Sunday, October 11, 2009

Recasting Classics: My Fair Lady

I'm hoping to make this a regular feature here at Nitflicky. With remakes becoming more and more prevalent in cinema, there are often talks of updating beloved classic films. One that's reportedly getting the remake treatment is George Cukor's My Fair Lady, the film adaptation of the stage musical, which in turn was based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.
The casting of the 1964 film was famously controversial, with fans of the stage production adamantly insisting that Julie Andrews reprise her role as Eliza Doolittle. But producers wanted Audrey Hepburn, who wasn't known for her singing voice but who studio heads thought would bring bigger crowds and more money. The decision also affected the Oscars. My Fair Lady racked up 12 nominations, but Audrey Hepburn was left out. Many speculate that Julie Andrews' win for Mary Poppins was Hollywood's consolation prize for losing the role.
The updated version was announced in June of 2008, but so far no details have been confirmed. Reportedly Emma Thompson is on hand to write the screenplay, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Keira Knightley looking to get on board as Henry Higgins and Eliza.
Now, I have to make myself very clear on this point: I'm not a fan of remakes. Even the great ones tend to lose something special from the original. But this is just for fun. Pretend for a moment that the movie is being made for the first time. Which of today's stars would you cast as Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins, Colonel Pickering, Freddy, and Alfred Doolittle? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments section.


Univarn said...

Hmmm such a toughy, it's almost impossible to replace the original cast in terms of energy and screen presence. But, for fun sake, here we go:

Henry Higgins: Hugh Laurie (because I can!)
Eliza Doolittle: Natalie Portman
Colonel Pickering: Billy Connolly
Alfred Doolittle: Michael Caine
Freddy: Matthew Rhys

That's probably as good as I can do, but that list is entirely based on spunk, so it'll never work out. Though depending on how Nine works out, Daniel Day Lewis could be their only bet.

Ellen said...

Eliza Doolittle: Emily Blunt
Henry Higgins: Jeremy Northam
Colonel Pickering: Jim Broadbent
Freddy: Ewan McGregor (I'd love to hear him sing "On the Street Where You Live")
Alfred Doolittle: Geoffrey Rush

The Mad Hatter said...

What do people think about Anne Hathaway as Eliza Doolittle?

Rae Kasey said...

Anne Hathaway could definitely do a great job. She really impressed me in Rachel Getting Married and again at the Oscars when she sang! I'm incredibly anxious to see her take on Judy Garland next year.

DEZMOND said...

I was shocked by Ellen's choice, because it was the exact same one that I was planning to put here :)) Hooray to Ellen.
So I vote for Blunt, Northam, Broadbent and Ewan.
Portman and Knightley are just too cold for the role. Claire Danes could do this as well, but it wouldn't be a successful project then.

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