It looks like the rumored remake of My Fair Lady is still full speed ahead. There was a public dispute over who should play the Eliza Doolittle role – a role immortalized by Julie Andrews on the stage and Audrey Hepburn in the film. At first, it looked like a battle royale between Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson. Now it’s looking like An Education’s Carey Mulligan may have the part sewn up. So who, perchance will be able to fill Rex Harrison’s curmudgeon-y shoes as the incredible Prof. Higgins? Why, look no further then Hugh Grant! Yes, apparently Hugh is producers’ top choice to play the role. Part of me wants to rip my hair out. Part of me thinks it might be awesome.
Although his name scarcely has the lustre of Sir Rex Harrison, Hugh Grant is the surprise front-runner to play Henry Higgins in Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s remake of the classic film My Fair Lady.
“He can’t sing, but then neither could Rex,” whispers my man with the clapperboard. He adds that Emma Thompson, who has written the screenplay and is a pal of Grant, fought his corner with John Madden, the director.
The casting of Grant – potentially playing opposite Carey Mulligan as Eliza Doolittle, although the actress has still to sign a contract – is likely to be regarded as a safe, if uninspiring, move within the industry.
“It is starting to sound a bit like the sort of film the BBC would make,” one producer tells me. “They could have been a lot more daring.”
Patrick Garland, who directed Sir Rex on Broadway in My Fair Lady, says he has been “intrigued” by the Chichester Festival Theatre’s casting of Rupert Everett as Higgins in its production of Pygmalion – upon which the musical is based – this summer.
“I’ll be very interested to see how Everett interprets the part,” the distinguished director says. “I’m sure Grant will be fine in the film, but it will take a very big character indeed to banish Rex’s ghost.”
Grant’s involvement in a film ought never be taken as read, however. In 2008, I disclosed that he had withdrawn from his last British project, Lost for Words, of which Richard Curtis was the executive director. The actor was said to be unhappy with the script.
[From The Telegraph]
Now, I do think it’s incredibly dull to remake this film, as I’ve said before. It would be like remaking The Sound of Music, or From Here to Eternity. Yes, Audrey’s voice is weak and dubbed in the film, but it’s still a f-cking Oscar-winning classic. That being said, if you’re going to remake a classic, I guess Hugh and Carey are who you’d want. I’m kind of hoping Keira comes back though. She would flirt more with Hugh, I think. And he needs someone to flirt with him. Or else he has a temper tantrum.