I've been doing some writing on the 3 Musketeers. I've just indulged myself in the book and have been watching several versions of the film as of recently. I'd like to start by discussing my ideal cast:
D'Artagnan: Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Reasoning: I don't want too big a name for the part. Chris O'Donnell kind of derailed the 1993 version by being too much the center of attention. He played the Cajun action hero Gambit and showed off his ability to do action in that version
Athos: Benicio del Toro
Reasoning: Del Toro's Hispanic heritage is sort of close to French and he doesn't have too heavy of an accent. Del Toro has a chiseled, scarred face and Athos is the oldest, most battle weary of the Musketeers.
Porthos: Sacha Baron Cohen
Reasoning: I wouldn't call myself a huge Cohen fan, but I think he would definitely sell the movie pretty well by sheer "I wonder how he'd do the part" interest. Porthos is like the Zach Galifanakas of the group, but casting most comic actors would risk dumbing down the material too much and Cohen showed he could do a period piece in "Sweeney Todd" and "Hugo".
Aramis: Ewan MaGregor
Reasoning: Like most other adaptations of the 3 Musketeers getting a bankable All-French cast seems impossible, so there's always the awkwardness of having multi-ethnic casts with few of them being French. Ewan MaGregor's an actor I like a lot, he's bankable, and he has done action before. He also seems to have good on-screen comedy with whoever he's with and that would be important for the Musketeers. Most importantly, he will contrast Del Toro and Cohen well. Lastly, he's a Brit who can actually do accents pretty well (see "I Love You, Phillip Morris") which isn't the case with most Brits (see Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellen)
Richelieu: Jesper Christensen
Reasoning: Waltz is a great choice except that he's played the baddie in 5 or 6 films in a row and audiences would read him as such a cliche choice. With a sense of practicality that I probably wouldn't afford big-name stars for every part, I'll go a little cheaper here and select Christensen. Christensen was in the James Bond films and is believed to soon be playing a bigger role. He's also European
Rochefort: Gabriel Garcia Bernal
Because he is such a grand actor, I might elect to expand Rochefort's part. I like this actor a lot, and think he can be kinetic, dynamic, action-oriented and probably can deliver some cutting retorts with style.
Treville: Michael Gambon
Reasoning: Not all three Musketeers adaptations have elected to use a Treville, but I definitely want one. There's no need for too big of a name and Gambon is in that character actor range. Treville is a mentor figure and not a guy in the battlefield, so he should be kind of old
Duke of Buckingham: Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Damned United, Sweeney Todd)
Reasoning: I'm basically picking a random British working actor here. Pretty much anyone would do. Just someone who sounds British, is moderately handome and who wouldn't cost a lot. Being in Harry Potter and Sweeney Todd also means he can do period pieces convincingly. Literally, you can pick anyone here. This film went the opposite way bny having the most reecognizable actor in the whole cast in this past.
King: Vincent Cassell (Black Swan, Ocean's 12)
I was juggling between having him as Rochefort or the King. I like Cassell here for a reason that's not entirely obvious: He has kind of an oddly shaped head so I don't think he looks particularly good-lucking in a matinee idol sort of way. The Kings in that time period were the result of in-breeding and suffered genetic deformities
so he shouldn't be the best looking guy in the cast.
Queen: Juliet Binoche
I wanted someone soft-spoken and elegant. She would probably be one of the more expensive parts but perhaps the queen should have presence. It might be best to have the 2 French members of the cast be king and queen.
De Winter: Scarlett Johannsen
She can be really wicked and dark, in my opinion. She's a great actress who's star has faded just a little bit in the past 3 years, in my opinion. The only drawback is like MaGregor she's a biy fair-skinned (but so was Dunaway) and she's also a little young. But she's 8 years older than when I first saw her on screen in Lost in Translation. She's also very sexy.
Constance: Abby Cornish
She definitely succeeded in playing a period character in Elizabeth and the Golden Age. In the film that I saw her in, she had a certain shyness to her and a subtlety. I envision Constance as being submissive like that.