Colin Firth Could Star Opposite Carey Mulligan In My Fair Lady
The My Fair Lady movie musical that's been rumored for years now is back in the news again, with Carey Mulligan once again up for the Eliza Doolittle role, but a new, seriously exciting name attached to Henry Higgins. According to The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye-- someone with much more reliable information than you usually see from UK tabloid rumors, it's worth noting-- Colin Firth is back in the running to play the Professor in the project in the works at Sony. Firth had been a favorite of producers Duncan Kenworthy and Cameron Mackintosh years ago, but the studio reportedly wanted someone more famous along the lines of Hugh Grant. Now, of course, Firth is a guaranteed Best Actor winner and star of the hugely successful The King's Speech, and fickle Sony wants him back.
The main problem at the moment has nothing to do with the actors-- Mulligan is still on board as well, and apparently has time in her schedule-- but with mountains of legal paperwork. CBS Films has the rights, but some of them are about to turn back to the heirs of the musical's writers; also involved are the estates of George Bernard Shaw and Gabriel Pascal, who wrote the play Pygmalion that the musical was based on. Emma Thompson, who wrote the new screenplay, reportedly drew from Shaw's work, which makes the thicket of legal issues all the more complicated.
Regardless, Sony clearly sees this as a potential moneymaker, and will likely marshall their considerable resources toward getting all these issues cleared up. Firth is up for pretty much any role he wants these days, and will spend the spring starring opposite Cameron Diaz in the caper comedy Gambit, but come on, we all know he's perfect for Henry Higgins and he probably does too. The man deserves a better role in a musical than the completely loony one he played in Mamma Mia!, and with Mulligan as his co-star, it's hard to imagine an opportunity much better than this one.
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