In 1964 Marlon Brando and David Niven starred as a pair of comedic con artists in Bedtime Stories. In 1988, Steve Martin and Michael Caine took on the roles for the comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Now, it's time for the women to have a turn. The Hustle is newest version of the con-comedy, but this time the leads will be played by women who prey on men as their marks. Anne Hathaway will play the rich and cultured con artist who takes Rebel Wilson under her wing. The first trailer is now here, check it out below.
Based on the trailer for The Hustle, the basic setup of our story will be the same. Anne Hathaway watches Rebel Wilson get a free meal out of a rube on a train, and seems impressed by her, even if she is a bit rough around the edges. Rebel Wilson realizes that she's been selling herself short when she sees the wealth that Hathaway's character has been able to obtain. Wilson then becomes the partner as well as the student and the pair begin to work together to con the rich men who are so easily taken advantage of.
The gender flipped remake has become popular in Hollywood in recent years, especially within comedy. We saw What Men Want get released just this past weekend. The strategy has had mixed results overall but the idea of remaking this particular concept with women really looks like it might work.
The trailer suggests that women make better con artists because men all assume they must be smarter. With that as a premise, The Hustle looks to not simply be using female leads, but really using the fact that the leads are female to tell a different version of the story that could only be done with the genders reversed.
Rebel Wilson looks to be playing her usual, over-the-top, strong on physical comedy, sort of character. With Anne Hathaway as a straight woman, who can be perfectly funny in her own way, this looks like a great pairing.
One aspect of the familiar story that we don't see in the trailer is the end. In both Bedtime Stories and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the two con artists end up competing with each other after the student rebels against the master. There's no hint of that here, and no real reason to hide it since we've seen this story before. The trailer even ends with a "dirty rotten" reference just be sure everybody knows that similarities to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are entirely intentional.
It could mean that The Hustle could be going off in a different direction than its predecessors. Perhaps the pair will get in over their heads, and have to find a way out, together, rather than getting into conflict with each other. We'll find out when the movie arrives in theaters May 10.