Manute Reborn: ‘Sin City’ Director Talks Dennis Haysbert’s ‘Amazing Presence’

When “Sin City” returns for its second film, it will come without a few of the original cast members in place. The late Michael Clarke Duncan is one such actor, but his hulking brute of a character, Manute, is an integral part of the “Dame to Kill For” story — which is why Robert Rodriguez needed to recast the role, rather than cut it from the film.

Filling in Duncan’s shoes is Dennis Haysbert, who is perhaps best known for playing the calm and calculated President David Palmer for five seasons of Fox’s “24.” Manute presents the actor with a considerably different character, and Rodriguez says he’s already doing a hell of a job.

“Dennis is going to bring his own thing to it but it’s very much pays tribute to what Michael did and is very much in line with the role,” the filmmaker told MTV News recently. “He’s such a fantastic actor and an amazing presence. He’s really exciting to work with. I’ve been adding dialogue for him. It’s so fun.”

Haysbert isn’t exactly a physical match for Duncan, but Rodriguez believes the spirit of the character remains intact. Furthermore, it’s his belief that actors sign on for “Sin City” precisely because they can transform themselves into unrecognizable people.

“People get to do things they don’t normally get to do in the movies in Frank Miller’s ’Sin City’ world,” he said. “We have a lot of license to disguise yourself and really be someone else, do something totally outside your normal career. I think that’s why actors tend to gravitate toward these movies. It’s a real license to have a lot of fun and do something different, to take a vacation from the work they normally do, to go out on a limb — and it’s welcomed.”