No. Sorry. There’s no movie contract, and yes, this is a bit cheeky and it could be said I’m getting ahead of myself, and yet, I live in hope that Spielberg will one day knock on the door. But until that happy day comes, it’ll just have to be imagination – mine and yours.
I don’t know how–or if–any of you imagined Reinhardt in a certain way when you read The Man From Berlin but in my mind, I always thought of Bob Peck, a British actor who passed away several years ago, and who was best known for his television work. People may know him best as the big-game hunter in Jurassic Park who got eaten by a velociraptor, ‘Clever girl!’ being his last (intelligible) lines.
However, for me his best role was as the distraught inspector in the (profoundly) 1980s Edge of Darkness, whose daughter is murdered due to her involvement in clandestine anti-nuclear activities. Edge of Darkness also featured the brilliant Joe Don Baker as a dangerously eccentric CIA officer. If you’ve not seen it, I highly recommend it, if only to remind ourselves that the UK was pretty grim back then!
So with Bob Peck’s unavailability, there are two actors I would love to see take a stab at playing
Reinhardt. Top of the list would be Viggo Mortensen who needs (one hopes!) no introduction. Think of his roles in The Road, A History of Violence, Appaloosa, and even as a double agent inside the Russian mafia in Eastern Promises. Mortensen has already played a tortured German in Good, which has to stand as a mark in his favour! He’s also had some excellent Spanish roles in Alatriste and Todos tenemos un plan.
The second actor I would like to see would be Jason Isaacs. You may all know him best as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter, but he’s been in plenty of things, including Jackson Brodie, a series about a private detective in Scotland. Isaacs has more of the ‘look’ of Reinhardt for me, even if I think Mortensen could probably carry off Reinhardt’s internal conflicts a bit better.
A complete wildcard would be Ricardo Darín, an excellent Argentinian actor. I think of him because of his role in the wonderful El secreto de sus ojos, in which he plays Benjamín Espósito, a public prosecutor haunted for decades over a murder he could never solve and a love he could never declare. That film is one of the few instances where the movie was as good if not better–albeit in a different way–as the original book, a beautiful and haunting story of love, friendship and revenge set against the Argentina of the Generals, an Argentina where men of principle like Espósito either bent or were broken, and with an ending like a punch in the gut.