Dream casting the Star Wars saga: Brian Blessed as Jabba the Hutt
I am not casting Brian Blessed in the role of Jabba the Hut because he’s a big guy. I’m casting him because he has one of the most distinctively booming voices in the movies, a voice he’s put to use time and time again over the course of his long career.
And when it comes to Jabba, the voice is pretty much all we’re looking for. The body will be made by a team of prop masters and, given that our hypothetical remake takes place in the present, probably rendered at least in part on a computer. Blessed’s voice is a perfect fit for Jabba—it’s big, booming, and fills a room. Blessed has even played Santa a couple of times, so he already has a good start on a reading of “ho ho ho.”
Plus, Blessed’s predilection for showy, dramatic roles (e.g. the ghost of Hamlet’s father in Hamlet, Old Deuteronomy in Cats) fits with Jabba’s style. You have to admit: Jabba is a bit of a drama queen. He waits until Leia has freed Han Solo from his Carbonite prison before revealing that he and his attendants had been listening the whole time, he plans to feed his prisoners to a giant sand monster rather than lobbing off their heads and getting it over with…Jabba lives for drama, and Blessed can play that well.
Fun side note: Blessed has actually already worked on a Star Wars movie—he played Boss Nass, the chief of the Gungans, in The Phantom Menace. Jabba’s a bit of a meatier role, so I’m sure he’d be pleased with the switch.
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