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Hello, Hollywood

by Scott Rintoul / Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks released Forever Faithful: A Canucks Movie earlier this week on DVD. It’s a short film that chronicles the passion of Canucks’ fans over the course of the 2007-08 season while attempting to gain perspective from a fan base that has been waiting 38 long years for a Stanley Cup to arrive.

So what if everything somehow fell into place this season? With teams like San Jose and Detroit standing in the way (just to mention a couple of the numerous hurdles), that’s a rather large IF. But if the hypothetical became reality just over six months from now and the Stanley Cup somehow arrived in Vancity, who would be cast to play the parts of this year’s Canucks’ crew?

Here’s a few suggestions for some of the more prominent roles. Feel free to submit your own.

Roberto Luongo – Adrian Grenier

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If Luongo’s hair was still long, this would be a no brainer, but I still think Grenier could pull the part off.

If you’re unfamiliar with Grenier’s work, he’s best known for his role as Vincent Chase on the hit show Entourage.

His previous experience as “the guy” gives him a leg up in capturing Luongo, who becomes even more the face of the franchise when he accepts the Canucks’ captaincy at the start of the film.

Willie Mitchell – Matt Dillon

Dillon gets this role based on physical appearance, and versatility in his previous work. He’s big enough to play Vancouver’s burly blue liner, and could easily pass for a hockey player.

You might not see him as being tough enough to play Mitchell, but if anyone that’s seen him as bruiser Dallas Winston in the 80’s classic The Ousiders knows he can be the bad ass.

But Mitchell is always quick to crack a joke, which is why Dillon’s work in There’s Something About Mary as private detective Pat Healy further cements his inclusion in this story.

Kevin Bieksa – Mark Wahlberg

Critics will say Wahlberg is too short to play Bieksa, but good camera angles and a quality director will take care of that problem.

Wahlberg is the right choice here because he has an intellectual side to him (Bieksa graduated from Bowling Green), but he’s also played enough characters that are comfortable with violence.

Bieksa is an interesting blend of skill, smarts, leadership and toughness, and Wahlberg has played parts that combine various combinations of those ingredients.

His credits also include sports’ movies (Basketball Diaries, Invincible), so he understands the locker room mentality of pro sports.

Daniel and Henrik – Jon and Dan Heder

If you’ve seen Napolean Dynamite, you know who Jon Heder is. Ok, I know he’s not Swedish or a redhead, but the fact that he has a twin brother in acting has to count for something.

A bit of hair coloring and the growing of a goatee would make this plausible (and yes, Heder can grow facial hair).

Jon does have some experience on skates (figure skates, that is), as he co-starred in the comedy Blades of Glory with Will Ferrell.

The good news is that Daniel and Henrik aren’t the most outspoken players on the roster, so the Heder twins would have plenty of time to perfect the Swedish accent.

Kyle Wellwood – Toby McGuire

When you heard that McGuire was going to be Spiderman, you raised an eyebrow – until you saw the movie.

In much the same way, Wellwood has exceeded expectations and now the sky’s the limit.

McGuire’s ability to play Peter Parker is ideal for Wellwood’s unassuming persona off the ice, while his contrasting role as Spiderman makes him the ideal actor to showcase Wellwood’s superb skill on the rink.

McGuire is the epitome of the guy that doesn’t look like he plays hockey but lights the lamp on a nightly basis – the exact niche Wellwood is carving out in Vancouver.

Alain Vigneault – Russell Crowe

Don’t think Gladiator, think The Insider or Beautiful Mind.

Crowe has done a variety of roles in a variety of accents, which makes him a logical choice to play a fiery French-Canadian head coach.

Crowe is also renowned for both his sense of humour and blunt approach, a pair of traits he shares with the Canucks bench boss. Crowe was also on blades in Mystery, Alaska, so a return to the frozen pond wouldn’t be that shocking to the Aussie.

The producer of this film is currently contemplating the addition of one more character. If he can come to an agreement in principle with the right player, then look for the following big name to join the cast…

Bruce Willis – Mats Sundin

You need a big star to play a big star, and Willis fits the build – literally. Yeah, he’s a little bit older than Sundin, but Willis is a bona fide action star that bears a fairly decent resemblance to the free agent Swede.

Though I’m not completely sold on Bruce’s ability to incorporate a Swedish accent into the role, he’s enough of a headliner to give him a shot at making it work.
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