Bryan Cranston Working on Sequel To 2017 Movie Despite Casting … – Screen Rant

Bryan Cranston reveals that he got so much criticism for starring in 2017’s The Upside, but a sequel is confirmed to be in development.
The Upside is getting a sequel despite receiving casting backlash. The film – which is a remake of the 2011 French film The Intouchables based on the real-life figures Abdel Sallou and Philippe Pozzo di Borgo – was released in theaters in January 2019 after a 2017 premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film starred Bryan Cranston as Philip Lacasse, a rich man with quadriplegia who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Kevin Hart's character Dell Scott, a young father who needs a job to maintain his parole and is hired to be his caretaker.
Per Variety, Cranston sat down for an interview with Real Time host Bill Maher for his podcast Club Random on the episode dated January 30. The excerpts they were able to share from the interview reveal that Cranston is aware he got criticized for his role in the film, though he listed other able-bodied actors who were lauded for playing disabled characters, including Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman and Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot. However, he revealed that they are making a sequel. Read his full quote below:
"We’re doing a sequel to it.
I got a lot of sh*t for that. I am an able-bodied actor playing a disabled [character.]
I was pretty surprised that I got some blowback to it, and I thought, "There’s a good point, that disabled actors are not given an opportunity." It’s a kind of a catch-22 that… it’s like, "Do you have the cache to be able to carry a film?"
We would have missed some great performances [if certain able-bodied actors hadn't played characters with disabilities.]
[However,] you can only have the perspective of a 66-year-old white male… you can understand but you cannot really know what it feels like to live in that skin."
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The backlash to The Upside in 2019 is in keeping with recent advocacy throughout Hollywood. In recent years more than ever, disability advocates have been calling for characters with disabilities to go to actors with disabilities. The call for this comes down to two big reasons. The major reason is that actors with disabilities have been largely underrepresented in Hollywood history. Another reason is that these actors would be able to bring their real-life experience to the roles and make sure they are being represented properly.
In the past few years, some progress has been made on that front. This includes deaf actors, like Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, being cast in films like the Best Picture winner CODA. It became a ground-breaking film that focused on a deaf family, and Kotsur won an acting award in the supporting category. Other projects making similar strides to improve actor representation include Only Murders in the Building casting James Caverly in a deaf role and legally blind actor Skyler Davenport taking the lead in the 2021 thriller See For Me. However, there is still a long way to go, as projects like CODA have their fair share of criticism regarding the proper perspective and portrayal of the disability community.
Despite the backlash, The Upside was a considerable hit, making $125.8 million at the worldwide box office. In fact, it was the 61st highest-grossing film of 2019, earning even more than the high-profile franchise flicks The Curse of La Llorona, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Dora and the Lost City of Gold. While the backlash will still exist for Cranston's return to the role, The Upside sequel has the potential to become an even bigger hit. Nevertheless, there will be questions as to what Cranston and the team plan to do for the sequel.
More: What If Bryan Cranston Had Played Lex Luthor In Batman v Superman
Source: Variety
Brennan (he/him) is a senior writer at Screen Rant and a millennial who knows more about 80’s slasher films than he has any right to. A former host of the Attack of the Queerwolf podcast, Brennan has been writing and podcasting about pop culture (especially horror films) for a decade. Brennan’s interests also include the Muppets, bubblegum pop from around the world, and reading (especially Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, the manga of Junji Ito, and novels of magical realism). His favorite film directors are Wes Craven and Pedro Almodóvar.


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