Keira Knightley is Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” Remake

Keira Knightley, Joe Wright, Emma Thompson in My Fair Lady remake
Keira Knightley, Joe Wright, Emma Thompson in My Fair Lady remake

Edit: As of  mid January 2010, it turns out that miss Knightley has withdrawn from this project even, and according to AceShowbiz, Carey Mulligan is said to be in the running for the role of Eliza. That’s too bad as she’d have been a terrific choice!

Wow, I must’ve been living under a rock as I had no idea they’re doing a remake of one of my beloved classics. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise, what else are they NOT remaking these days?

The UK Telegraph reported that Keira will re-team with Joe Wright, who has directed her twice before in Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. Emma Thompson will pen the script, which is great news indeed given that she won an Oscar for writing the screenplay of my all-time favorite drama, Sense & Sensibility.

On the casting front, apparently Keira has been fighting to get the role that she eventually won. Guess who she’s competing against? I immediately thought it’d be Natalie Portman, who shares her gamine figure, but it’s actually Scarlett Johansson! Huh? I’d never picture her in that role at all. I’m not saying whoever plays Eliza must resemble waif princess Audrey Hepburn, but she should at least look physically believable to portray a destitute, Cockney flower girl. No offense, Scarlett, but you might be better off vying to play Marilyn Monroe if they’re doing her biopic.

I think Keira is a pretty good choice, but the big question for me is whether she’s whimsical enough as Eliza. What I love about Hepburn is that she’s as genial and funny as she is elegantly beautiful, and her comic timing is what makes Eliza so wonderful to watch. I’m also curious if she’d be doing her own singing in the movie, as 90% of Hepburn’s singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, despite her lengthy preparation for the role. I haven’t heard of Keira’s singing before, but she actually played a singer in the WWII drama based on poet Dylan Thomas, The Edge of Love. Here’s a clip of her singing, she actually doesn’t sound too bad.

What’s questionable however, is the rumor about Daniel Craig as Professor Henry Higgins. Though the 41-year-old Brit is the right age opposite Keira who’s 23 (the age difference between Eliza and Henry is about 20 years old), I don’t know if he’s the right choice for the role. I’d pick someone like Kenneth Branagh or Alan Rickman, even if they’re much older than Keira. Or perhaps even Hugh Jackman or Jason Isaac?

In any case, I definitely hope they do a good job with this version. Wonder if they’d include the horse-race scene where Eliza yells, ‘Come on, Dover! Move your bloomin’ arse!’ That scene never fails to amuse me!

2 thoughts on “Keira Knightley is Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” Remake

  1. rockerdad

    Wow! I was so impressed with her in Pride & Prejudice. She will do well in this role. I think Craig will do well too — he is a natural carmudgeon deserving of Higgins. I do hope that this won’t be a musical for a change. I am a fan of the Shaw play Pygmalion as well as the 1938 movie with Leslie Howard. I hope it is closer to that. But, not to put down the musical (I know most of those songs by heart – “I’ve grown accustomed to her face…” “The rain in Spain…” “Oh wouldn’t it be loveleee…”).

  2. Yeah, I definitely think Keira is a far better pick than Scarlett, I mean come on! I think they shouldn’t stray too far from the Audrey Hepburn’s version, not an all-out musical where every dialog is sung. I LOVE all the songs, but my faves are “I could’ve danced all night” and “On the street where you live.” I’m still on the fence about Craig, but maybe he’ll surprise me. Now, who should play Freddie? Keira’s real-life beau Rupert Friend might be a good pick, he played Michelle Pfeifer’s boy toy in Cheri.

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