In the critically acclaimed action thriller Sicario (on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms from February 1st, 2016, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment), Emily Blunt proves yet again that there’s nothing she can’t do- taking on a role that once upon a time in Hollywood would never have been given to a woman. To celebrate the release of this brilliant, white-knuckle ride into the world of Mexican drug cartels, we’re looking back on some other classic films and re-imagining the male lead with a female one.
Die Hard – Bruce Willis’ John McLane
Everyone’s favourite action hero has a special place in all our hearts, no thanks to his straight-talking ways and no-nonsense approach to bad guys. There’s a lot to love about Bruce Willis’ take on the role, but there are also countless actresses who would no doubt relish the chance to ‘yippee kai yay’ while crawling around air vents and swearing profusely.
Hollywood is absolutely teeming with actresses who could handle themselves against a building full of bad guys (including Sicario’s very own Emily Blunt) – but we’d like to see Alicia Vikander step away from her recent slew of serious roles for something a little lighter. She’s already proved her action credentials with The Man From UNCLE, so why not give her the chance to take the lead as Joan McLane.
GENDER SWAP: Alicia Vikander
Pretty Woman – Julia Roberts’ Vivian and Richard Gere’s Edward
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts turned a somewhat seedy tale into a fairytale romance thanks to their brilliant turns as the damaged millionaire Edward and the smart, scrappy Vivian. We’d love to see the tables turned in a remake, but the new cast would have to be as likeable as the old.
Casting a male escort has its pitfalls, but we think the universally adored Chris Pratt would make the role his own- and no doubt leave thousands of women (and men) swooning in cinemas across the globe. He’d no doubt bring his own special brand of cheeky charm to the role- and we’d just love to see him deliver that line to the snooty shop assistants.
And for the older millionaire who struggles to open her heart until she meets him? Who better to play an ice queen with a soft side than the woman who knows the film best- the brilliant, beautiful Julia Roberts herself.
GENDER SWAP: Chris Pratt / Julia Roberts
Batman: The Dark Knight – Heath Ledger’s Joker
No one can deny that Heath Ledger’s disturbing, Oscar-winning turn as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight is one of the greatest performances of the century, so far. Ledger’s method approach led to him locking himself in his apartment for a month prior to filming and crew members worried about the actor, claiming he refused to speak to others out of character. Where Ledger’s Joker is truly disturbing is in his serpentine licking of the lips, unnerving eye contact and Chelsea smile.
In search of a female equivalent we have landed on Modern Family’s Colombian powerhouse Sofia Vergara. Vergara has the overwhelming screen presence and intensity to make the role of the Joker her own; her fear-inducing eyes and fiery temperament providing a fierce South American twist. Not to mention her terrifyingly humungous smile; ready-made for a sadistic grin or two during the Joker’s torture scenes.
GENDER SWAP: Sofia Vergara
The Big Lebowski – Jeff Bridges’ The Dude and John Goodman’s Walter
Here exist the most disparate of temperaments between two friends throughout the history of the 90s. One is so laid back they are almost horizontal; the other is highly strung with serious anger issues. One is completely oblivious to reality; the other lives for rules and order. No, we are not talking about Phoebe Buffay and Monica Bing (née Geller), but we do think that Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox would make a seamless transition into the roles of The Dude and Walter Sobchak in the Coen brother’s 1998 stoner hit The Big Lebowski.
Kudrow’s dopey, air-headed portrayal of Phoebe would need little amendment were she to slip her feet into the shoes of The Dude, who is mistaken for a millionaire, leading two thugs to urinate on his rug and coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. Meanwhile, Courtney Cox could reprise some of Monica’s obsessive compulsive tendencies and potential to fly off the rails if she were to play traumatised Vietnam veteran Walter, who loves rules the way Monica loves cleanliness. Walter loves bowling almost more than anything and despises anything that may interfere with the bowling tournament. Throw Monica’s competitive edge into the mix and Cox could take Walter’s neurosis to a whole new level – have you SEEN The One with the Football?!
GENDER SWAP: Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox
Pirates of the Caribbean – Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow
Johnny Depp’s turn as the eccentrically camp, rum-loving pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was pivotal in establishing one of the most iconic film franchises of the noughties in Pirates of the Caribbean. Depp’s characterisation of Jack Sparrow revitalised his career and was a role he reprised on three occasions, with a fifth instalment set for 2017, but which actress could we possibly imagine making such a similar impression…?
Who needs a career resurgence more than Lohan? We’d love to see her dragged out of her spiralling drug addiction, back to the kind of show-stealing leading roles of her youth (Freaky Friday and er, Herby Fully Loaded). Plus, Lohan has already proved she’s got the knack for comedy, such as her role in Mean Girls as well as skits on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Also, we could only think of one actress who could consume the same amount of rum as Cap’n Jack Sparrow. Method acting at its simplest…
GENDER SWAP: Lindsay Lohan
The Godfather – Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone
One of the greatest cinematic roles of all time belongs to Al Pacino, and no-one could possibly argue that there could ever be a better Corleone. However, we would relish the chance to see an actress step into those formidable shoes.
Sticking to actresses of Italian heritage, we’d love to see Marisa Tomei take on the task – she’s proved her acting chops with Oscar-winning performances, and we think that her perfect blend of likeability and underlying steeliness would make her a formidable mob boss.
GENDER SWAP: Marisa Tomei
SICARIO blazes onto Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms from February 1st, 2016, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment – read our review.