Image Credit: Travis Jourdain/PR Photos; Everett CollectionCameron Diaz is set to star in the Gambit remake, in a role made famous by Shirley MacLaine. Now before you go racing off to grab your pitchforks (as we all do whenever any contemporary actress takes on a role previously owned by a legend), let’s think of the reasons that this could actually pay off for audiences — and for Diaz herself. Though it’s been a long while since a Cameron Diaz vehicle has reached bona fide hit status (about eight years, when she headlined Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle — and, no, the Shrek films don’t count), Diaz could nudge her way into that commercial-critical success sweet spot with the Coen Brothers-scripted Gambit, in which she plays a Texan steer roper who helps a robber (played by Colin Firth) enact a crime. Let’s look back at the last part of that sentence: Signing on to star alongside this year’s (favored) Oscar winner in a film scripted by an Academy and audience favorite? There are definitely dumber things she can do. Like, say, The Holiday.
Of course, there will always be comparisons to MacLaine’s scene-stealing, Golden Globe-nominated role in the 1966 movie — but if the Coen Bros. were able to reinvent True Grit, it’s likely they’ll be able to help moviegoers forget the original Gambit with their reboot. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Diaz and MacLaine both starred alongside each other in 2005’s In Her Shoes — it’s not unthinkable that the two are close enough for Diaz to ask for pointers.
But I’ll throw it out to you, PopWatchers: Good or bad move on Diaz’s part? (Surely, Diaz is a better choice than the original: Jennifer Aniston was attached to play the starring role back in 2004 before production on the project stalled.) I’m just hoping to see the Diaz that’s been missing since Being John Malkovich.