10 Classically Male Characters Who Could Have a Female Version
6. Indiana Jones – Cast: Hayley Atwell
This is the one item on our list who’s likely to raise more eyebrows (or rallying cries) among fans, but let us be clear: of course we would love if Spielberg and George Lucas kept on doing good Indiana Jones movies with Harrison Ford in them, even though The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not exactly what we had in mind (it wasn’t as bad as some say, either).
If they ever get around to “rebooting” the franchise, though, we might have a killer suggestion for their casting directors: Agent Peggy Carter herself, Hayley Atwell.
It’s kind of an obvious choice, since she played a kick-ass secret agent from the 40s/50s for two years in Marvel’s sadly departed series, but it is also founded in our belief that Atwell is a fantastic actress with a lot of potential do be explored, and obviously with some good experience in action sequences and fun matinee adventures. It would be a choice perfectly in line with Spielberg and Lucas’ vision for the character and the franchise, and it would be delightfully fun to see her toplining a big-budget film.
7. Willy Wonka – Cast: Vera Farmiga
Johnny Depp and Gene Wilder made equally unforgettable versions of this Roald Dahl character first brought to life in 1964’s children classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl’s ambiguous, sometimes scary, sometimes wickedly funny factory owner has had two boisterous, eccentric interpretations by male actors before, but we think someone like Vera Farmiga, currently playing Norma Bates in A&E’s Bates Motel, could also turn in a striking performance in the role.
Farmiga has that kind of over-expressiveness down from her tightrope-walking role in Bates, where she almost singlehandedly pushed the series in the same direction she was going with her larger-than-life interpretation of Norma. She’d be fantastic with all the bells & whistles the character has to offer, and could absolutely convey his tortured, duplicitous side as well.
8. Robin Hood – Cast: Amy Adams
This one’s a no-brainer, honestly. The British folk-tale about a man who stole from the rich to give to the poor has been done in an animated feature by Disney, which portrayed him as a fox, played by American (Douglas Fairbanks, Kevin Costner) and Australian (Russell Crowe) actors, and very rarely done in the British ways. So why not subvert the dynamic between Robin and Lady Marian and bring in a great actress with the right spring in her step, like Amy Adams, to do the role?
We know she’d be amazing because she’s got that levity and ingenuity to her, as seen in many movies like 2007’s Enchanted, but also because she’s one hell of an actress who can sell us her heroism without overplaying it. She’d be fantastic as Robin, she’s younger than Russell was when he took on the role, and definitely more fit to the part.
9. The Terminator – Cast: Gwendoline Christie
After Terminator: Genesis massively underperformed and plans for future sequels featuring the same cast were scrapped or at least delayed at Paramount, the next step for the franchise could be a total reboot, starting the story all over again with no attachments to the previous films.
And that could lead the way for a female Terminator – yes, we know that we already kind of had one in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine (2003), but we’re talking about a female actor taking over the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800, and we’ve got the right woman for the job: Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie.
While playing the brave and honored Brienne of Tarth showcased Christie’s talents brilliantly (she’s truly one of the show’s finest, most underestimated performers), it’s her physicality we’re after here. At 6’3’’ and with an impressive, imposing presence on-screen, Christie would be the perfect killing machine for a remake of James Cameron’s 1984 classic. And then she could turn the charm on for the other sequels, which see T-800 amusingly learning how to behave as a human.
10. Zorro – Cast: Rosario Dawson
We haven’t heard from Mexican vigilante Zorro since Antonio Banderas’ second go as the character in 2005’s The Legend of Zorro, and while the Spanish actor had the chops to portray the adventurous character, doesn’t Zorro deserve a real Latino performer to revive what’s special about what it represents?
Rosario Dawson is the perfect candidate for the role. The resourceful actress was born in New York to a Puerto Rican mother, and has proven her competence again and again in small roles – it’s time she gets a lead part, and she’d be wonderful as Zorro.
It’s a ripe time to bring this kind of character, and the struggles it represents, back to the big screen, especially with the audiences rallying for more diverse characters and more quality in the stories told about them. A Latina hero in a western adventure would be a wonderful gift for those audiences, and we’d have a winning, classic character back on our screens.
Author Bio: Caio Coletti is a Brazilian-born journalist, a proud poptimist, and has too many opinions to keep them all to himself.
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