Eddie Redmayne is considered by many to be the frontrunner for the Best Actor Oscar, thanks to his remarkable performance as legendary scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. But given the film industry’s ever-increasing reliance on big budget blockbusters, the 32-year-old Brit is keenly aware that staying on the A-list now requires one to be part of a massive tent pole franchise — and he knows exactly which spandex-clad superhero he’d like to play.
“Please, I’m desperate to do Bananaman,” Redmayne told Yahoo Movies recently, revealing his love for the early ’80s British cartoon.
“Bananaman is this great guy who eats a banana, and he becomes Bananaman,” Redmayne explained earnestly. “He’s the one that I’ve always wanted to play, to the extent that Andrew Garfield — an old pal — was asked in an interview, ‘If you could play any superhero other than Spider-Man, who would you play?’ And he was thinking about it, and the interviewer was like, ‘Bananaman?’ And Andrew was like, ‘No, Eddie’s playing that.’”
When Yahoo Movies pulled up a clip from the show on YouTube, Redmayne was suddenly concerned. “I’d have to do some serious working out,” he worried, commenting on the goofy hero’s physique. “Shit. Maybe I’m not destined to be Bananaman.”
On the bright side, Redmayne said, they’d never make a movie about such a silly, forgotten character — or so he thought.
Sadly, he underestimated the desperation that movie studios have for pre-established intellectual property: Bananaman is already in production, with an animated film to be released in 2015, though no cast or director has been announced. So unless he was teasing his own participation, it looks like Redmayne may have to wait for the sequel.
On the bright side, his second choice for a big-screen franchise series — Thundercats — is still available. So far, the ’80s animated series, which was rebooted in recent years, has yet to be put into development for the big screen. That may change soon, however, given that Redmayne’s Jupiter Ascending co-star Channing Tatum also told Yahoo Movies that he’s a Thundercats fan.
Still, should the movie go forward, the two actors may have to go to the mat when it comes to casting, as Redmayne already has his eyes one of the series’ most beloved characters. “I’d like to play Snarf,” he says. Looks like he’ll have to start working on his facial hair a bit.