Lesser-known fairy tales that fully deserve some Hollywood TLC
With the new Cinderella movie coming out next year (with Robb Stark as the prince, be still my heart), I’ve been doing some thinking. As much as I love fairy tales — in all their incarnations — it definitely feels like there’s been a trend of the same stories being remade over and over and over again.
I’ll be the first to admit, I like that remakes play with classic ingredients to make something deliciously original — but there’s also such a thing as overkill. Remember when there were two Snow White movies released in the same year? Yeah, me too.
I’m fully convinced that Hollywood can do better in the creativity department while still staying within the world of pre-existing fairy tales. Indeed, there are many rad tales out there that deserve a little movie magic. Movie execs, take note. This could be big winners.
The Child Who Came From an Egg
This is a story about, well, exactly what it sounds like. A queen is given an egg in a basket by an old woman, who tells her the egg will crack open and give her a child. (An aside: why is it always an old woman in these things?) The tale doesn’t end after that. There’s a wicked stepmother, a kingdom usurper — not to mention the princess, once grown up, has to disguise herself as a pauper in order to flee those who overtake the kingdom.
Couldn’t this be made into the perfect live-action film? And who better to cast than Lady Gaga as the girl who hatches from the egg? She’s already done it IRL at the 2011 Grammys so she’s done a ton of rehearsing already. In the fairy tale, the egg-child is also described as being “dressed like the sun.” Uh, hello? I rest my case.
The Princess and the Pea
This story actually did make an appearance in one of my favorite episodes of the ’80s TV show Faerie Tale Theatre, starring Tom Conti as the Prince and Liza Minnelli as the one who sleeps on the pea. So at least it’s gotten a little air time, but it deserves SO much more. There is just one problem I have with the fairy tale itself: what’s with the claim that “only a real princess” would be able to feel a pea through 40 mattresses?
So while I think there’s a place in the live-action world for The Princess and the Pea, it’ll definitely need a little update. Namely, the prince should fall for the princess because of who she is — not because of her princess and pea-ness. Oh, and Taylor Swift should play the princess. She could totally pull off playing one tough royal cookie.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Three brother goats must cross a river to get to the other side so they don’t starve to death — but in order to do so, they have to deal with the fearsome troll who has been preying on anyone who attempts the journey. The original is pretty short but this could definitely be extended into an all-out, no-holds-barred goat-on-troll war, with Michael Bay-style explosions and epic montages of weapon assembly.
I can’t help but envision James Franco, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen as the three goats — perfect, right? Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Danny McBride would make the ideal troll — who might simply just be lonely and misunderstood.
Snow-White and Rose-Red
There’s been a rising trend in movies about sisters. I mean, Frozen made my heart sing. For those of us with sisters, we know that there’s no other love in the world quite like it.
Snow-White (no relation to the one who hangs with dwarves) and Rose-Red is actually a story about two sisters who befriend a bear and have some crazy adventures with a dwarf. They end up marrying some princes in the end, but who’s to say this movie couldn’t just be about two sisters having each other’s backs and exploring the world together?
My dream pairing would be Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson, because not only are they besties IRL, but they’ve both played strong, independent women who don’t need a guy to get stuff done.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
This one is all about twelve sisters who every night are locked into the room where they sleep, and every morning their dancing shoes are found worn through as if they’ve been dancing all night. The king promises their hands in marriage to anyone who figures out how the girls are going out dancing undetected. It’s another fairy tale that could use some updating for the modern audience.
In the remake, the princesses go out dancing every night because theres just so much amazing music out right now. Their dad, the king, apparently grew up in that town from Footloose, because he hires a guy to try and figure out where they’re sneaking off to. Eventually, the princesses get caught because one of them checks in on Foursquare without thinking. The eldest princess and the guy who catches them could totally be played by Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine (mostly because they had crazy-good chemistry in The Princess Diaries 2 and I’m a fan of their on-screen banter).
So, which other fairy tales do you think could make the jump to the big screen? Are you as excited for movies like Cinderella and Into the Woods as I am? And who else still owns their VHS copies of Faerie Tale Theatre? (No? Just me?)
[Images via Shutterstock and here.]