Nothing like taking on the impossible...
Keira Knightley and Daniel Day-Lewis, two of the biggest names in British cinema, are being lined up to star in a film remake of the musical My Fair Lady. The two stars are set to take on the roles of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, which were given notable treatments by Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 Oscar-winning classic.I would like to see them do with this what Baz Luhrman did with Romeo & Juliet. He took what was crucial to the story (the intensity of their love and passion) and he made the film ooze with it. I don't want to see a remake that is trying to be the original. What's the point? But if they set it in the current time and made the tunes really cutting edge, that might be interesting.
Knightley, the star of Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and the Pirates of the Caribbean films, has already signed up to the project and has begun singing lessons.
The producers of the film have put Day-Lewis, the double Oscar-winning star of There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot, at the top of their wish list of actors to play opposite her. They are convinced that the star would be perfect as the pig-headed chauvinist who falls for the flower seller he plucks from the gutter.
The film is being produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Duncan Kenworthy, the producer of British blockbusters such as Notting Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Sources close to the project say Kenworthy is keen to get Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese or Roger Michell, the director of Notting Hill and
Venus, to direct the film.
One source said: “Keira is already onboard and everyone is convinced that Day-Lewis would be perfect as Higgins.” Until recently, the idea of Day-Lewis in a musical would have been unthinkable. But the actor is also in talks to star alongside Nicole Kidman in a film version of the musical Nine.
Any My Fair Lady remake is likely to be controversial. The original, directed by George Cukor, won eight Oscars and in 2006 it was ranked the sixth-best movie musical ever.
It doesn't have to be that, but some significant change that explores another view of it. The original movie, for example, looks like someone filmed a stage performance - it kept that stage feel perfectly. Now I like that about it, but it's definitely something that could be radically changed in a remake and end up making the whole thing feel more immediate and alive.
I refuse to assume it will suck, but my hope is pretty tenuous.