Ever since I first heard that this movie is happening, I’ve been impatiently waiting to find out who Stephanie Plum’s leading men would be. I really do dig Katherine Heigl as Stephanie and was really worried that they would go all wrong with the casting of Ranger and Morelli. I was also keen to see if, by some slim chance, they went with my choices, but no such luck.
That doesn’t mean it’s all bad though… let’s have a little look-see at who will be playing these two men that are so near and dear to our hearts.
Wikipedia description of the character:
Joe Morelli is Stephanie’s on-and-off boyfriend, a former bad boy turned vice cop. He is also known as Officer Hottie or the Italian Stallion. Her history with Morelli started with a “choo choo” incident when she was six. At the age of sixteen, Stephanie lost her virginity to Morelli in the Tasty Pastry shop behind the éclair stand, after which he never called (but left quite a few flattering messages in bathroom and stadium walls around town). Three years later she saw Morelli and ran over him with her father’s Buick, breaking his leg. A few years later in One for the Money Morelli was suspected of murder and was her first FTA, and Stephanie chased him around town, much to his annoyance….
At various times, both Stephanie and Morelli have seriously considered marriage, but never at the same time. They both know they’re not ready for commitment, but often comment on the idea together and have lived together more than once. Their relationship runs cold as a result of many arguments – usually over her job (She’s been known to stress Morelli enough that he tends to takes Rolaids & Maalox and tells her that he is quickly deteriorating because of her) and they eventually lead to her relationship with Ranger. Being that both were born & bred in Trenton, whatever happens to/around her usually has a number of others calling Morelli to inform him – cars being blown, bodies being found, etc. He’s said that he doesn’t even need to listen to the radio anymore; he knows she’s always involved (usually by some illegal means) and that he always gets calls about her and the latest situation she’s in.
Afraid I’ll have to cut it there as anything else will just spoil it for those of you who aren’t familiar with the story.
Morelli will be played by Jason O’Mara, who is most well known for his leading role in Life on Mars. I have never watched it as I’m not a big fan of shows that originate from trying to rip off really intelligently written British shows, but well… he looks cute enough. Not exactly what I had in mind for Morelli, but I can see a faint glimmer of it there. I somehow imagined him to be the real black haired, dark, Italian type, but my choice was Jeffrey Dean Morgan and he doesn’t exactly fit that description either.
I’m not screaming for joy here but I’m not particularly bothered by it either. It can still go either way for me and I won’t know until I actually see him in the film. Although, I may set aside my hatred for watered down American versions of British shows and watch Life on Mars, purely for research purposes. I will have to get back to you on that.
Wikipedia description of the character:
Ranger is Stephanie’s fellow bounty hunter and tutor and sometimes known as Batman because of his mysterious ways. Ranger is Cuban-American, with mocha latte skin that can only be described as yum, always wears black or camo green, and drives a rotation of very expensive black cars (Stephanie has lingering questions about the origin of Ranger’s car-supply, but he will only say ‘Don’t ask’). He is the C.E.O. of RangeMan, Inc., a security company (among other things).
Stephanie’s relationship with Ranger, somewhere between boyfriend/girlfriend and teacher/pupil, provides much of her day-to-day stress, along with the almost constant threat of car bombing. Ranger says he loves Stephanie “in his own way” but isn’t the marrying type. Even if she is on with Morelli, it doesn’t stop Ranger from kissing or flirting with her, nor does she do much to discourage his advances. Regardless of his rivalry with Morelli, he has said that “Morelli is a good man” and is the marrying type Stephanie wants. Ranger does high-dollar or high-risk recovery for Vinnie, and sometimes lends Stephanie a hand with some of the more dangerous or slippery FTAs. He often assigns employees to guard or track her when she is in serious danger. Ranger “bleeds money” every time Stephanie requires protection, which is frequently; she minds, but he doesn’t so much – she actually appears as a line item in his budget (where she’s listed under “entertainment”).
As a result of him often coming to her aid or rescue, she has built up quite a tab with him and he has said that one day, he will collect.
I challenge you to watch Rescue Me and not think this man was carved out of a piece of heaven itself. He is HOT! He can play it cool and he can definitely play a ladies man, as I’m sure whoever came up with the term ladies man obviously met Franco Rivera! Given the appropriate wardrobe and a good script, he CAN be Ranger, I’m certain of it. To be honest, I’m not sure why I hadn’t come up with him myself when I was thinking of possibilities. I think because I imagined Ranger to be harder, someone with a bit more of a rough look or perhaps having played more ‘fighty’ roles in the past (hence my choosing Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson initially), but I think he can do it. We’ve just not seen him in that kind of role yet, or I haven’t at least.
As with Heigl, I am 100% behind Sunjata as Ranger. The jury is still out on the Morelli casting, I will have to look into the actor a bit more before I can say either way.
I’m excited about this, really friggin’ excited! The more castings that happen and the closer the movie comes to being a reality, the more eager I am to see it. Especially now after seeing these castings. That said, it could all go to shit if they don’t choose wisely for Grandma Mazur and Lula, as they are pretty central characters that are loved by all. Get those two wrong and they may as well not even bother making the film.
I will be keeping my eyes peeled for any casting news in regards to those two, for sure, but in the meantime… what do YOU think of these guys playing our leading men??