Start with the title: Clown Car! may sound like the movie someone will inevitably make about the 2016 presidential campaign, but how about evoking those great Seventies wacky-journey films like Death Race 2000, Vanishing Point or Smokey and the Bandit?
When I raised the question on Twitter, suggestions included All the President’s Wanna-Bes, Every Which Way But Left, Cannonball Rug, A Kochwork Orange and the subtly appropriate Hair.
All excellent ideas, and we may have to put the movie name to a separate vote. Right now, though, the more pressing question is this: If someone did make a movie about the 2016 presidential race, who would play the candidates? Wouldn’t that be the most thrilling casting job ever?
There was a fiery debate on social media about all of the roles. In the end, though, this is something that has to go to a vote. What we need in this country, after all, is more democracy.
For the time being, we’ll just ask people to vote in the comments section below, or tweet responses to me at @mtaibbi.
Without further ado:
Donald Trump (as himself)
The biggest debate is obviously going to be about who gets to play the leading man in the film. Trump probably ought to be the only “as himself” role in the cast. Figuratively speaking, it fits the narrative of the campaign to have him as the only Real Person, surrounded by a bunch of actors.
But there’s also something to be said for the idea that Trump lacks the self-awareness to sell the humor of his role. Acting-wise the role clearly should belong to one of Hollywood’s interpersonal train-wreck actors, someone you can imagine waking up in bed with a farm animal and a bottle of Southern Comfort.
The first name you think of there is probably Gary Busey, although someone like Gerard Depardieu also makes sense. Alec Baldwin fits from the abject-assholedom angle. And I’m sympathetic to the argument for Will Ferrell as Trump; you could take a Ferrell-as-Trump movie to many interesting places. But is he too PG for the part?
The Christie role is probably a two-man race, between Mall Cop thespian Kevin James and Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame. But there was a lot of sentiment online for casting the affable Delaney Williams, last seen playing the porn-connoisseur homicide sergeant Jay Landsman in The Wire. Meat Loaf is an intriguing idea, especially if Cannonball Rug or whatever the film ends up being called has a musical component – we could have Christie singing his excuse for Bridgegate.