A Recasting of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Recently, I showed my boyfriend the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a film often considered one of the first horror films from the 1920s. It’s filled with loads of German Expressionism and your girl loves German Expressionism. He really enjoyed the film (thank goodness), and we got to talking about remakes. We started discussing who we would cast in a remake of this film. (To briefly clarify, neither one of us thinks there should actually be a remake of this film, as no one would be able to capture that same magic.) 

Dr Caligari

First and foremost, who would play our title character in a recasting today? My instinct tells me Danny Devito would be a good fit, mainly based on his performance as The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992). And, since that thought occurred to me, I literally can’t picture anybody else in the role of Dr. Caligari. 

Cesare Collage

Now, on to recasting our somnambulist, Cesare. My initial thought was one of two people: Crispin Glover or Cillian Murphy. Both of these men have aced playing strange characters. I think they could pull it off perfectly. The name my boyfriend threw into the mix, which is a wild card is Fred Armisen. Honestly, I like it and I could see it. Armisen, even though he is primarily a comedic actor, can really disguise himself. I think he could ace the role of Cesare. 

Franzis CollageJane Collage


Franzis and Jane have been harder for me to  come up with modern day replacements. For our narrator, Franzis, I keep leaning towards Robert Downey jr. He would play the ending plot twist extremely well, I think. Just now, as I was about to type that Jane has been the hardest for me to come up with, a person flashed in my head: Florence Pugh. She has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with. She would be a fit. However, that does play into something that I hate, which is the casting of a much older man whose love interest is a much younger woman. My boyfriend had also thrown Margot Robbie in as a suggestion, which I think would suffice. But, that still plays into the older man/younger woman scenario. To fix that, you could easily cast Charlize Theron or Toni Collette as Jane. To go the opposite way, I think even Timothee Chalamet would be a good choice for Franzis.

So, that’s my modern day recasting of this horror classic. I just needed to get it out of my head.

Oh, and one last note: those police officers keep their wonderful, crazy mustaches.


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