India Jones, anyone?
We’ve long bemoaned Hollywood’s endless fascination with reboots, an obsession that often comes at the expense of penning original, complex stories for new audiences.
But the trend of rebooting beloved nostalgic properties, often giving them a gender-flipped storyline to boot, doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Zoë Kravitz is all set to star in a female-led television reboot of High Fidelity, the cult classic film starring John Cusack based on Nick Hornby’s beloved novel about records, reality and romantic stasis. Then there’s The Hustle, the remake of Steve Martin and Michael Caine’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. There’s even a Lord of the Flies remake, with an all-female cast, coming soon to the silver screen.
We could continue to rage against the machine, or we could give in and celebrate Hollywood’s commitment to telling at least some female stories. You know, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Here are a few pop culture classics we’d love to see rebooted with women in the lead.
Disney’s High Fidelity is just one of the shows greenlit by the company as part of its first foray into television for its forthcoming streaming service. (There’s also an untitled Loki television show and The Mandalorian, a Star Wars prequel series starring Pedro Pascal).
High Fidelity will revisit the beloved story of Hornby’s original novel and the film adaptation of the same name “from a female perspective” over the course of 10 episodes. Kravitz will star as the “ultimate music fan and record store owner who’s obsessed with pop culture and Top Five lists.” Knowing the original source material, there’s also bound to be tales of love and friendship to be told in the television series, too.
Fans of High Fidelity know that the casting of Kravitz is a knowing nod to the original film, which co-starred Kravitz’s mother Lisa Bonet as singer Marie de Salle, one of Cusack’s character Rob’s love interests. Bonet sang Baby I Love Your Way in the film and contributed four more covers – including one of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On and Hanson’s MmmBop – to the soundtrack.
There is no release date for the series as yet.
Coming to cinemas this year is The Hustle, the female-led remake of Michael Caine and Steve Martin’s scammer comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. This time around, the scammers are played by Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, two women trying to relieve a tech wizzkid from his many millions.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Harrison Ford is approaching 77 years of age, and he’s not getting any younger. And yet the film star has expressed a desire to see his beloved swashbuckling action series Indiana Jones continue, and is about to commence filming on the fifth installment in the franchise this year.
Who are we to turn down the chance to see another Indiana Jones movie? But maybe, Harrison, you might consider passing on the fedora and whip for the sixth movie in the franchise. And you might consider passing it on to a woman. Jodie Comer would make an excellent India Jones, in our opinion, or even Mackenzie Davis.
Director Stephen Spielberg has spoken about his desire to see the series rebooted with a female star in the future. “We’d have to change the name from Jones to Joan,” Spielberg said, indicating that the filmmaker does not understand how gendered nomenclature works. “And there would be nothing wrong with that.”
The Fast and the Furious
The NOS-enhanced exhaust fumes of The Fast and the Furious franchise refuse to give up, which means that we’re up to the eighth or ninth installment of the franchise so far. But none so far have focused explicitly on the stories of its female characters, an oversight considering how many great female roles there have been in the series, from Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) to Gisele (Gal Gadot).
If they decide to make a female-led Fast and the Furious film, can we suggest the following plot? Fate of the Furious introduced an all-too-brief cameo performance from Helen Mirren as the Shaw family matriarch. Could we get a prequel focused on her rise to power, The Godfather Part II-style, featuring some very slick vintage cars? Jessica Chastain could even reprise her recurring role playing young Mirren, as she did in The Debt. Great, glad that’s all sorted.
This one is a no-brainer. Though some have tried, we are yet to get a definitive female-led gross-out comedy in the manner of Todd Phillips’ The Hangover.
Why have so many, from Rough Night to The Bachelorette, failed? We think it’s a combination of bad scripts and bad casts. Our advice for filmmakers hoping to make an all-female reboot of The Hangover is to take a leaf out of Phillips’ book and balance your cast between up-and-coming comedians and on-the-cusp movie stars. Then, it’s just a matter of stacking the deck with good jokes and a killer plot twist.
We know, we’ve already had the definitive female boxing movie in Million Dollar Baby. But with the resurgence of the Rocky franchise these past few years courtesy of Creed, we’re feeling nostalgic for a female-led boxing film set on the streets of Philadelphia we know so well. Consider this a petition for Nicola Adams to star.