I have once again decided to update the main characters in the 1964 film My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor, for a newer version of the film, based on the 1956 musical play My Fair Lady, by Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe, and the 1913 play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw. I think that my adaptation would appeal to the contemporary audiences by giving the film a new look.
I would cast Hilary Duff as Eliza Doolittle instead of Audrey Hepburn. In the beginning of the film, Eliza is a crude, unkempt girl who sells flowers. She has a thick accent that makes her extremely hard to understand. Throughout the course of the film she is transformed into a lady that speaks properly and acts as if she is a duchess. Duff would be great as this character because of her role in the film Raise Your Voice, directed in 2004 by Sean McNamara.
In this film, she played a girl who moves to the city to try to become a singer but must overcome different fears that she has. As Eliza, she would need to be able to sing and will have to overcome the struggle of working with Henry Higgins. Duff has proved that she can do just that in Raise Your Voice.
I would cast Michael Caine as Henry Higgins, instead of Rex Harrison. Higgins is a professor of language that accepts the challenge from Colonel Pickering to transform Eliza into a lady. Caine would be good as Higgins because of his role as Victor Melling in Miss Congeniality, directed by Donald Petrie in 2000, in which he plays beauty pageant consultant that must transform an FBI agent into a beauty pageant contestant. Therefore, he proves that he would make the perfect Higgins.
I would cast Hector Elizondo as Colonel Pickering, instead of Wilfrid Hyde-White. Pickering is a colleague of Higgins who challenges him in his quest to make over Eliza. Pickering remains very polite and reserved throughout the entire film. Elizondo would be great at the role because of his part in Pretty Woman, directed in 1990 by Garry Marshall, as Barney Thompson, a hotel manager to proceeds to encourage Vivian (Julia Roberts) learn manners and become a lady, just as he would need to do for Eliza.
I believe that Duff, Caine, and Elizondo would make a great cast that would impress audiences with a new version of My Fair Lady.