Empire is reporting that Screen Gems has greenlit a project called Easy A, a comedic take on The Scarlet Letter set in a modern-day high school.
This is not as crazy an idea as it sounds. The Empire story rightfully points out that beloved 1990s high-school comedies Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You were modernized takes on Jane Austen's Emma and Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, respectively. The themes and plot points of The Scarlet Letter -- immoral affairs, ruined reputations and revenge -- will most likely resonate with the Gossip Girl generation. And it would be pretty near impossible to dishonor the source material anymore than Demi Moore and Gary Oldman already did in their 1995 film. All things considered, I'm willing to give Easy A a shot.
Besides, if Hollywood wanted to mess with the classics, they could do so much worse. Here are a few ideas that make Easy A look downright sensible:
1. The Old Man and the Sea: The Musical
There are two main reasons this one wouldn't work: a.) Santiago's fishing boat wouldn't be able to hold nearly enough backup dancers; b.) The singing would scare away the fish.
2. Chicago, Without the Music
The plot of Chicago, merry murderesses milking the media for all they're worth, could have come from an episode of any TV crime drama. But would we still be able to root for Roxy and Velma if they weren't making jazz hands at us?
3. Hamlet, Set in the Modern Business World
While the themes of Hamlet may be timeless, the complex plot points of this tragedy just aren't as easy to translate as some of Shakespeare's other plays, like Romeo and Juliet. Poor Ethan Hawke already learned this the hard way.
4. Pride and Prejudice, As a Space Opera
This is basically the only kind of retelling of Jane Austen that we haven't seen yet, and for good reason. Mr. Darcy can't take his shirt off if he's wearing a space suit.
5. Canterbury Tales, Starring Puppets
This would just be really, really creepy.
6. The Hills, as a Documentary-style Representation of True Life
Oh, wait ... is that seriously what it's supposed to be already?
What's the most implausible adaptation you've ever seen (and enjoyed)? Are you intrigued by Easy A, or do you think the classics should be left alone? Feel free to discuss in the comments section.
And a quick note to any and all aspiring filmmakers out there: Feel free to steal any of my (horrible) movie ideas. I'd love to see someone try.