There's a lot of talk these days regarding the release of the all-female Ghostbusters. I can understand the reasoning behind doing this. The original film wasn't exactly known for its strong female characters. The lack of female ghostbusters aside, the only two women were Dana (who serves as a love interest and damsel in distress) and Janine (who was kind of irritating and really contributed nothing to the story when you think about it). I mean you get Sigourney Weaver (you know, Ellen Ripley, who is widely considered one of the strongest female characters in the history of film) to sign onto your film and the best role you can get for her is the damsel in distress who has to be rescued by a bunch of men. There are also the obvious implications of the fact that they chose to make her the love interest for the one member of the team who was an obvious pervert. The real bizarre choice was to respond to people's criticisms by also making an all-male version (even though that already happened, it was the original Ghostbusters).
Anyway, this appears to be a new trend, with some strange talk of an all-female Ocean's Eleven, which was a somewhat more surprising decision. It definitely would not have been my first choice, as I was under the impression there actually were important female characters in that movie. Still, from what I have read, the actual heist is conducted mostly if not entirely by men so this might not be totally unjustified; though it would probably be easier to just make an original film. Maybe instead, someone could draw inspiration from Ocean's Eleven in order to write a new all-female heist film. I don't know, maybe I should actually see Ocean's Eleven before I comment on this one. There was also talk of an all-female Expendables (though I still don't understand why they couldn't have had a mixed-gender team from the beginning).
Now, I haven't seen the all-female Ghostbusters yet. In fact, I haven't even found time to look at any reviews. As a result, I can't exactly comment one way or another on the quality of the film. However, what I can do is have some fun with the new trend that appears to forming, and I don't see any sign of it stopping soon. It looks like Hollywood is interested in all-female reboots of iconic movie franchises. Why don't we give them some more ideas...
There actually was a female Dirty Harry. Her name was Megan Turner, and she was the star of Kathryn Bigelow's underrated film Blue Steel, but that's not what we're going for here. Dirty Harry had next to no female characters (and nearly all of the few who did appear were murder victims) so perhaps we should flip that around. We could get perhaps Natalie Portman to appear as the iconic anti-hero who refuses to play by the rules. Then we could find someone known for playing more heroic roles, like Anne Hathaway, to take on the role of the killer Scorpio who is killing men while demanding money. For added measure, we could throw in Mary Elizabeth Mastriantonio as the police chief, and perhaps Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Harry's partner Gonzales.
Tarantino's breakthrough film already has enough of a fanbase to guarantee the financial success of a reboot, though admittedly it would be hard to perfectly replicate the mounting tension that makes it so effective. In the right hands, though, an all-female version could still be interesting to see attempted. Perhaps Sigourney Weaver could play Joe Cabot, then we'd need a few actresses who could cut their hair. Jennifer Connelly could play Ms. White, with Rachel McAdams co-starring as the unfortunate Ms. Orange, and Marion Cotillard as the psychotic Ms. Blonde.
For this one, we could have Uma Thurman star as NYPD cop Joan McClane, who is visiting her estranged husband only to get mixed up in what appears to be a terrorist operation (that is actually a cleverly disguised heist). The terrorists would of course be led by Hanna Gruber, perhaps played by Emma Watson, with Noomi Rapace as her psychotic henchwoman Kay. Also co-starring would be Rosario Dawson as Alice, Joan's friend on the force with whom she communicates by radio. Then for good measure we could find an older actress to make an appearance as Deputy Chief Diane T. Robinson, I was thinking someone like Jane Fonda would be good.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Sergio Leone wasn't always the most effective when it came to female roles, though that didn't stop him from making some amazing westerns. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was already remade once in the form of the strange Korean film The Good, the Bad, the Weird, though to be fair A Fistful of Dollars was already a remake of Yojimbo, so technically remaking The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly wouldn't be that huge of a stretch. For the most part, there wouldn't even need to be anything changed regarding the roles of each of the main characters if they were to be gender-swapped. For Blondie ("the Good"), we'd need someone who can really capture that sense of the honorable anti-hero, I'm thinking Jessica Chastain would be a good choice. Sharon Stone already proved she can play the cold gunslinger in The Quick and the Dead, making her an ideal choice for Angel Eyes ("The Bad"). Finally, we'd need someone who can play comic relief to fill out the role of Tuco. ("the Ugly") Perhaps this time we could cast an actual Mexican in the role, someone like Salma Hayek.
The Magnificent Seven
This classic western has indeed been imitated far too many times to count, and it was itself a remake of Seven Samurai, so it's not like seeing it redone again would hurt. This time, of course, we'd have a team of female gunslingers from different backgrounds being pulled together to protect a Mexican town from a vicious outlaw and her gang of killers, although I would probably try to place some focus on the people other than Chris, Vin, and Chico (who I found were really the only ones who got any particular depth of character). We'd need a solid team of actresses to fill this role. I'm thinking we could have Sandra Bullock filling the shoes of Yul Brynner, with Angelina Jolie taking on Steve McQueen's drifter and Hailee Steinfeld as the young gunslinger trying to prove herself. Then for good measure, perhaps Kiera Knightley to take on the role of the vicious outlaw.