Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Sound of Music Remake: My Cast Picks So Far

So I've been reading what other bloggers are saying about the remake of the Sound of Music. I have to say I'm heartened by the number of purists out there who agree with me - somethings just can't be remade! But since it seems to be inevitable, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I say. There's fun to be had deciding who will be cast in the remaining lead roles. I've curated a few posts here. Some suggestions I agree with, others I don't. Who knows, maybe an NBC executive will even pay attention. 

I do think the ability to sing and act should be prerequisites. I also like prefer classically trained, European born choices, but I'm biased. VH1 Celebrity's Elizabeth Black, who appears to be a SoM purist, offered some solid choices in her post, Now That Carrie Underwood Is Maria Von Trapp, Who Else Should Be Cast In The Sound Of MusicRemake? I agree with her suggestions of Colin Firth as The Captain. Alternatively, I suggest Victor Garber, who pulled off Daddy Warbucks in Annie quite nicely. I also like her pick, Maggie Smith, for the Mother Abbess (again, if she can sing). However, I cannot support her suggestions for Baroness Schraeder, (Lindsay Lohan for obvious reasons and Hayden Paniettiere because she's too young, and that would distort the story further).

Someone identified by the handle, "PrettyCuteLoveBaby" posted her Dreamcastlist on IMbd and made a solid suggestion of Scarlett Johansen as the Baronness. That portrayal I would buy in a heartbeat.  I also like her suggestion for Gretl - Maggle Elizabeth Jones from We Bought a Zoo. I'm not familiar her other suggestions. She made this list three months ago though, before all this happened. I wonder if she knew what was coming? Bill Murray as Max Detweiller? Maybe, but I'm not completely sold.

OnFlavorwire, blogger Emily Temple also offered some good suggestions. Hugh Jackman as the Captain might just have to duke it out with Victor Garber and Colin Firth for my vote. (We'll see how he does as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables before making a final decision). She also suggested Julie Andrews should play the Mother Abbess (in lieu of Maggie Smith? Perhaps). But that might be tough for Julie who might be compelled to slap Carrie if she doesn't pull it off. Here's where I really wish they would use Ann Hathaway as Maria. I disagree with her suggestion of Catherine Zeta-Jones as Baronness Schraeder, but whole heartedly agree, Hugh Grant would make a GREAT Max Detweiller. The rest of her suggestions, I've never heard of.

It's been pointed out that this is a television budget NBC is working with, not a feature film budget, so the choices may be restricted by the actors' price tags. But you'd think the ratings they're bound to get will be worth it. Because we all know, like the idea of a remake or not, the sad truth is that we'll all be watching just to see if NBC can pull it off.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's gonna be a tough climb for Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music

The news came through Skype chat, a couple texts, Facebook, and at least one email: "Hey, did you know Carrie Underwood has been cast a to play Maria in NBC's remake of the Sound of Music?" (Made for TV? Really? has it come to this?). This on the heels of Larry Hagman's death, and I find myself caught once again in this surreal world that exists when your family has been immortalized in history (not to mention in song) by Broadway and Hollywood.

(What does JR's death have to do with all of this? Larry Hagman's mother was Mary Martin, who played Maria in the original Broadway production of the Sound of Music. And while he didn't know me from Adam, I always felt a certain kinship. After all, his REAL mother portrayed my REAL grandmother in a fictionalized musical based on the her autobiography. Bizarre thought, right?)

 Anyway, it was the news of the SOM remake and in particular, Carrie Underwood as Maria that really got me. First of all, after 48 years in circulation, is it really possible to remake the SOM? That would be like trying to remake Gone with the Wind (and I haven't heard about anyone trying to do that yet). Its saving grace may be that it will be an adaptation of the original Broadway musical, rather than a remake of the Hollywood blockbuster. (If you've never seen a version of the stage production, there are a number of different songs, and it's slightly darker than it's 'made-for-family-viewing film counterpart.)

 But Carrie Underwood as Maria? Seriously? I mean, I have nothing against her personally - she's an extremely talented country singer, but I'm pretty sure my father  is repeatedly rolling over in his grave. Since the movie version of SOM won an Academy Award the year I was born, it's always been easy to identify with Julie Andrews' portrayal of  my grandmother. It's a little harder to envision Carrie that way. (But I do realize that's what happens when Hollywood freezes time.) And while the girl can sing (although her voice lacks the Soprano purity of Julie Andrews) can she act? I'd like to know who else was in the running. Personally, I'd have put my money on Ann Hathaway, who in her upcoming role as Fantine in Les Miserable, proves that she can act and sing.

One thing is for sure, the news has created quite a stir on Facebook among the von Trapp cousins of several generations. While opinions are mixed, it seems most of us don't think Carrie can quite fill Dame Julie Andrews' dirndl; or Mary Martin's, for that matter. With all this indignation among the third and fourth generations, it makes me wonder, when they cast the original movie, what sort of comments my father and his siblings had about the actors who were portraying them and their parents. Maybe that's why they changed the names of the children.

 In any case, what's done is done. It will be interesting to see how this all evolves from now until the movie airs sometime in 2013. Good luck to you, Carrie. We're a tough bunch to impress, and we'll be watching! ~ F.v.T