Hollywood's Gender-Bending Reboots: 7 Films With Modern-Day Updates

7:00 AM 8/11/2016

by Deirdre Durkan and Mia Galuppo

With the increasing popularity of gender-bending remakes, these modern-day takes have moved forward at their respective studios. The latest in this trend includes a group of 11 con men who become eight con women and a mermaid who becomes a merman.

Ocean’s 11-Splash-Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Split-Photofest-H 2016
Warner Bros./Photofest;Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest;Orion Pictures/Photofest
  • 'Ghostbusters'

    Paul Feig directed a female-led cast featuring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon in this reboot of the 1984 film. The remake, released in 2016, sparked a lot of backlash for its gender-swap on social media. "What they don't say when they're typing is that one minute after they type that, their moms are like, 'Get upstairs and take out the garbage! You're 45 years old!,'" McCarthy said, sarcastically, calling them "terrific fellas!" The movie went on to earn $138.1 million at the domestic box office when adjusted for inflation.

  • 'Ocean's Eleven'

    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 (and itself was a remake of 1960's Ocean's 11 starring several members of the Rat Pack). The Gary Ross-directed ensemble includes Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna and Awkwafina. The all-female spinoff finds the women planning a heist at the Met Ball.

  • 'Overboard'

    The gender-reversed remake of Garry Marshall's 1987 comedy Overboard stars Anna Faris as a single mom working two jobs and studying for a nursing exam. After Mexican playboy Leonardo Montenegro (Eugenio Derbez) falls off his yacht and washes to shore without memory, she convinces him he is her husband and makes him work. The film challenges racial barriers as well as gender barriers, with Faris taking on the part of the overworked Kurt Russell from the original, which also starred Goldie Hawn as the pampered heiress.

  • 'The Rocketeer'

    in 2016, Disney began developing a new take on its 1991 action-adventure, to be fronted by a black female. The movie — 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.




  • 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels'

    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. Wilson revealed Anne Hathaway to be her co-star in a tweet with a photo of the pair hugging, captioned: "Get ready for this beaut. The CON is ON." The comedy, originally titled Nasty Women, has since been changed to The Hustle and will hit theaters June 29, 2018.

  • 'Splash'

    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. The 1984 romantic comedy film centered on a young man (played by Tom Hanks) who reunites with a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) who saved him from drowning as a boy. In the remake, Tatum will save Bell as a girl only to find each other again years later.

  • 'What Women Want'

    Inspired by the Nancy Meyers hit romantic comedy What Women Want, the new iteration will follow a woman who is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. The gender-swapped version focuses on her goal to sign the NBA’s next superstar. The film, set to hit theaters in 2019, features a cast that includes Taraji P. Henson taking on the role originated by Mel Gibson, along with Wendi McLendon-Covey, Max Greenfield, Tracy Morgan and Aldis Hodge.