Emily Browning Takes Lead Role In Sucker Punch

EW's Hollywood Insider tells us that Emily Browning will be taking the lead role of Baby Doll in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch from Amanda Seyfried. This news immediately struck me as I had idly considered Browning a good option for the lead in Tim Burton's currently-in-post Alice in Wonderland sequel/subversion and Snyder has made the Alice connections in Sucker Punch clear.

You will most likely recall Browning from her star turn in the Lemony Snicket picture and, more recently, The Uninvited. I'm curious as to why she hasn't been getting more roles – her studies, perhaps? – but if she's somehow wanting for opportunities, a collaboration with Snyder is likely to get her meetings at the very least. I'm definitely interested in seeing what sort of fist she can make out of this one. A good sock to the chops, please, Ms. Browning.

Amanda Seyfried had to pass on the role due to a contractual obligation to Big Love which, I imagine, is going to give her nightmares about Mormons and contract lawyers for decades.

There's still not a huge amount known about Sucker Punch, but we have been told that the cast are all female (though I'm taking that to mean lead cast), that it takes place in a the 1960s, and features an 'imaginary' escape from an asylum. I'm thinking something like Return to Oz filtered through the last 20 minutes of Gilliam's Brazil and, frankly, I like what I'm thinking.

The supporting roster are all still in negotiations – Evan Rachel Wood, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, and Emma Stone. It's a veritable Spice Girls line up of 'types'... and that's the only small worry. Are we simply going to be presented with a fetish catalogue of 'identifiable young chicks', female roles defined either by a) their sexual relationships and self image, or b) by the fantasies of the male minds that created them? It wouldn't be the first film to fail in that way and no filmmaker can avoid the minefield of gender issues once they rush in headlong by biasing the casting in such a way.