The calls have been heard loud and clear, both on stage and off at the Oscars or in the annals of the web and at the box office: the world demands more movies with women, about women, by women and for women.
Every week a movie seems to be failing the Bechdel test, and every week a separate movie ends up walking away with the lion’s share at the box office. From hits like Maleficent, The Fault in Our Stars andLucy to monster franchises like The Hunger Games, the old notion that teenage boys are the ones driving the demand at the movies is rapidly eroding. The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that Marvel’sGuardians of the Galaxy opened to a 44 percent female audience on the film’s opening weekend, the highest share for any Marvel movie to date.
And although they’ve taken their sweet time, Hollywood is finally responding in the only way they know how: churning out a bunch of remakes, reboots, spinoffs and sequels with a massive price tag attached.
Case in point, Sony is in talks with Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) to reimagine Ghostbusters with a female cast. Marvel is about to greenlight a Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson just as she’s hit the hottest moment of her career. And Sylvester Stallone wants to make an Expendabelles movie starring an ass-kicking, chain smoking Sigourney Weaver.
While we’d love for Hollywood to start coming up with some original ideas with women taking the center stage, we wouldn’t put it past them to rehash every remotely successful franchise, blockbuster or cult movie ever made with a leading lady. So in that spirit, we at Sound on Sight decided to help the studios out with a list of female-fronted remakes we’d love to see, everything from the perfectly plausible to the downright ridiculous reboot no one asked for but will get made anyway.
The 1990 hit Point Break has, over the years, become an action classic, even referenced in other movies such as Hot Fuzz. A remake is already in the works for 2015, but making the movie female-centric would be a great way to set it apart from the original and its subsequent imitators. At its best, a women-led version of Point Break could allow for an exploration of what makes platonic relationships between women tick, and how they react to betrayal and other friendship-straining experiences. But even if that is too lofty a goal for a Point Break remake, it would still give women an opportunity to perform the kinds of stunts and get a shot at the kinds of roles that seem oddly reserved for men. Perhaps the best option would be reuniting Maggie Q and Lyndsy Fonseca as Bodhi and Utah. Both performers showed action chops and a strong chemistry over the course of the CW’s latest incarnation of Nikita, qualities that would make them perfect for the part. But an equally good set of choices would be Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar) as Bodhi and Caity Lotz (Arrow, The Machine) as Utah. - Deepayan Sengupta
Women in Black
When director Barry Sonnenfeld’s sci-fi comedy actioner Men in Black arrived on the scene in 1997 it brought an off-kilter and imaginative spin to the buddy genre that definitely agreed with the box office results. But would it be much different if the franchise created a whole new universe where two black leather-clad female agents teamed up with sunglasses while kicking some alien butt in a remake entitledWomen in Black? Someone like Sandra Bullock has already had a good track record with buddy cop comedies (The Heat, Miss Congeniality) and even sci-fi and action, and her Miss Congeniality 2 co-star Regina King could even take up the Will Smith role. - Frank Ochieng
Quentin Tarantino has always been pretty good about writing interesting roles for women (Jackie Brown, Kill Bill), so why not take one of the best ensemble crime capers of all time, Reservoir Dogs, and add even more panache? Sprinkle some Tarantino regulars throughout by having Pam Grier taking over as Joe Cabot, Uma Thurman as Mr. White, Zoe Bell as Mr. Blonde; this cast practically fills itself out. Few directors are as good at assembling a cast as Tarantino is, and I would love to see what those actresses could bring to the mental warfare the associates wage on each other, especially with a lot of money and a lot of jail time on the line. - Colin Biggs
While there have been good opportunities for women to be tough in the movies, there are fewer films that allow them to be equal parts cerebral and crazy, and a Face/Off remake might just be perfect. Give me Emily Blunt as Sean Archer (John Travolta) and Anne Hathaway as Castor Troy (Nicholas Cage). Both are adept at action and Hathaway has enough quirks for Blunt to do a recognizable mimic. Blunt’s accent adds an extra layer, too. Keep it familial and throw John Krasinski in as Blunt’s spouse – a vanilla actor who just needs to not screw it up. Minor changes may need to happen in terms of story, but the idea of two talented actors essentially playing each other is always fun. Plus, Anne Hathaway leading a terrorist organization sounds pretty amazing. – Joshua Gaul
John McClain has finally retired after years of escalating adventures. His son, Jack, is on the other side of the world still working for the CIA. One Christmas Eve, terror strikes the heart of LA and John McClain and others are captured and held hostage in an extravagant hotel by a mysterious group of terrorists. Their charismatic leader, a female terrorist played by Helen Mirren, who seems to have a personal vendetta against the McClains, is demanding $640 million or else John and the other hostages will be killed. The hostages’ only hope is Lucy McClain, played again by the wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who has to fight her way to the top of the hotel and save her father. With Winstead being a strong and beautiful lead and Mirren hamming it up as the villain, this female-led Die Hard, titled The Time Comes to Die Hard (aka Die Hard Alone, Until We Die Hard, Die Hard Trying, Only the Good Die Hard or, Die, Die Hard, Die!) would be the perfect spark the franchise needs. Winstead could return the series back to it’s roots as an every-(wo)man who has to step up to the role of action hero. It doesn’t even exist and it’s already better than A Good Day to Die Hard. - Max Molinaro
I'm adding the Expendables to the list