Imagine the possibilities if 2007 saw the release of a remake of the timeless cinematic classic My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor in 1964, based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion. Who would be put together to assemble the unforgettable characters of this masterpiece? As a side note, I would like to state that these actors/actresses are not bound by their ages, only by their talents.
To begin casting this film, I must begin with Eliza Doolittle, played by Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 film. I would have to choose the Aussie actress Nicole Kidman for this role. She has shown us over and over again in her films that she is a master of dialect. This role would come naturally for her. She also showed us in the 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!, directed by Baz Luhrmann, that she is a very talented and comedic singer. She is also very beautiful, but is also able to look very run down, as we see in Anthony Minghella's 2003 release Cold Mountain. This would be a great attribute for the part of Eliza.
Now, who is able to play Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison in the '64 release? I would have to choose the man who is, in my opinion, the king of British romantic comedy, Hugh Grant. He is a master of sarcasm and pretty much played a wonderful snob. This is a perfect attribute to the role of Higgins. He showed us in Bridget Jones' Diary, directed by Sharon Maguire in 2001, and in Two Weeks Notice, directed by Marc Lawrence in 2002, that he was very able of showing very little care for other people and even a loveable clueless attribute than can easily be attributed to Higgins' character. Of course, these character's eyes are eventually opened just as Higgins' are in the 1964 film.
As for Pickering, depicted in the earlier movie by Wilfred Hyde-White, I would have to cast Colin Firth. First and foremost, he is wonderful when paired with Grant. They have been in many of the same movies where they play good friends and outstanding enemies. It would be a treat to see them along side each other in such a great film.
To play Higgins' mother, instead of Gladys Cooper, who was in the earlier movie, I would have to choose another actress who has co-starred with these two gentlemen. Dana Ivey would do a wonderful job putting Grant in his place as Higgins.
Now for the most challenging casting call--Alfred P. Doolittle. Who would be fit to play such a comedic, flamboyant, and tremendously British character, portrayed in the earlier movie by Stanley Holloway? I would have to choose Sir Ian McKellen. This man has had tons of experience in theatre and film. He has played countless characters from Richard III in Richard III (Richard Loncraine, 1995) to Magneto in the X-Men Trilogy (Bryan Singer, Brett Ratner, 2000, 2003, 2006) to Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003). He is a wonderful actor who is pretty much fabulous enough to pull of such a comedic character as Doolittle.
This would be a wonderful cast for this picture. They would pull off all aspects of the picture and would make it just as enjoyable as it was in 1964. If only we could muster up the big bucks it would take to get them all on the project.