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Odds on Who Will Play Larry King in Biopic – Gary Oldman, Steve Buscemi Co-Favorites

JJ De La Torre

by JJ De La Torre in Entertainment

Feb 2, 2021 · 12:38 PM PST

Larry King speaks to guests at a party held by CNN, celebrating King's fifty years of broadcasting in New York. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson, File)
  • Famed CNN talk show host Larry King passed away on January 23, 2021
  • Having recently conquered COVID-19, King passed away from sepsis, a complication of the virus
  • As fans and Hollywood mourns the late legend, many are wondering who can fill King’s shoes in a biopic. See below for odds best bets

When beloved CNN talk show host and household name journalist Larry King passed away on January 23, he left a void that fans and colleagues alike will be left mourning for a long time.

In wanting to keep King’s spirit alive, it is believed Hollywood will soon be casting for a King biopic. Having had a 60+ career well into his 80s, King’s life is not an easy one to tell on screen.

Naturally, Hollywood will need to find the perfect actor to strap on King’s iconic suspenders and glasses for the film. Let’s take a look at all of the A-list considerations before picking out who would be your best bets.

Odds on Who Will Play Larry King in Biopic

Actor Odds
Gary Oldman +180
Steve Buscemi +180
Christian Bale +500
John Travolta +500
Tom Hanks +850
Jack Nicholson +1000

Odds as of February 2

A total of six names appear on the odds list for portraying King’s life on the silver screen. Among them, we have half a dozen beloved stars, all of whom would make a good case to play the role.

Each have their own case as to why they’d make a great Larry King. But of course, there can only be one.

A Role Fit for a King

Who in Hollywood can disappear into any role he’s cast? Gary Oldman. From punk rocker Sid Vicious in 1986’s Sid and Nancy to Beethoven (1994’s Immortal Beloved) to Winston Churchill (2017’s Darkest Hour), Oldman has proven time, and again he can do it all.

At 62, Oldman is aged perfectly to be aged down for King’s younger years and up a bit for his final moments. But that isn’t to say he’s the only one for the job.

Christian Bale, at +500, also makes a good bet. Bale’s prior biopic experience includes Bob Dylan (2007’s I’m Not There) and Dick Cheney (2018’s Vice), among others. Having lost weight for The Machinist, gaining it for Vice, and transforming every other which way, it’s quite easy to picture Bale as Larry King.

Either Oldman or Bale would make great choices for the role of King and provide good betting value. Meanwhile, many are looking at Steve Buscemi for the role simply because he physically resembles King.

As much fun as Buscemi is to watch on screen, he’s not serious enough of an actor for the role. The proof is in the pudding: Buscemi has never been cast to play in a biopic before.

Looking at the Long Shots

Two of Hollywood’s most iconic stars are listed as long shot potentials to appear as King in a biopic: Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson, at +850 and +1000 respectively.

Hanks certainly makes for a good choice to play King given his prior successes in seven biopics. Among them, he seamlessly stepped into the magical world of Walt Disney in 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks before donning the red cardigan of Mr. Rogers in the recent A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

But with Hanks being a casting favorite in this type of film, why the weaker odds on Larry King? For one, physical traits. Hanks looks nothing like the late journalist. Having him step into the role would require a lot of distracting facial prosthetics.

In similar territory, the beloved Jack Nicholson saw earlier career success in the 1992 biographical crime drama Hoffa starring in the lead role as labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa. But that was almost three decades ago.

In fact, Nicholson has all but retired from Hollywood. His 2010 appearance in How Do You Know is considered to be his career finale.

With all considerations laid out on the table, Gary Oldman proves to be the best bet. Not only are his odds the best, but he’s probably already being considered in casting offices as you read this.

Pick: Gary Oldman (+180)

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