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"I fed off a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move."
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November 03 2005

No Marsters for Dresden Role. "Thanks to everyone who helped to push James for "Dresden Files". They have set British actor Paul Blackthorne."

Oddly enough, on Jim Butcher's website (he wrote the Dresden files) it claims this isn't the official word.
As Butcher wisely notes, Steve Himber isn't necessarily an authoritative source of info on who has been cast or whether casting is finalized. But whatever information Steve's been given, clearly it's enough for him to be confident that James is now out of contention. And we do know that Steve is an authoritative source on JM's career status. So whoever they're going with, looks like JM really isn't going to be it. Bummer. At least we'll still have the audiobooks.
I can understand them not casting JM, but a British actor must have a very good American accent to play our Chicago wizard. But of course I've been thinking that the TV version may not do the books justice anyway.
I'm disappointed. Spent part of dinner complaining about it with the wife.
Im not familiar with The Dresden Files (dont hate me - there are many gaps in my literary history), but I was hoping for anything new with James. Hes a remarkable actor.
I think that this was inevitable as soon as they announced that they were filming in Toronto! But " bugger" notheless.
I seem to remember reading that the Dresden Files movie was scheduled to start filming around now, and James is already working on his movie so schedules may have had something to do with it. I wish I could remember where I read that, but I can't, so I can't back that up either.

@killinj, that link to Jim Butcher's site doesn't work, maybe it's since been comfirmed?

To me there seems to be some different communications going on between Jim Butcher's people and the studios and Steve Himber and the studios. When SH first posted on James' site about the Dresden Files, I emailed Butcher's site to see if they were going to post about it. The response I received was quite different from SH's. One, they didn't seem to know that the project had even moved to that stage and they were also very uncomfortable with soliciting the studios on James behalf. They were afraid that pushing an actor on a studio may well irritate the studio. I don't think he/they wanted to risk jinxing the project.

I get the feeling that not everybody hears the same info at the same rate. It may simply be that JB isn't used to working with studios so isn't quite as familiar with getting info from them.

[ edited by Grace on 2005-11-04 14:57 ]
debw, why did this become inevitable once it was known it was being filmed in Toronto? What difference does the city make?
Good point Lioness - those of us who live/work in TO are constantly tripping over film crews and visiting American actors. By the way - re concern about British actors being able to do American accents - listen to Hugh Laurie in "House"
They took the page down on Jim Butcher's site - it was working earlier.
This is truly a shame. James really brings these books to life with his incredible narration. I will purchase any of the audio books that he continues to do, but I am not sure watching this movie or series will even interest me now. In all fairness, though, if James could not work out the Toronto relocation issue I can understand why he was probably not selected. I wish this project luck, but it has unfortuneately lost it's magic for me......

Well...heres hoping that something even more wonderful is just around the corner for James......
I'll answer for debw if that's alright. :0)

JM has mentioned for the past few years that due to commitments he can't move far for work. Toronto would be too far for him. That's all.

I agree, when I heard the location I realised it was probably unlikely JM would get it. But it's still disappointing as I think he would have been an excellent Harry. He certainly is in the audio books.

But I love the books and will still watch, so long as they don't mess the books up too much.
Can't speak for debw, but James has said many times that he can't commit to anything long term or regular outside of Los Angeles because of personal commitments in California. He'll go short term for stuff like Cool Money or Smallville, or his UK gigs, but that's all.

It may well be that they wanted an actor for this part that was willing to offer to relocate to Toronto if it was picked up, and certainly many of James's fans have made the assumption that if it had to be filmed in Toronto, it wouldn't be filmed with James.
Thanks to Roadrunner and Lynnie

Jim Butcher dropped a few hints on the Ex Ilse Dresden forum that at least one actor they were considering wasn't prepared to relocate , and the director posted to say that due to tax breaks and finances if Dresden didn't get made in Toronto it wouldn't get made at all . At that point I pretty much abandoned all hope of James playing Dresden because his need to be based in LA is pretty public knowledge .

I wish every success to the production and to the Mr Blackthorne though ! Dresden should make a great TV series.

[ edited by debw on 2005-11-04 16:38 ]
I have only heard excerpts from the audio that JM has done, and that was excellent; bith the content and his reading. Too bad he won't be doing it, but other things will happen.

Hugh Laurie is a great example of a Brit who can do an excellent American accent, so is Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) but there are lots of others who have a really tough time of it. (Michael Caine, anyone?) That said, we have tendency to accept pretty much anyone as a general American if they can manage what is sometimes called a mid-atlantic accent. (How many implied Americans did Cary Grant play?) However, when someone is supposed to be from a certain place and cultural background it becomes more difficult. I have not read the books yet, so I don't know what his background is supposed to be, but there are a lot of cultural groups in Chicago that simply will not play with even a hint of somewhere else.

So I guess we shall see.

At this point I'm tempted not to read the books until after the TV show comes on in order to give it a chance.
newcj If I'm remembering this correctly Harry lives in Chicago now and has for some time, but I don't think that was where he was from originally. He travelled a lot with his dad when he was younger and has lived with two other people in his youth, in different areas. I'm not entirely sure what accent Harry is meant to have.
How many implied Americans did Cary Grant play

Implied Americans. That'd make a great title of a book....
Easy - I just don't have to watch it. If their budgets this low, it doesn't sound so good anyway.
I don't know, Sci Fi is known for their quality movies--Mansquito anyone?

[ edited by annieb on 2005-11-05 06:55 ]
I guess as fans we just can't help wonder why James is not playing Harry onscreen, but it really isn't that hard to understand.

1. James has said on more than one occasion that he has commitments that would prevent him from relocating during the next 10 years and the Dresden Files is going to be shot in Toronto.
2. There is a good possibility that James could not make time for the pilot as he started filming a feature film this week called Shadow Puppet which is suppose to take about 8 weeks to film and Dresden is set to start in a little over 2 weeks.
3. James's manager might have been hoping that an enormous response from fans could result in the production company willing to relocate production and/or delay production.
4. James's ACTIVE fanbase is nowhere near what it was during the run of Buffy and Angel and the people in charge were underwhelmed by the hundred or so people who kept sending their cards.

Will I tune in ? Yes. Will I still listen to the audios with James ? Yes, if he'll still do them. Am I disappointed ? Who are you kidding OF COURSE I'm disappointed. I was one of those hundred or so that kept writing.
The Producer has come out and explained that James indeed turned down the role immediately when they contacted him, because of the location.

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