The Oscar-winning Bardem is far from the only big name that’s somewhat surprisingly involved with “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.” Among the other cast members are “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu, Brett Gelman (aka Murray from “Stranger Things”), and Scoot McNairy of “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Monsters,” and “Killing Them Softly” fame. The movie also features original songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” ‘The Greatest Showman”), including one performed by Bardem — who, yes, can sing, for those who didn’t see him do just that in “Being the Ricardos.”
Speck assured Collider he really took the time to work on Bardem’s role with him, ensuring there was some proper substance to his crocodile-owning eccentric:
“We talked to him about the integrity of the character and finding the dramatic roots to the character ultimately so that it wasn’t just played for jokes, but that we wanted to play this as a fully dimensional, real character and that, that’s why we wanted him. Because we wanted it to not be an expected performance of something you’ve seen. And what was exciting about him was I feel like you haven’t seen this guy before. You haven’t seen Javier do this and his voice was great.”
Between its championing of tolerance and self-expression, cast of respected adult character actors, and whimsical tone, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” seems to be trying really hard to be the American answer to the “Paddington” movies, which certainly isn’t a bad goal to have. It’s not an easy one to realize either, not least of all coming after the exquisite “Paddington 2.” But who knows? Bardem’s casting might not be the only surprise “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” has up its sleeves.
“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” opens in theaters on October 7, 2022.