In case you hadn't heard, the rampant Hollywood trend of remakes isn't going anywhere. One of which being a new take on 2000's What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. That rom-com followed a misogynist advertising executive who one day gains the ability to hear the thoughts of women. It now serves as an inspiration for the upcoming film What Men What starring Taraji P. Henson, who will be listening in to inner workings of men's minds this time around.
In anticipation for the film's release this February, I spoke with What Men What's director Adam Shankman about the project. Now I'm no mind reader, but amidst news of films based on another, we often wonder how much will be recycled from what we've already seen. Here's what Shankman said:
Whew! As charming as What Women Want was back in its day, seeing it again, just with the genders flipped isn't enough to make it worth the revisit. What Men What is using the same "curse" set-up as the Mel Gibson version, with some completely different circumstances surrounding it.
This time Taraji P. Henson will play a sports agent trying to break the glass ceiling in her male dominated office, where she believes she's earned a promotion. In the comedy, Henson's character drinks a questionable brew of tea from a psychic and bumps her head at a nightclub, waking up with the thoughts of the men all around inside her head.
Director Adam Shankman did notice a distinct difference between the set ups of What Men Want in comparison to the Mel Gibson movie with the film's main characters in his interview with CinemaBlend. In his words:
In an age when female actresses are taking roles previously held by men in movies, this example is an interesting one because it shows that the replacement of gender held an importance in how the lead's story plays out. Take a look at the latest red-band trailer for What Men Want:
While in What Women Want, Mel Gibson's chauvinistic behaviors were put under the microscope due to his new ability, Taraji P. Henson will learn a common misconception between the two genders: they're more alike than we think. What Men Want will perhaps combat the cultural construct of the opposite sex being literal opposites, aside from being an entertaining comedy. Not a bad way to do a remake.
What Men Want comes to theaters on February 8, 2019 and stars Aldis Hodge, Tracy Morgan, Pete Davidson and Max Greenfield alongside star Taraji P. Henson.