Giving the Town Crier the movie treatment

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER NOT AS HANDSOME AS ME: Reporter Shawn Star gets up close with actor Sam Heughan, who Brian Baker would cast to play him should a movie be made about the Town Crier.

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER
NOT AS HANDSOME AS ME: Reporter Shawn Star gets up close with actor Sam Heughan, who Brian Baker would cast to play him should a movie be made about the Town Crier.

How I would cast the roles of staff for the silver screen

Tell me something, midtown. Have you ever thought of the drama of your life as a major motion picture?

Not to worry if your life happens to be blasé. The movie would be an adaptation of Canadian literature, and probably be regaled as epic by the artistic community. Akin to American Beauty, if you will.

Otherwise, if your path has hit every bump in the road and still sputters along because you’re behind the wheel of a large automobile, then you may have something more interesting. You may just have a media industry life.

As you know, so many publications have gone out of print and many journalists have lost their jobs.

However, the Town Crier is the feel-good story in all this. The paper was plucked out of the graveyard by its fearless leader, Eric McMillan, and continues to roll a year and a half later. (The Globe and Mail wrote about our resurrection in 2013.)

That warrants a movie, does it not? With all the drama in print media these days, I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t capitalized on the angst.

Back to the feel-good story of the Town Crier, I think it is at least worth a two-hour dramedy on CBC, if not a full-length feature picture directed by Ivan Reitman — a former midtowner, naturally.

Now comes the question of casting. Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski) is my pick to play the relaxed, easy-going editor/publisher, McMillan.

I hope that is boss-approved.

Behind the scenes are business manager Kathy Kerluke and accounts manager Jennifer Gardiner. Portraying these two lovely ladies would be Adriana Barraza (Thor) and Robin Wright (House of Cards), respectively.

Now comes the editorial side of things. Now, editor Dan Hoddinott will have my head on a pike for his casting, but there’s one person I can think of who can both resemble our fiery, hockey-loving corrector from the Rock, and play his personality: Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall).

For newshound Shawn Star and his long ginger locks, Sam Heughan (Outlander) is a dead ringer. Resident freelance reporter Eric Emin Wood would be given the Elijah Wood (Sin City) treatment.

Of course some of the Town Crier‘s past staffers would make appearances. Maggie Lawson (Psych) must be cast for former business reporter Ann Ruppenstein, as should Billy Brown (How To Get Away With Murder) for former sports sleuth Perry King. Reaching further back in time you’d find news reporters Karolyn Coorsh, played by Casey Wilson (Gone Girl), Omar Mosleh, portrayed by Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Kris Scheuer, depicted by the serene Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral). Oh, and don’t forget former managing editor, Gordon Cameron, who’s doppelganger is most certainly Henry Zebrowski (The Wolf of Wall Street), and former arts reporter Lorianna De Giorgio, who’s red hair can only be matched by Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy).

After all that, who would play this savvy arts and sports hack? Well, it’s a toss up between Topher Grace (That ’70s Show) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation).

After careful consideration, I’ll go with Grace.

And there you have it, life at a community newspaper cast for a major motion picture.

The next question is, would you go see it?

 

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About the author

Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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