My Fair Lady (2012)

Update (March 26/2010)
Emma Thompson, who's writing the screenplay for this updated version of 'My Fair Lady' has said that Carey Mulligan is 'set to play' the role of Eliza Doolittle. Thompson also indicated that she'd love to see Hugh Grant take on the role of Henry Higgins but no word on whether Hugh is interested in doing so...
>>read more about Mulligan being cast

>great article with more details about film

Update (Nov.01/09): Keira is no longer attached to the project, instead Carey Mulligan, Gemma Arterton and Emily Blunt are names that have been mentioned as possibilities. IMDb even has Mulligan listed as 'rumored' to play Ms. Doolittle but I wonder if there's any insider information or if it's just speculation at this point.

Update (Sept.12/10): Wright is not directing and that it will instead by directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Mrs. Brown, Captain Corelli's Mandolin).

"Elizabeth Swann", "Elizabeth Bennett" and now "Eliza Doolittle" will be taken on by Keira Knightley. (Wonder if she'll ever take on the role of Queen Elizabeth?) We already heard that Knightley was rumoured to take on the lead role in "My Fair Lady" and it now appears to be more official. Daniel Craig's name has been mentioned for Higgins...(Joe Wright who directed Kiera in P&P was mentioned as director but he has stated that he's not part of this production)

It seems that this proposed film is stirring a lot of opinions since many feel that you can't remake a classic like this. Others are quick to offer suggestions for who they'd like to see fill the shoes of Higgins and Eliza. Although it appears that Keira has been cast, some have suggested Claire Danes would be a worthy candidate having performed on Broadway in Pygmalion.

Someone on IMDb suggested Mr.Darcy take on the role of Higgins. My first reaction was "not a bad idea"...wouldn't it be ironic to have Colin Firth play opposite Keira?? Bring together the 1995 Darcy with the 2005 Elizabeth? However, the Darcy alluded to was in fact Matthew Macfadyen, an idea that I personally think would be too weird.

The big question seems to be who will take on the role of Henry Higgins?
Daniel Day-Lewis was mentioned earlier but his name seems to have been replaced with Daniel Craig until we hear differently. If they haven't yet cast Craig, suggestions have been made for:

Hugh Laurie
Jeremy Northam
David Tennant
Pierce Brosnan
Bill Nighy
Matthew Macfadyen
Colin Firth
Gerard Butler
Hugh Jackman

What will make this movie remake different? Since Cameron Mackintosh is on board, how different is the musical from the 1964 film? (Official site for My Fair Lady the Musical)

Read Emma Boswood's post in "The Telegraph" ...
Unfortunately coming soon: 'My Fair Lady' starring Keira Knightley… and Zac Efron?


Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in 1964 film


  1. I just don't get what a new film would have over the Harrison/Hepburn one. I think Northam is my choice if we have to have a new one.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly Jane when it comes to Jeremy! I think Firth would be an interesting match but if I had my choice, yes it would be JN!

  3. My two cents... Hugh Jackman is a good choice. He's done musicals before and has the star power to pull in an audience. Of course, they are going to pick someone totally wrong for Henry Higgins. It's a given.

    I am not really that big a fan of Keira Knightley, but I have to say, I think that for this role she's a pretty good choice. However, she really needs to bring her A game. You can not phone it in as Eliza.

  4. I'm just waiting with bated...ok, I'm blue in the face holding my see who's cast as Henry Higgins. The day it's announced I'm going to lock myself in my room for a few days unless it's Hugh Laurie, which it probably won't so I'm stocking up on food...take that back, on the bedroom. ;-) Is Emma Thompson still writing the screenplay? It would be my only hope to see Hugh Laurie in there...I read an article that said that he was Emma's first choice for the role...not like she'd have any choice, buuuuut...sigh. Just don't even make it if they're going to have mediocre actors!!! of the articles said that they could see Zac Efron in there. Blech. He's a pretty face, but he's waaaay too young looking for Kiera. Henry being 20+ older than Eliza is one thing, but Freddy looking like he just got out of High pun weird.

    I do think that it would be lovely...again, no pun give Julie Andrews some role in the film. Tribute and all that. Despite their overuse in films, Judi Dench or/and Maggie Smith would be fun...but then I can't get enough of them, either.

  5. I agree with elegantextracts that Hugh Jackman would be good because he can sing. Thanks very much for the link to the Telegraph article, Charley - I enjoyed reading it and must admit I thought the writer's spoof suggestion for an updated version actually sounded as if it could be a good drama in its own right! Judy

  6. Yes Judy! I liked when she warned Columbia pictures not to copy her.

    Alexandra, as far as I know, Emma is still doing the screenplay. It will be interesting to see how it can be tweaked from what we already know.

    Teresa, I think I'll bug the producers to cast Hugh just to prove you wrong that they'll mess up the casting :)

  7. How on earth can they do that? How can they remake a classic film? Honestly can you remake "Gone with the wind" or "Casablanca"? Can you replace Audrey Hepburn to either Keira Knightley or Carey Mulligan or any other contemporary actress? Well, I'm not sure I like that idea...

  8. Marion,
    All I could think of when you mentioned 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Casablanca' is that those films will be next! Shhhh! Musn't give movie producers any ideas. Sigh, sometimes I wonder why they keep remaking so many films instead of doing something new!

  9. oops! you 're right!
    Well, I cannot agree more. It seems, though, that if they remake a classic which has a lot of fans, these fans might actually watch it out of curiosity. Therefore they have already an "audience" if you know what I mean...

  10. While I agree that some remakes are actually successful, there are a few actors/actresses that should NEVER have his or her work re-done. Audrey Hepburn was a true class act as an actress, and I can't think of a single one today that carries herself with half the dignity and grace as she did, excluding the seasoned ladies such as Helen Mirrin and Emma Thompson herself. But these ladies are too old to play the part of spunky Eliza Doolittle and I worry that a younger actress will make the mistake of copying Hepburn's performance instead of attempting to make it her own. Even if she did, there's no way to guarantee it would be as good...if it HAS to be re-done, the Laurie/Knightley coupling would be the best. Perhaps instead of doing the musical version, they could do the original play, Pygmalion? At least that way it wouldn't be like a stab in the back to the original.

  11. Well it would be nice to have an Eliza who can actually SING (as opposed to the otherwise perfectly cast Audrey Hepburn---you'll remember they brought in Marni Nixon---who, at age 82, is still alive and kicking---for THAT).

    But forget Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepurn for a moment. How do you replace Stanley Holloway who played Alfred P. Dolittle? Or Wilfred Hyde-White as Colonel Pickering? Or Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Higgins?

    Not to mention Jeremy Brett as Freddie Aynsford-Hill?

    Well, you CAN'T. So whatever you produce is going to suffer by comparison.

  12. I agree with many of the comments...why bother? Unless you can get Julie Andrews voice back and do the film with her as Eliza, who could pull the rolls off? If they want to press forward I think Andy Serkis would be a great Doolittle. But again, why not re-release a restored original and let newer generations see it on the big screen for the first time?



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