Rather than making an all-female adaptation of Lord of the Flies that completely misses the point of what we mean when we ask for more female centered storytelling, movie studios should greenlight these five literary classics instead.
The Count of Monte Cristo
Everyone loves a good revenge story, and Alexander Dumas’ classic certainly ranks up there with the best of them.
The story centers around Edmond Dantes, a young sailor with a promotion and upcoming wedding ahead of him, who instead ends up going to jail for a crime that he did not commit due to the plotting of three men who are jealous of him.
He spends fourteen years in prison, learning from an elderly priest and plotting his escape and revenge.
When he finally does escape, he spends the next decade acquiring a fortune, building a new name for himself and exacting complete and total revenge on the three men responsible for his imprisonment.
Of course, part of the eventual storyline is Edmond realizing that he’s hurt innocent people in his quest for vengeance and wondering whether or not he’s gone too far, which makes the story more interesting than your run of the mill revenge tale.
But it’s also a pretty damn sweet revenge tale all the same.
You get to watch and relish as Edmond wreaks havoc on the three selfish, petty and cruel men who not only stole nearly two decades of his life from him, but took everything he ever had or loved.
Because Edmond spends so much time in prison and then rebuilding his life, this role should absolutely go to an older female actress — a demographic we don’t often see represented in a Hollywood culture that forgets that women exist after 35.
I’d love to see Viola Davis, Lucy Liu or Robin Wright in the title role — first of all, because they’re all very talented actresses and, secondly, because how freaking sweet would it be to watch any one of them exact revenge on their enemies?
The Three Musketeers
Another classic from Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers has enjoyed numerous adaptations on both film and television. While the most recent BBC adaptation (a lot of fun and worth watching) only went off air last year, I don’t feel like anyone would object to an all-female adaptation of a story that’s about four badass warrior/guards protecting their king and country.
Yes, there are other facets to this story — insightful commentary, complicated political intrigue — but at it’s heart, this story is really about four friends rolling around, kicking ass and foiling plots.
The four leads would need have to have some sort of fight experience and be able to develop an easy chemistry with one another.
My dreamcast would probably be somewhere along the lines of Gina Rodriguez as the young, headstrong D’Artagnan, Charlize Theron or Michelle Yeoh as world-weary Athos, Sofia Boutella or Zoe Saldana as beautiful and charming Aramis, and a seasoned fighter like Gina Carano or Ronda Rousey as powerhouse fighter Porthos.
Now that’s an all-female remake I’d get in line to see.
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s most famous novel has been made over and over again, with just about every variation you can think of.
There’s been about half a dozen movie and TV versions, each; there’s been a Mormon version, a Bollywood version, a YouTube web series version.
There’s even a version that has included zombies.
But there’s never been an all-female, lesbian version of this timeless romantic classic.
I think it’s about high time we changed that, don’t you?
And because I came across this casting and fell in love with it immediately, I’m going to point you in the direction of this tumblr post which casts Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Lupita Nyong’o and Ruth Negga as Lizzie, Jane and Bingley, respectively. Just switch in Kerry Washington for Darcy and Scarlett Johansson for Wickham and you basically have my dreamcast for this all-female adaptation.
Like Pride and Prejudice’s Lizzie Bennet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is one of the most enduring and iconic literary icons of all-time. And similar to Lizzie Bennet, he’s been adapted numerous times with various gimmicks.
In fact, there’s been three different versions of Sherlock Holmes in the past decade alone. There’s the BBC version, played by Tumblr’s former favorite Benedict Cumberbatch, the movie version, played by Tumblr’s perennial favorite Robert Downy Jr., and the CBS version, played by the-person-who-should-be-Tumblr’s-favorite-but-isn’t-because-Tumblr-has-piss-poor-taste-in-Sherlocks Jonny Lee Miller.
And while Watson has recently been played by Lucy Liu in CBS’ (superior) TV adaptation, Sherlock himself has never been played by a woman.
I’d love to see this role go to Tatiana Maslany, who has shown us that she can literally play any single role ever given to her, or to Lena Headey, who has spent seven seasons playing an aloof, abrasive character who’s nonetheless engaging and magnetic at the same time.
The 1983 film version of S.E. Hinton’s classic YA novel was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and is a before-they-were-famous listing of nearly every 80’s Hollywood heartthrob. There’s Patrick Swayze pre-Dirty Dancing, Ralph Macchio pre-Karate Kid, Tom Cruise pre-Risky Business, Emilio Estevez pre-Breakfast Club and Rob Lowe pre-St. Elmo’s Fire.
The story centers around a group of friends (ostensibly a ‘gang’ but really more like a group of long-time friends who one day decided to name themselves, kind of the way you and your friends might’ve done when you were thirteen) and the consequences of their actions, which run from redemptive to tragic.
Though the novel is originally set in 1960’s Oklahoma, it touches on such timeless topics of class conflict and the power of family ties — both the ones we are born with and those which we create for ourselves — in such a way that I think it could easily be adapted and set in a more modern day context.
I’m not sure who my dreamcast for this might be, seeing as I think it’d be fun to follow in the first movie’s tradition and cast a bunch of up-and-comers.
Still, I certainly wouldn’t object (and I don’t think anyone on Earth would either) to seeing a cast like the one on this article’s cover photo. Can you imagine a movie in which Beyonce steps into Patrick Swayze’s role and plays big sister to Zendaya’s Ponygirl? I’m already buying ten tickets in my mind.
Which literary classic would you like to see receive an all-female adaptation?
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