I've read some a couple of suggestions that Jeff Bridges should play Wireman. Guess I saw it differently. I have Jeff Bridges as Edgar and had him since page one. I think of Jeff from "K-Pax" and "The Fisher King", and then at the beginning when he's frequently in hospital beds, I imagine long haired Bridges from "..Lebowski" and et cetera. Flows in my head easily. Someone's suggestion that Dustin Hoffman play Edgar appealed to me as well. Wireman I cast as Christopher Lee-- although I made him a bit younger than he currently is-- something between "The Wicker Man" and "The Lord of the Rings". And then Pam I cast as Natalie Portman, although reluctantly. But that's been working out for me okay. Miss Eastlake I'll probably surprise you on, as I casted the little old Taylor Mead. Old people are somewhat androgynous, was my thought, and who can do alzheimers better than Taylor Mead?
As far as directors, sure, Darabont. But I'd be okay with any number of choices. I think a talented director more used to another genre might do better making horror less conventional, more internalized, and so on. Sam Mandez maybe.