James Marsden Rounds Up Some ‘Straw Dogs’ For Remake

Moviegoers know James Marsden as a big screen boy scout thanks to roles in “X-Men,” “Enchanted,” “27 Dresses” and “Superman Returns.” But he’s just taken a role that will turn that image on his head, as The Hollywood Reporter says that he’s signed to star in Rod Lurie’s remake of “Straw Dogs.”

The original “Straw Dogs” was directed by Sam Peckinpah, and starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. It follows a timid, pacifist professor named David (played by Hoffman) who decides the Vietnam protests on his college campus are just too much, and relocates to his wife’s native village of Cornwall.

David becomes consumed with academic work, and his intellectual attitude annoy the local workmen, who have taken to flirting with his wife, Amy. The tension builds in David and Amy’s marriage as well as with the locals, erupting in horrific violence that remains as controversial today as it did in 1971.

Marsden will play Hoffman’s role David Sumner, but the part has been updated from a timid mathematician to a Los Angeles screenwriter. Instead of relocating to rural England, David and Amy will move to her hometown in the deep dark South. Otherwise, it will be the same story of a tense marriage, social conflict, and the nature of violence … unless the remake opts to concentrate purely on the violence. However, Marsden’s good looks and gentle career thus far really does lend itself to the role, and he will certainly shock a lot of “Enchanted” fans expecting something heroic.

Do you think James Marsden is right for the “Straw Dogs” remake? Should they be remaking it at all? Will it manage to be as shocking to moviegoers as the original?