6 classic films with gender-swapping remakes on the way

Want to give your Hollywood remake a new spin?  How about swapping the men for women…?

In 2016, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters re-boot, unfairly, bombed at the box office.

Relaunching the franchise with a fabulously talented quartet of actresses shouldn’t have felt like a risk for Sony, but a ‘fan’ backlash followed the gender-swapping announcement and the film seemed doomed from the outset.

In spite of this, a vogue remains for re-gendering classic films in reboot format.

Here are six classic films set to make a big-screen comeback, with main roles swapped from male to female.

1. Lord of the Flies


Announced today, a new film adaptation of William Golding’s 1954 novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ is on the way from filmmaking duo Scott McGehee and David Seigel. The twist here being that the stranded boys of Golding’s original tale will now be girls.

The book has been translated to film twice before now, in Peter Brook’s 1963 Lord of the Flies and Harry Hook’s 1990 Castle Rock feature.

‘We want to do a very faithful but contemporized adaptation of the book, but our idea was to do it with all girls rather than boys,’ Siegel told Deadline.

‘It is a timeless story that is especially relevant today, with the interpersonal conflicts and bullying, and the idea of children forming a society and replicating the behavior they saw in grownups before they were marooned.’

Many on social media have already derided the project for missing the key themes of the Golding novel, but the idea has still an element of intrigue about it.

2. Ocean’s Eight


Work is already well underway on Gary Ross’ remake of Lewis Milestone’s original 1960 Ocean’s 11 and its 2001 reboot trilogy from Steven Soderbergh.

It’s a franchise with a habit of casting big names

The original film featured the Rat Pack: Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop.

Soderbergh’s twenty-first-century films, meanwhile, had an all-star cast in the forms of George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt.

Whereas the titular ’11’ have always been men up to now, it is a similarly impressive female line up – Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, and Sarah Paulson – that has been assembled for the reboot, due June 8, 2018.

3. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Voice actor and director Frank Oz introduced the world to the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in 1988…except, that too was a remake of the Ralph Levy 1964 film Bedtime Story, which starred Marlon Brando and David Niven.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels saw Michael Caine and Steve Martin compete to con an American heiress out of $50,000.

Having inspired a 2005 Broadway musical, a remake film is now, too, in the works – with Rebel Wilson attached to lead. Anne Hathaway and Alex Sharp are also due to appear in the film which will see two female con-artists vying to dwindle a male tech giant.

The reboot is to be called Nasty Woman (believe us, we know…) and will be helmed by Chris Addison.

*A point if you’ve spotted a theme here.

4. Splash

An unlikely reboot, perhaps, but nonetheless a Splash remake is on its way.

Back in 1984, the commercial success of Splash brought Disney somewhat from the brink of financial collapse, amid a succession of cinematic disappointments.

Tom Hanks starred in the Ron Howard film as a young man who, unknowingly, falls in love with a mermaid, played by Daryl Hannah.

It’s been just over year now since a remake was announced, along with the revelation that the gender roles are to be swapped. Channing Tatum will be a merman, with Jillian Bell in Hanks/human role.

The film will, once again, be produced by Howard.

5. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen


Another odd one.

Stephen Norrington’s 2003 adaptation of the comic book series: ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentleman’ is best remembered as the last film to physically star Sean Connery before his retirement.

The comics, created by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill, are something of a Victorian ‘Avengers’ series, featuring characters like The Invisible Man and Captain Nemo.

Details are scarce on the new adaptation, the third including Fox’s 2013 TV serial, but its producer Jon Davis has at least suggested that it will be produced as ‘female-centric’.

What’s strange here is that there is only one female character to work with, from the original film at least – that being Peta Wilson’s Mina Harker.

Also standing in the film’s way is Universal’s ‘Dark Universe’ – which features overlapping concepts and characters. Seeing how poorly their The Mummy did earlier this year, with similar reactions to Norrington’s 2003 film and the 2013 TV show, does this seem like a wise move?


6. The Expendables


It’s been a long five years since Millennium Films announced The EpendaBelles, a reboot of David Callaham’s 2010-4 Expendables trilogy.

Intended to show the feminine side of mercenary action, the spin-off is to be an all-female take on the franchise, with Robert Luketic signed on to direct.

When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out trying to penetrate the island lair of a deadly despot who has captured one of the world’s top nuclear scientists, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as the right man for the job and that this is a mission so impossible that only women can handle it. The only way in: some of the world’s deadliest female operatives must pose as high-class call-girls shipped in by private plane to satisfy a dictator–and instead save the scientist and the day.

Main star of The Expendables 1, 2, and 3, Sylvester Stallone has made it quite clear that he has no involvement here, having also jumped ship on the potential for an Expendables 4.

Did you notice the theme here? Every one of these ‘female’ reboots is to be directed (or, if no director has been chosen, produced) by men.



4 thoughts on “6 classic films with gender-swapping remakes on the way”

  1. Interesting list. I’m not going to judge these films before seeing them as I’m sure some may be very good. However, do you think this is Hollywood’s (while obviously attempting to make money) version of what they believe feminism to be?

    Gender-switching casts seems a bit lazy when they should concentrate on writing or adapting works which feature strong female characters. I guess it’s the same old story of better to remake an established brand or narrative that worked before rather than try and do something bordering on the original. All about the money, of course!


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