My theory, disputed by many doctors, is that the human brain has tiny fishing hooks inside it. Not a lot of them, maybe half a dozen. They just kind of sit there hanging out into the open thoroughfares that our thoughts pass through. Most thoughts, especially the important ones (“hey, remember to pay your credit card bill”; “this person looks like a Mike but his name is actually Greg and he will get mad if you screw it up”), zip right on by undisturbed, sometimes gathering the escape velocity to shoot straight out of your head completely. Sometimes, though, a thought gets stuck on one of those hooks, and then it just stays there, wriggling around, refusing to leave no matter how hard you shake and jostle it. They’re usually useless ones, too, like facts you have no need to remember (“Liam Gallagher owns over 2000 tambourines”) or song lyrics that haunt you for decades (“Man, it’s a hot one…”). Every now and then, though, an idea will get snagged. A really good one. One that someone else might have tossed out as a joke and forgotten about but stays on the hook in your brain for weeks, shouting at the other thoughts passing through, altering each of them, and consuming you completely.
This is happening to me. It started on December 21, when I saw this tweet:
they should remake the prestige with danny mcbride and walton goggins
— nick usen (@nickusen) December 21, 2020
It is so true and so obvious in hindsight that I’m angry no one thought of it years ago, especially me. I would watch that movie every weekend. Danny McBride and Walton Goggins are perfect together, as we’ve seen, multiple times, with evidence, and yes, this is me talking about Vice Principles and The Righteous Gemstones again, two mostly perfect little shows that highlight each actor’s strengths. So they’ve already been in things together. They can be in more things together going forward. Like, for example, that Prestige remake, or, for many other examples, the other movie remakes my brain has been cranking away on since that tweet got stuck on one of its hooks.
Yes, I’m sorry (but also you are welcome), we are doing this. Here is an incomplete list of movies that I would like to see remade with Danny McBride and Walton Goggins. Any or all will be acceptable.
The key to this one is that McBride has to play the Harrison Ford character and Goggins has to play the Tommy Lee Jones character. I don’t think anyone will have any objections to this, but for those who may be questioning it, consider:
- Walton Goggins giving the “warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse” speech
- Danny McBride storming into a crowded ballroom and shouting “This corrupt motherfucker switched the samples!”
I know there’s no cussing in the original version of that line. But get a good picture in your brain of Danny McBride saying that. I think you’ll agree that it plays.
Goggins as Travolta, McBride as Cage, also for two important reasons:
- I really want to see Walton Goggins’ take on John Travolta’s take on Nicolas Cage, right down to the deranged smirking and eyes flooded with chaos
- I really want to see Danny McBride brandish two solid gold handguns as he leaps out of an airplane
I consider these requests to be reasonable in every way.
Any Batman movie will do, honestly, but the obvious choice here is one that features Joker, just for the historic rivalry. The Dark Knight, yes, sure, fine, but also the original Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. That one might be preferable, now that I think about it, in part because it’s not the second film in a trilogy and will be somewhat less confusing (I said somewhat), and in part, because I love a big cartoony Joker in big cartoony suits. So, let’s do that one.
The tricky part of this one is who plays who. And it’s extra frustrating for me because I’m the guy who wrote a whole thing about how every actor is either a Batman or a Joker and how it’s kind of obvious once you think about it. But even then I admitted that these two are confusing, saying, apologies for quoting myself, “Danny McBride is such a Joker that he might be a Batman as a prank” and “Walton Goggins is, at present, a Joker, but is one perspective-shifting supporting role away from becoming the most fascinating Batman of all.” Do you see the problem here? I, the self-appointed expert on the subject, couldn’t decide back then when I had tasked myself with deciding. It’s a conundrum. It might keep me awake for a week. That’s why I propose a compromise, one I think you will agree is fair and equitable…
We make two Batman remakes, one with Goggins as Batman and McBride as Joker, one with McBride as Batman and Goggins as Joker, and we let the public decide. Democracy in action. Plus, I want to see both of these. Not a losing side to be found anywhere.
Good Will Hunting
This one requires some cheating, to the extent that any of this contains rules that can be broken, which it does not. Here’s how we do it: Goggins plays the Matt Damon character, aged down a few decades with the Benjamin Button machine; McBride plays BOTH the Ben Affleck and Robin Williams roles, also via the Benjamin Button machine. God, I want to see this. I want to see Goggins doing a thick Boston accent. I want to see McBride give the “The best part of my day speech,” I REALLY want to see the “It’s not your fault” speech, with Goggins acting his heart and crying and McBride twisting the whole thing by complaining that there’s snot on his sweater or something.
This is a pretty bad idea. I stand by it completely.
All the President’s Men
Goggins as Redford/Woodward, McBride as Hoffman/Bernstein. Neither of these is perfect, I’ll admit that right up front. But I’ll tell you how I got there: hair. Robert Redford has had perfect shampoo commercial hair for almost a full century now (he still does today, Google it). Walton Goggins had an incredible hair situation on Justified. His hair seemed to get more spiky and unkempt as his character became more unhinged, kind of like a follicle mood ring. The two men are similar in the way they are opposites: one a blonde Adonis with the hair of a teen pop star; one a menacing brunette whose hair appears to be running away from his face. It’s so wrong it’s right.
As far as the other half of this one… I don’t know. I just want to see Danny McBride and Walton Goggins take down Nixon. I shouldn’t have to explain any of this beyond that. And the hair.
I have five words for you and I want you to think about them for the rest of the day. Are you ready?
Okay, here we go…
Danny McBride as Tyler Durden.
Thank you. Moving on.
This is another tricky one because there are a bunch of characters in Tombstone and a fair amount of them could go either way. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and here’s what I’ve settled on:
- Danny McBride as Wyatt Earp because I want to see him with a luxurious mustache like the one Kurt Russell sported
- Walton Goggins as Doc Holiday because I pictured him saying “I’m your Huckleberry” just now and it felt delightful
- Sam Elliott reprises his role over two decades later with no explanation
- Chalamet as Johnny Ringo
Get them all cowboy hats and start production.
I’m very sorry, truly, but if you don’t want to see an alternate version of Gladiator that stars Danny McBride as Maximus and Walton Goggins as Commodus, I don’t know what I can do to help you. You’re a lost soul. You just have to make this journey on your own, a solitary search for what ails your broken spirit, as soon as you can. Just picture Walton Goggins stabbing Danny McBride and whispering “Smile for me now, brother,” and then picture Danny McBride screaming “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?” That could help. Maybe rewatch the whole movie tonight to get a better feel for it. I feel pretty certain that you don’t have anything better to do.
The first Toy Story, exactly the same, not a single frame of animation changed or a fraction of the plot altered, with the exception of three things:
- Walton Goggins as Woody
- Danny McBride as Buzz Lightyear
- Rated R due to the addition of 100+ swear words
I’ll still cry at the end. There’s no getting around it.
The First Season of True Detective
Technically cheating again because this is a television show instead of a movie, but consider this: Danny McBride sitting in an interview room with a Lone Star pounder on the table in front of him and a lit cigarette —wait, no, definitely a joint — in his hand that he lifts to his mouth and takes a long drag from before saying “Time’s a flat circle, hombre” and exhaling a thick cloud in the stale room. That’s pretty good. And doing this also allows me to type the phrase “Walton Goggins as Woody Harrelson,” which is both a fun collection of words and a biopic I kind of want to see now.
So, let’s get to work on that one, too. After these. Priorities, etc.