Can Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz step into the oversized shoes of Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine? Joel and Ethan Coen, who are working on a remake of the classic 1967 caper film “Gambit,” hope that they can.
A prime example of 1960’s filmmaking, “Gambit” features Caine as Harry, a slick professional thief who recruits Nicole (MacLaine) to help him con a wealthy businessman.
Harry outlines his plan down to the minute details, but Nicole doesn’t always follow his instructions. Murphy’s Law goes into effect and Harry has to really think on his feet to pull off this caper.
Coming off his secret agent successes in “The Ipcress File” and “Funeral in Berlin,” Caine had the pretty boy looks and charm in the 1960’s to pull off the role of a professional thief.
Shirley MacLaine also is hilarious as Nicole, who misses Harry’s verbal clues and makes his task all the much harder.
For the remake, Academy Award-nominee Colin Firth has the looks, charm and mannerisms to play a confident British thief. Harry needs to be convincing, but not too eager, which makes Firth a solid choice for the role.
Based on her performance in the highly underrated 2010 spy comedy “Knight and Day,” Cameron Diaz has the comedy chops to play the critical role of Nicole. Diaz also possesses the comedy timing to make a slick con man lose his cool in a matter of hours.
Although the casting is dead on target, it is disturbing to see the Coen brothers go back to the classic movie well again instead of creating a more original film.
The Coen’s 2010 remake of “True Grit” racked up several Academy Award nominations, but one has to wonder if these are well-deserved. The remake owes a serious debt of gratitude to the 1969 original, especially John Wayne’s performance as Rooster Cogburn.
Details about the new “Gambit” script are a little sketchy, but to their credit, Joel and Ethan Coen have changed at least a few things.
In the original, Harry planned to steal a rare statue, with Nicole acting as a beautiful distraction. In the proposed remake, the Coen brothers make Harry an art curator with plans to sell a fake painting.
It remains to be seen, though, if they will include the complete fake-out that occurs about 20 minutes into the original film.
Here’s hoping that the new “Gambit” screenplay is on the same quality level as the original. Otherwise, Joel and Ethan Coen will be taking one heck of a gamble with their reputations.