Blogger Q&A: 5 gender-swapped remakes we’d like to see
With the much-discussed Ghostbusters remake coming out this week to the excitement of some and the chagrin of others, our bloggers are dreaming about their ideal gender-swapped remakes. From solo heroes to big ensembles, these are some highly-regarded films and franchises that we think could be just as good, if not better, with women subbed in for men and vice versa. And we ain’t afraid of no opinions — let us know what you think in the comments below.
Too often women in the spy genre are left playing second fiddle to the men of the picture, or must do their spying in a comedy setting. I have absolutely nothing against a damsel in distress being rescued by the action hero (especially if that action hero is Pierce Brosnan or Harrison Ford). But as someone who grew up enjoying in equal parts Barbie dolls and an armory’s worth of wooden swords, toy blasters, and plastic breastplates, I want both. There’s room on stage for a female spy as cool and calculating as her male counterparts, who always gets the job done and likes her martinis shaken, not stirred. When do we get a female spy who’s as cool as the boys, as suave as the boys, as smart as the boys, or as deadly as the boys? Why can’t a woman fill the shoes of James Bond, and be the quintessential, licensed to kill, 007 agent that has defined a genre? Spy films are one of the worst offenders when it comes to offering few leading roles for women, and nothing could shatter that glass ceiling more thoroughly than a woman taking on the role of the genre’s icon. – Naomi Laeuchli
The idea of a female Indy is no more new than the idea of a female Bond. Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft or Anna Kendrick’s viral riffing on She-Indy skews away from my envisioning of the character, though. As I’ve thought about the idea of Lady Dr. Jones, the idea of Harrison Ford’s iconic character having a daughter of course comes up. (We can ignore Shia LaBeouf’s “Mutt” from Crystal Skull, right?) But the more I mull it over, the more I’m thinking a straight-up, gender-swapped remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark could be kind of great. Imagine: the only male characters are the students mooning over Dr. Jones in archaeology class, and the lad-in-distress, “Michael Crane” perhaps. Everybody else, from Sallah to Belloq to Toht and the other Nazis, is female. Imagine, say, Helen Mirren as Brody, or Sofia Boutella as Katanga. Who should be cast in the lead role? I don’t know; perhaps we need an unknown. Just so long as she is as kick-ass and capable — and, ultimately, as ineffective on the film’s climax — as Ford’s Indy. — Nigel Druitt
There’s something more to the identity of Persona than the issues of expression and human nature that I’d like to see explored in a masculine film. Too often, the exchanges of power dynamics in films about men end up being focused on bravado and alpha-beta dynamics. I would love to see a masculine version of Persona equally interested in nurturing, pain, sensuality, and passive-aggressiveness. I don’t just want there to be a homoerotic tension, to be clear; I want to see two men who are ostensibly meant to care for one another, and how they converge until it chafes, and how what they want isn’t about one leading the other forward but just wanting to advocate for their self. If Persona has been approached in spiritual successors, it is usually in films about women, such as Clouds of Sils Maria or Mulholland Drive, or it amps up the nature of machismo and violence, as in Fight Club. I’d love to see a version that looks at the best in masculinity, yet still finds tragedy in its specifics. — Alex Lovendahl
Alright, yes, I want to see Reservoir Dogs with an all-female cast because I want to watch the same people crying about the female Ghostbusters lose their damn minds even further. I want to ruin their childhoods and everything they hold sacred. But Quentin Tarantino’s debut film is also his only film without a major female role, and you can feel that lack in the movie’s overwhelming machismo. Considering QT’s interest in strong female roles, I can imagine him being completely on board for an all-female cast, and hell, I’d love to see him direct in. Imagine Helen Mirren as Mrs. White or Charlize Theron as Mrs. Blonde. So many of QT’s films have shown how bad-ass women can be, so why not go back to the beginning of his career and prove that once again?
— Ross Bonaime
The Magnificent Seven
Of all the Seven Samurai remakes out there, the one I think most ripe to be remade itself with an all-female cast of do-gooder warriors is the 1960 (and 2016) Western The Magnificent Seven. The real Old West had its share of female gunslingers, though they haven’t been heavily represented in film outside of the odd Annie Oakley flick. The Magnificent Seven could add exactly that number to the rolls, and with a diverse set of personality traits besides. There’s the leader, the hotshot, the young one, the joker, the stoic one, etc. Just imagining the casting possibilities makes my heart beat faster! Now that both Nigel and Ross have mentioned Helen Mirren, it’s hard to see anyone else in the Yul Brynner role. Jennifer Lawrence as the spiritual descendant of Toshiro Mifune’s Seven Samurai character could earn her another Oscar nomination. Above all, though, I don’t want a comedy; play it straight, make it epic, and this could become not just another Kurosawa remake, but one of the best. — David Conrad