An idle conversation yesterday about Hollywood's addiction to remakes led to us speculating about the few decent films which haven't been re-filmed, and who might star in them.
My vote goes to Arnie and Aniston in Casablanca (though this time the Arabs would be the enemy and the Nazis and Brits would team up to defeat the Islamists). 'Of all ze bars in ze vorld, she valks into mine. Now give me your clothes, your boots and your transit permits'. Instead of a rousing chorus of the Marseillaise in Rick's, Aniston would sing the cat song from Friends.
What else? Brief Encounter would of course be set in an American airport. After queuing for several hours to be groped by rude TSA staff, Jim Carrey - in the Trevor Howard role - would do his wobbly face thing, before going to the gents' for sex with J-Lo, the Celia Johnson de nos jours. No doubt the script would find room for some comedy animals. Perhaps an orang-utan. Instead of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 2 which pervades the film, Jack Black would be overseeing the soundtrack which would include some Pink, Pussycat Dolls and Bon Jovi. Rather than sorrowfully parting under the weight of their responsibilities, J-Lo calls up her girlfriends and they all run away to Acapulco together, whooping like only celluloid Americans can whoop. As they leave, Jim Carrey drops a bag of flour from the cockpit on J-Lo's husband's head (Danny Glover? Don Cheadle) and we all laugh. Roll credits. (I gather there's a Sophia Loren/Richard Burton remake which could frankly go either way).
Going the other way, I'd quite like to see a Lars von Trier remake of Carry On Up The Khyber (funny that Afghanistan doesn't seem quite so amusing these days) 't any of the Carry On Series. Bjork would make a magnificent Babs Windsor, Madonna's a natural for Hattie Jaques, while Klaus Kinski would slot perfectly into the Kenneth Williams roles. Sid James would be trickier to cast, but I reckon Christopher Ecclestone has the comedy chops to manage it. Tom Hanks would obviously replace Bernard Breslaw. We could probably find a part for Sir Kenneth of Branagh and Nicholas Cage too.
(Warning - contains white British actors playing 'comedy' Afghans).
Also bubbling under - Reese Witherspoon in Twelve Angry Blondes. Alan Carr in For A Fistful of Dollars. Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks in The Front Page or His Girl Friday and of course the cast of EastEnders in It's A Wonderful Life (in which Phil Mitchell murders Clarence in the first scene. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Babette's Feast? Finally, A Matter of Life and Death desperately needs the talents of the cast of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
OK, time for your suggestions. What needs remaking, and who would you cast?