heard many times that I need to see this movie. I guess it is one of those classics that everybody has seen. Except me. So my best guesses of who should be recast, based on my limited knowledge of the film, are Jennifer Aniston as the leading lady and Matthew McConaughey. Jen because she is immensely likable but doesn't get her way. And Matthew because he is a strong man who will tell it like it is while still being sensitive to the woman.

Thank you!!

8. George Clooney as Rick Blaine - seriously, who else could pull it off but George!

Scarlett Johansson as Ilsa Lund - she can pull off that Hollywood glamour!

Jude Law as Viktor Laszlo

Bob Hoskins as Capt. Renault

Idris Elba as Sam - what can I say, I just love him!

John Goodman as Signor Ferrari

Stellan Skarsgard as Maj. Strasser

Steve Buscemi as Ugarte - personally I think this is brilliant casting on my part!