By The Nation
Leicester City Football Club’s triumph in the English Premier League just one short year after being relegated to the lower Championship tier has been called a miracle and a fairytale. A description that’s certainly more apt is “Hollywood dream”, because the movie folks are likely to be all over it.
Writing in the Guardian, Andrew Pulver offered his ideal casting for a possible film version of the Foxes’ shocking leap to the pinnacle of the sport.
Leicester City’s Italian manager Claudio Ranieri, says Pulver, really ought to be portrayed by Tom Hanks, who’s neither Italian nor British but is at least a major fan of football (yes, the English kind). On the other hand, Hanks roots for Aston Villa, who are now taking their turn being dumped into the Championship league after a lousy season on the pitch.
A reporter asked Hanks what he thought about Aston Villa situation. "What are you trying to do,” he replied, make me cry on TV?” He was just being loyal to Aston Villa, but then he admitted that, way back at the beginning of the season, he’d actually placed a 100pound bet on Leicester City to win the title. The odds at the time were 5,000/1 against that happening.
“So I think I’ll be okay,” Hanks gloated. By “okay”, he meant he’d won half a million pounds – assuming he wasn’t joking (or fibbing).
Pulver’s choice for the actor to play striker Jamie Vardy, who’s vault to superstardom has earned him a spot on the England national squad, is Tom Hiddleston, whose movie is “HighRise” is now in local cinemas.
Pulver suggested Jackie Chan, of all people, to play Shinji Okazaki, the only Asian in the Foxes lineup, ignoring the fact that Chan is in his 60s.
And if you think that’s crazy, he has an even more bizarre notion for the actor to portray Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, chairman of King Power Duty Free, which owns Leicester City. Since no one outside the club’s boardroom knows what he looks like, Pulver reasons unreasonably, how about Tilda Swinton? Yes, she’s a she, but she’s getting raves playing a very old man, the Ancient One, in the new movie “Doctor Strange”.
Pulver is just being funny (we think), but a lot of people are miffed about Swinton playing the Ancient One because in the Doc Strange books he’s very much an Asian. It’s the Hollywood whitewashing issue all over again.
Male or female, Asian or Caucasian, we’d much prefer that the mooted movie shows how a Thai billionaire bought the club and moulded historic victory from it. And, if the casting were up to us, we’d go for Nirut Sirichanya, who’s already done plenty of foreign films, not just in Hong Kong but also Hollywood.