As far as remakes go, a relaunch of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is much like the remake of The Magnificent Seven. The "source material" is, in fact, a remake in and of itself, which has become an iconic entity in its own right. Both films brought something new to their portrayals, and became more modern products of their own time. So hearing that the Steve Martin / Michael Caine starring comedy is going to be remade has us worried, despite the fact that the talented Rebel Wilson is looking to become one of the two gender-swapped leads.
Variety broke the details about the project earlier today, specifying that this second version of the story started with 1964's Bedtime Story, will be about two female con-artists, and that Wilson is angling for one of the two leads. In a very 21st Century turn, our leads will try to swindle a "tech prodigy" who is loaded with enough money to lead to a wager: whoever can rob their mutual mark out of a set amount of money first wins. The winner gets the hunting grounds the two of them are feuding over, while the loser gets exiled to anywhere but there.
To give you an idea of how high the stakes are, the original wager was $25,000, which doubled to $50,000 in the 1988 incarnation. Judging by a "tech prodigy" mark, expect Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to jump up to a couple of million in its most modern retelling. Though while we're talking about the mark, let's theorize just what's going to happen in terms of casting, as on the surface it seems like there'd be a good chance that Rebel Wilson would be playing the younger, more uncouth thief. Though, this doesn't need to be the case, as there is always the chance that Wilson could be playing the "older" role to a thief that is either her contemporary, or younger.
With two possibilities in play, this project could swing in two different directions. Should Rebel Wilson be playing the role formerly known as "Freddy Benson," which has previously seen Marlon Brando and Steve Martin filling the shoes, the older role of "Lawrence Jamieson" could be dream cast with an actor such as Viola Davis. With the gravitas and the comedy chops in play, Davis would be a fantastic opposition for Wilson's more freewheeling / zany style, and the latest actor to play the role originated by David Niven and Michael Caine.
However, should Wilson be cast as the Jamieson analog, it might be a good idea to cast the Benson role with one of her recent co-stars, such as Dakota Johnson or Anna Kendrick. No offense to Johnson, but Kendrick would be our choice, as the team has already honed their chemistry with two Pitch Perfect films under their belts. That, and you'd practically be printing money by casting the two actors together in another project, after the success that their previous work has brought them.
With no production schedule, or intended release date specified for the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake, there's plenty of time for this project to either change or fall apart altogether. But in the meantime, we'll leave it to you the audience to pick who would make a great male target for Rebel Wilson and her hypothetical partner to swindle out of their money. Leave us some good choices in the comments below, and keep checking in for future updates on this project's status.
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.