Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know: Who Dares To Portray Keith Richards In 'Life'?

By Maura Gavaghan

Rock n' roll and Hollywood will soon collide as Keith Richard's autobiography "Life" is reportedly being turned into a feature film. Although Richards claims he isn't in a huge rush to get this project moving, fans and industry buffs can't help but speculate who will play the legendary guitarist of The Rolling Stones. While a few names have been dropped, there is no clear answer to who will take on the challenge of portraying the man once described by journalist Nick Kent as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know."

The role will require great versatility, as the actor will have to portray Richards through the many tumultuous stages of his life, including years spent struggling with drug abuse. While there is plenty of room for opinion and debate over who could capture the notoriety of Keith Richards on the big screen, we thought of a few people who might have what it takes.

"Mixed Emotion" over buddy Johnny Depp

Not only does he have the rough-around-the-edges-because-I've-lived-life-hard look required to play the infamous rocker, but he also has a close personal and professional relationship with Richards after working together on "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a documentary on The Rolling Stones that is currently in production. Although this friendship might give Depp a leg up, does Richards really want one of his buddies living his past struggles out on the big screen? Sounds like a potential conflict of interests.

"Start Me Up" with heartthrob Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson has proven himself over the last several years as a talented, deserving member of the Hollywood community – and he has that whole brooding bad boy thing going for him! Does he have the bad-ass edge required to play Richards or will his association with screaming teeny boppers make him less appealing? Maybe his accent and guitar playing skills will push him in the right direction?

Jason Isaac's "Beast of Burden"…

He's hard enough, he's rough enough, but is he young enough? Issaac has the bad guy skill on lockdown after nailing roles such as the villainous Lucius Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" films, the unforgiving colonel in "The Patriot" and even a relentless criminal in the TV series "Brotherhood." However, much like frontrunner Johnny Depp, he is nearing the big 5-0! If the director desires a younger look, Isaac might not make the cut.

Hey, Benedict Cumberbatch, "Get Off of My Cloud"

Cumberbatch is no stranger to tackling challenging roles that show off his versatility as an actor, awing audiences and critics alike with his performances in "Amazing Grace," "Atonement" and the BBC series "Sherlock." With three or four projects currently on his plate, he is definitely well on his way to becoming a household name, but does he have the edgy image required to land this role and end up on cloud nine?

"Gimme Shelter" (from bad reviews, that is) with Alessandro Nivola

Nivola could be the perfect fit. He has mastered the British accent to the point where people often question whether he is truly an American citizen! From horror movie "The Eye" to action-packed "Face/Off," he seems to conquer every genre he tries. He also has experience portraying a rocker after starring in indie film "Laurel Canyon." His charismatic good looks and charm may conflict with the conventional rocker look, but Nivola has a way of reinventing himself to surprise audiences time and time again.

We have some time to debate over who could best portray this rock legend since Richards will have to sort out rights and permissions from his bandmates before he can move forward with the project. Until then, we anxiously wait to see who will step up to the challenge, and leave it in the "Hand of Fate."

Who do you think would make the best big screen Keith Richards? Let us know in the comments.