Monday, December 31, 2007

Jason Bateman


I have to admit a certain ambivalence regarding the career resurgence of Jason Bateman, most recently in Juno but probably more significantly with Arrested Development.

He started, as most of you know, as a child actor. On Silver Spoons and then on the wonderful It's Your Move, he was the charming rogue. "It's Your Move" specifically ran the season when I was 13 and 14 years old, he was just a couple of years older than me, but with all his run-ins in a running test of wills against David Garrison, he was my hero.

At some point in the '90s, it became my open desire to work with him as a moviemaker. Not only to work with him, but to take him on as the De Niro to my Scorsese, the Mifune to my Kurosawa, etc. In that post-Hogan Family world that always drew blank stares.

Nowadays, my moviemaking aspirations are significantly different than they were then, however the fact that his presence is nearly ubiquitous these days in movies. He's the best part of nearly every movie he's been in for years, even in cases where that's a relatively minor feat, he's still as good as he would have needed to be in the better ones.

I can't say the types of things I write or intend to write have the same kind of representative of the author in the lead, so I'm not sure I'd have a place to use him as such, even if it was at all likely. But then I'm still jealous that others got to remind the world of his obvious talent before I got a chance, and remain at least a little disappointed that it will undoubtedly be more difficult to get him for anything I might try to cast him in later.

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