If I were to create a cast for the film Wuthering Heights out of a group of contemporary actors I would create a dream team of actors that could come together to truly do Emily Brontë's 1847 novel justice better than William Wyler's 1939 version. This new film requires an ensemble cast capable not only of bringing these characters to life but also one that can connect with the audience and allow them to feel the sense pain and longing these characters endure.
In the role of Catherine, instead of Merle Oberon, I would cast the lovely Kate Beckinsale. I feel she not only has the look to pull off Catherine but also the vibrant stage presence to allow the audience to identify with Heathcliff's love of for her. She has the unique ability to play strong and fragile at the same time.
In the role of Heathcliff we find Clive Owen. He is tall, dark, and handsome; along with being charming, he is also scruffy and rough around the edges. Clive Owen is a very masculine actor just like Heathcliff, a very masculine character. I personally can see no other actor stepping into the role.
For the role of Hindley, instead of Hugh Williams, I would cast the loveable Paul Bettany. He is a very skilled actor capable of playing self-destructive. The only problem with this is that in the later scenes make up would have to make Paul look less like himself. They would have to make him look like a broken man and possibly make him look slightly heavier and older than in the earlier scenes.
For Edgar Linton, rather than David Niven, I would turn to Colin Firth, who is a skilled actor that is able to play nervous and extremely repressed. His fidgety appearance shows a nervous insecure nature that is perfect for Edgar. Colin is a true gentleman but has a difficult time as a leading man.
For Isabella, instead of Geraldine Fitzgerald, I would choose Keira Knightley. I would consider her for Catherine, but I think her youth would play better towards Isabella. I feel she would make a very beautiful and entertaining Isabella capable of carrying this often-underestimated part.