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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Think Ingrid Bergman with a traffic cone bra

Madonna wants to remake Casablanca with herself in the Ingrid Bergman role.

Perhaps I should have suggested you sit down before you read that. Pick yourself up off the floor and have another go. Yes, it's that Madonna, the one with the preposterous "Like a Virgin" song and the really nasty book that no one actually read (except Charlton Heston in that SNL sketch) and the Kabbalah infatuation and the twelve dozen adoptive kids, all named Sean Penn Ritchie.*

Yes, it's that Casablanca, the one with Bogart and Bergman. Not the Marx Brothers film, although if Madonna tried to remake that one too, I'd still be cross enough with her to publicly burn a Vogue CD.

Pass out again, did we? All right, up off the floor. Deep breaths. In, exhale, in exhale. Feeling better? Ready to continue?

She wants to set the film in Iraq.

I'm glad I brought the smelling salts.

With Madonna's cinematic track record, you'd really think the Material Girl would be doing remakes of Revenge of the Dead and Robot Monster (just think of the possibilities with the bubble machine). Obviously, her ambition has exceeded her agent's good sense. At least, she's stayed away from Welles and Kurosawa films. Otherwise, Roger Ebert, even in his weakened condition**, might have gone right for her jugular.

Still, this is an alarming trend. Even if the film doesn't come off, and there's every chance that some producer is Lamborghini-starved and ill-mannered enough to take a shot at it, the precedent is a distinctly bad one. It was one thing to let Gus Van Zant do a tepid remake of Psycho. This would open the bleeding floodgates.

How so? Well, if you thought Anne Heche as Marion Crane was a little slice of hell, just imagine the following in your worst nightmares:

  • Gone with the Wind - starring Ben Affleck as Rhett Butler and Jennifer Garner as Scarlett O'Hara. The fight scene in the playground as Atlanta burns would be something though. (Riffing by the RIFFTRAX/MST3K crew - Great to see them back together again)
  • L'Aventura - starring the cast of Sex in the City. As Daffy Duck might say, "Easy, stomach."
  • The Seventh Seal - starring Martin Lawrence as the Knight and Raven-SymonĂ© as Death. Strikingly similar to College Road Trip, only with chess.
  • The Graduate - starring Jonah Hill as Benjamin Braddock and Joan Rivers as Mrs. Robinson
  • Singin' in the Rain - starring Justin Timberlake as Don Lockwood, Britney Spears as Kathy Selden, and Dane Cook as Cosmo Brown. Let's just say that the dancing will be a bit more "exotic." Wardrobe malfunctions will abound.

Sadly, the novelty of it all could actually improve Hollywood box office returns.

*I'm just kidding about that last one Mr. Ritchie. We'd still love to do a film with you provide we get to keep our clothes on.
**We're pulling for you Roger! Get well soon!

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