by Ste Wood
Is there any extreme Daniel Radcliffe won’t go to in his quest to be known as Daniel Radcliffe, and not Harry Potter?
I was going to start this article with a brief rundown of Daniel Radcliffe’s rise to success as the titular wizard from the Harry Potter films, but then I realized how inconsequential that would have been. So instead, I’ll jump straight into how he’s between trying like a bastard to make the world see him as any other character.
Since the final chapter in the magical 8-part saga, Radcliffe has arguably had a more successful career than co-stars Emma Watson (whose post-Potter career has seen her cast in mostly supporting and cameo roles) and Rupert Grint (remember him?). Radcliffe has accepted a wide range of starring roles, and has been praised by critics for nearly all of them. From his infamous on-stage debut in the 2007 production of Equus (that saw him bare all to the live audience), to his first venture into the horror genre with 2012s The Woman in Black, to his self-parodying guest role in Ricky Gervais’ Extras, Radcliffe has proved his range as an actor. But none of that was apparently enough to shake the time-honoured scar from his forehead.
Fast-forward to 2016, Radcliffe’s next two starring roles are about as far from 3-headed dogs and subservient house-elves as it gets. The first of two summer releases, Swiss Army Man, is centered on the struggles of a man named Hank. Hank has been deserted on a remote island for so long that he’s on the verge of killing himself. Noose tied around his neck, he nervously goes to take the final step, when he spots something off in the distance. He slips and hangs himself, but falls to the ground as the rope quickly snaps (must’ve been all the coconuts). The bewildered survivor’s grief then turns to shock, as he approaches a dead body washed up on the shore. Enter Daniel Radcliffe (yes, you read that right), who stars as the initially lifeless, expressionless, motionless, 100% inanimate corpse in what has to be the wildest role an A list actor has undertaken since Vin Diesel starred as the one-word icon Groot in 2014s Guardians of the Galaxy.
But it gets weirder. Highlighted in the trailer (so no spoilers here), we see that aside from looking just like the guy that played Harry Potter, Manny the Corpse also possesses a wide variety of magical powers. From shooting rockets out of his ass to… farting his way across the sea? There’s seemingly nothing this dead body can’t do. I regrettably haven’t had a chance to see this utterly bonkers film yet, but when I do, I’m sure I’ll be as blown away by the feature as I was by the intriguing three minute promo clip.
And speaking of promo clips, my god, the Imperium trailer looks intense. Left barely recognisable by a fresh buzz-cut and new gang of swastika-enthusiast buddies; Radcliffe will take audiences in a much more serious direction in the August-slated thriller. Starring as FBI Agent Nate Foster, Radcliffe will go deep undercover and infiltrate a gang of neo-Nazis who are plotting to build a bomb, or something (the synopsis doesn’t give much away). That’s right; Harry Potter has joined a white power movement… sort of.
While it’s only scheduled for a limited cinema run, Imperium could prove to be an on-demand hit for Lionsgate, who seem to be trying to get a leg over the fence and into the bottomless swimming pool of cash that is internet video streaming.
In saying all of this, I must stress that I’m not saying that either film is a guaranteed classic, or must-see, or anything of the sort. But both trailers are definitely worth checking out, and there will surely be something to hook you in to the extreme Castaway scenario of Swiss Army Man, or the gritty realism of the Nazi-focused Imperium. Of the two, I’d say the latter holds more potential to be a big hit, but given the subject matter, it could also be a generic cookie-cutter thriller. Only time will tell.
If nothing else, these two films in particular could prove to be a testament to how badly Radcliffe would rather be recognised for his entire body of work, rather than his most successful franchise.
What do you think ? Thanks for reading and comment below!
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