In the past month alone, four gender-bending remakes have moved forward at their respective studios. In the modern-day takes on popular properties, a mermaid will become a merman, and a group of eleven con-men will become eight con-women.
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
In the 1988 comedy, Steve Martin and Michael Caine starred as two con men — one unsophisticated and one suave — scamming their way across the French Riviera. In the MGM reimagining, Rebel Wilson will star as one of two female con artists who team up to bamboozle a tech prodigy out of his earned fortune.
The Warner Bros. movie is more of a spinoff as opposed to a remake of Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's franchise, which starred George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. Currently titled Ocean's Ocho, the Gary Ross-directed ensemble has cast seven of the eight spots, including Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, who will head up the cast. Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter will also star, along with Rihanna and Awkwafina. Plot details are being kept under wraps.
Channing Tatum will star in the mermaid (now, merman) role made famous by Daryl Hannah in the 1984 film, while his 22 Jump Street co-star Jillian Bell will take over the role of the land-bound love interest, originally played by Tom Hanks. Ron Howard and his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer will produce the gender-swapped remake for Disney.
Disney is developing a new take on its 1991 action-adventure, which will be fronted by a black female. The movie — which is being produced by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers — will take place six years after the events of the original film, when a young female pilot takes up the mantle after the original Rocketeer vanishes while fighting the Nazis. She will go head-to-head against a corrupt rocket scientist that is trying to turn the tides of the Cold War. It is unclear which actress will don the jet pack for the part.