Bardem, an Oscar winner, is far from the only big name associated with “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” rather strangely. Other cast members include Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu, Brett Gelman (aka Murray of Stranger Things) and Scoot McNairy of Stop and Catch Fire, Monsters and Kill Them Softly. The film also features original songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “The Greatest Showman”), including a song performed by Bardem — who, yes, can sing, for those who haven’t seen him. do just that in “Being Ricardo”.
Speck assured Collider that he really took the time to work with him on Bardem’s role, making sure there was some substance to his crocodile-wielding eccentricity:
“We talked to him about the integrity of the character and finding the dramatic roots of the character, ultimately, so that it’s not just played for jokes, but that we wanted to play it as a fully-dimensional, real character and, that’s why we wanted him. Because we wanted it to not be the expected performance of what you saw. And what was exciting about him, I feel like you haven’t seen this guy before. You haven’t seen Javier do it and his voice was amazing.”
Between its advocacy of tolerance and self-expression, its cast of respected adult actors, and its whimsical tone, “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” seems to be trying indeed it’s hard to be America’s answer to the Paddington movies, which is certainly not a bad goal. It is also not easy to realize this, not least after the exquisite “Paddington-2”. But who knows? Bardem’s casting may not be the only surprise that “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile” has up its sleeve.
Lyle, Lyle, the Crocodile hits theaters on October 7, 2022.