POPSUGAR Celebrity

Here's Who Should Star in the Goldfinch Adaptation

Apr 16 2014 - 9:00am

The Pulitzer Prize committee awarded its top fiction award to Donna Tartt's literary masterpiece, The Goldfinch, on Monday. The judges agreed that the 784-page novel was worthy of the critical and popular acclaim it's received since debuting in October 2013, and they described the work as a "beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy's entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart."

While a story about a painting might sound a bit stuffy, those who read the book know it has some serious edginess — in the form of beautiful socialites, tragic drug addicts, and sympathetic international criminals. Hollywood has picked up on the appeal, and the team behind the Hunger Games adaptation has claim to the rights [1]. It's not clear if it will be turned into a big-screen film or a high-brow TV miniseries, but either way, we can't wait. In fact, since we're so impatient, we've taken the opportunity to cast the project ourselves.

Theo James as Theodore Decker

For our imaginary casting purposes, let's focus on the grown-up version of the main character, who has been compared to Holden Caulfield and a modern Dickens protagonist. Whoever plays the forlorn antihero at the center of the story has to be both sympathetic and infuriating. The other characters and reader overlook much of Theo Decker's bad behavior thanks to his natural charm, something Theo James has in spades. And doesn't that just look like the face of someone with secrets — including a heroin addiction and a stolen art masterpiece?

Jon Hamm as Larry Decker

Theo's deplorable dad, Larry, surprisingly adds comic relief to the plot. As he proved in Bridesmaids, Jon Hamm [2] can play a jerk and play it for laughs. We love any chance to get him out of his Don Draper character mold, and seeing him in cheesy Vegas suits would be the icing on the cake. Plus, Larry is supposed to be a handsome former small-bit actor, and we know Hamm has the looks for TV.

Rachel Weisz as Theo's Mother

Theo remembers his mother as a sophisticated beauty who warmed the room and made everyone like her. Rachel Weisz [3]'s look is striking, without being intimidating, and she has the acting skills to make a lasting first impression and remain a strong presence throughout the story, even after her death.

Ezra Miller as Boris

The Russian misfit Boris must be played by someone with a unique look that borders on sinister. Miller has played an outsider in Perks of Being a Wallflower and evokes evil in We Need to Talk About Kevin. Both experiences could give him the know-how to portray the confident, well-liked delinquent who is described as having eyes that make "him look stormy and disreputable" and hair that "wasn’t technically dirty" but "gave the impression dirtiness."

Mia Wasikowska as Pippa

Mia Wasikowska [4] has a slight ingenuous air, perfect for Pippa. The actress's quirky beauty and intriguing features would definitely catch the attention of Theo at the museum on that fateful day. And her ethereal acting would work well for the character who remains enchanting after she is brushed with tragedy and hardship.

Amber Heard as Kitsey Barbour

In contrast to Pippa, Kitsey is supposed to be a conventionally gorgeous Upper East Side heiress. She's pragmatic and a bit cold, but also undeniably beguiling to those around her. Amber Heard's obvious good looks are undeniably mesmerizing, and she could easily pull off the headstrong character.

Gwyneth Paltrow as Mrs. Barbour

It would be absolutely delightful to watch Gwyneth indulge her patrician nature as Mrs. Barbour, the uptight socialite whose frozen nature thaws with age. Gwyneth had been attached to a previous Donna Tartt project that never happened, so maybe she would jump at this chance.

Jeff Bridges as James "Hobie" Hobart

Jeff Bridges [5] could actually bring a little more depth and perhaps humor to the character of Hobie, the Greenwich Village antiques dealer who takes Theo in. In the book, kindhearted Hobie is a bit one-dimensional, and we'd like to see charismatic Bridges give Theo a bit more ribbing.

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