Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

As Margot Robbie leads all-female reboot of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', a look at other films that flip gender roles

From Shakespeare classics to infamous heist gangs, blockbusters have long been flipping the script on gender roles

As Margot Robbie is cast in a female-led reboot of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', we take a look at previous gender-swapped reboots. 
As Margot Robbie is cast in a female-led reboot of 'Pirates of the Caribbean', we take a look at previous gender-swapped reboots. 

Disney’s popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is said to be getting an all-female makeover, with Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie pegged for the lead role.

According to reports, Robbie will star in the new blockbuster, which will feature entirely new central characters and themes, rather than acting as a spin-off from the films featuring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

While details of the film so far are sparse, the remake is said to be being penned by writer Christina Hodson, whom Robbie worked alongside on Birds Of Prey.

The Australian actress has long made her commitment to female-led projects known. Alongside the Pirates of the Caribbean remake, she is also lined up to star as the lead role in Marian – an alternate take on the Robin Hood tale focusing on the central female character.

Disney is not the first to take on a gender-swapped remake of a classic story – here are some other movies that have tried it, albeit with varying levels of success …

1. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)

Ghostbusters 
Melissa McCarthy stars in 'Ghostbusters'

Starring comedy heavyweights Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, this 2016 remake of fan favourite Ghostbusters premiered to mixed reviews. The idea to switch the original Ghostbusters cast members for women in this better-late-than-never sequel came from writer and director Paul Feig, who had previous success with female-driven action comedies including The Heat and Spy. However, the movie was met with lukewarm reviews. Sony has since announced it will make another reboot, this time going back to male actors in the lead roles.

2. ‘Fast & Furious’ (TBC)

A handout photo of Mia (JORDANA BREWSTER) and Brian (PAUL WALKER) make a break for it in "Fast & Furious 6", the next installment of the global blockbuster franchise built on speed. (Photo by Giles Keyte) *** Local Caption *** AL24OC-HOLLY-FAST7.jpg
'Fast & Furious' is said to be receiving an all-female reboot. Giles Keyte

Earlier this year, Vin Diesel confirmed plans for a female-led Fast & Furious sequel after writers Nicole Perlman, Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet joined the long-running franchise’s team. Diesel is said to have co-written the script, although details of who might star are yet to be revealed.

However, it is likely that some of Fast & Furious’ former female leads will make an appearance, including the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, Gal Gadot, Jordana Brewster, Eva Mendes and Charlize Theron. In fact, Rodriguez previously threatened to leave the franchise if it didn’t “show some love to the women". It looks like her calls have been answered.

3. ‘Ocean's 8’ (2018)

In 2018, the big screen’s famous heist franchise was given an all-female reboot, attracting Hollywood royalty including Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina and Rihanna. The plot is focused around the theft of jewellery at New York’s Met Gala, and was met with fairly solid reviews all round, as well as being a big hit at the box office.

4. ‘The Next Karate Kid’ (1994)

After three successful stints in schooling original karate kid Ralph Macchio, Mr Miyagi took on a new student, this time a young Hilary Swank. The fourth entry to the franchise was met with less-than-kind reviews by many critics, with the New York Times calling it the “silliest entry yet in this series". For its 2010 reboot, it returned to its male-led format, casting Jaden Smith in the lead role.

5. ‘Herbie Fully Loaded’ (2005)

Disney brought its famous Love Bug out of retirement for a 2005 revamp with Dubai resident Lindsay Lohan in the driver’s seat. The film was met with mixed reviews, especially among original Herbie fans, but it did bring the car to life for a whole new generation.

6. ‘The Tempest’ (2010)

Swapping gender roles was a key theme for William Shakespeare, and one that has continued to be explored as his classics are reproduced time and time again. In 2010, it was Helen Mirren who took the lead role of Prospero (or Prospera) in a gender-swapped reboot of The Tempest from Julie Taymor.

While the film won some critical acclaim when it was released, it was largely slammed by cinemagoers, receiving just a 30 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

7. ‘What Men Want’ (2019)

This 2019 romcom took on 2000’s What Women Want, with Taraji P Henson at the forefront. The movie flips the script on the original, seeing the lead use her mind-reading ability in her job as a sports editor, which is mired in workplace sexism. While the film won’t win any awards for originality, it received steady reviews thanks in no small part to its casting of Henson.

Updated: July 2, 2020 04:34 AM

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