Casting Hypothetical Cult Musical Remakes


This week, we were absolutely tickled by the news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing a remake of cult ’80s musical Little Shop of Horrors, in which he would star as uber-nerdy florist Seymour. We sincerely hope this project comes to fruition, because we think Gordon-Levitt has just the right combination of quirk and star appeal to make it work — though we don’t think any casting director could do better than Steve Martin for the dentist — and we’re interested to see how Audrey II would look with today’s technology. In any event, the news got us to thinking about other classic and cult musical movies we’d love to see remade today, and who might be the best person to star in them. Click through to see our dream stars for modern adaptations of some classic musicals, and let us know who you’d cast in the comments!

My Fair Lady — Emily Blunt

We think Emily Blunt would make a phenomenal Eliza Doolittle — not only could she pull off the gutter snipe and proper lady with equal aplomb, she has a natural sense of humor and glamorous goofiness that we think would be perfect in this musical. It’s very Hepburn, after all. Plus, though she’s not exactly known for it, she can definitely sing — and like any modern Eliza should, she sings both incredibly classily at fancy parties and drunk with her friends in bars.

Singin’ in the Rain — Jean Dujardin

Sure, it would be almost impossibly meta — casting the star of the year’s runaway silent film in a 1950’s musical about the same transitional period in Hollywood — but that’s just how we like our pop culture. Besides, isn’t Dujardin just a ringer for a French Gene Kelly, with that unbearably handsome face and guy-smiley demeanor? And he can even sing — well, sort of.

West Side Story — Naya Rivera

If you’re about to tell us that Naya Rivera is much too sassy to play Maria, we protest. Not only is Maria a tried-and-true rebel, but we don’t think Rivera should get pigeonholed into the bitchy cheerleader role just because of Glee. We think she’d be able to pull off the sweet and innocent girl, who also happens to be so alluring she started a gang war, with ease and a wink. Plus, unlike Natalie Wood, she’s at least half Puerto Rican.

Mary Poppins — Zooey Deschanel

Though prim and proper Zooey Deschanel is not, we think Mary Poppins could be fun with a weird, polka-dotted, adorkable makover. We already know she has a gorgeous voice, and her recent stint on New Girl has convinced us that she’s perfect in the dotty teacher role too. Plus, don’t you think that if the real Zooey Deschanel had her druthers, she’d be travelling everywhere by umbrella and definitely rocking that really weird flowered hat? Us too.

Cry-Baby — Michael Pitt

No matter how old he gets, Michael Pitt is never going to lose that tough little baby face, and that’s what makes him perfect to play the King Cry Baby. Plus, we know he has a penchant for the weird, so we think he’d definitely be able to pull off the camp required for a remake of the John Waters classic. True, we have no idea if he can sing — but hey, Johnny Depp didn’t sing a note when he originated the role, so we’re calling that as a non-issue.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — Neil Patrick Harris

Now, in our heart of hearts, we don’t think anyone could play Dr. Frank-N-Furter like Tim Curry. But after the immense joy of watching Neil Patrick Harris play an “evil” scientist in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, we’d like nothing more than to see him give it a shot. We think he could bring a little bit of wry humor to the camp-fest that might even improve the insanity. Plus, no one does an eyebrow-raise like NPH.

Grease — Emma Stone

Little known fact: Emma Stone can sing. Already known fact: Emma Stone is one of our favorite comedy actresses right now, and since Grease is basically just a musical combination of Easy A and The House Bunny, she’s basically a shoo-in for the part of Sandy — no matter what color her hair is.

Fiddler on the Roof — Jason Segel

It would be the goofiest Fiddler yet. There would be puppets. We would love it.