Big week for Anna Faris. We’ve just been covering What’s Your Number?, an R-rated comedy starring the actress, and now she’s tapped, more or less, as the new Goldie Hawn. Faris will star in the remake of Private Benjamin, in which a spoiled woman joins the Army after her husband dies on their wedding night. Big difference between the original film and the remake, though: in 1980, when Private Benjamin was originally made, we weren’t at war. Joining the Army meant a slightly different set of possible futures. What will the Faris version use as the basis for both reality and comedy?
THR reports that Faris has been cast (after Pajiba totally called this months ago) and adds a bit of detail to the original reports of the remake. Specifically, the film is set in ‘contemporary times’ and will deal with the current war, at least as a backdrop. THR says “the studio doesn’t want to poke fun at the men and women in the service or take political potshots, but rather focus on the empowerment elements and build on the fish-out-of-water comedy.”
The original provides a certain legacy to live up to. Private Benjamin pushed women’s issues at a time when that was still a touchy point, and the Academy responded with Oscar nominations for Goldie Hawn, supporting actress Eileen Brennan and writers Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer and Harvey Miller. Now, the film seems fairly quaint in some ways, but there’s plenty of comedy to be mined out of a spoiled, entitled princess going into the service. Who’ll play the Harry Dean Stanton part — that is, the recruiter who talks to a despondent Judy Goodman and promises an army with accommodations like one-person condos and promises that she can just quit if she doesn’t like it? (Yeah, it’s a tiny role, but I’ve got a Harry Dean Stanton fixation. Sue me.)
There isn’t even a script for the remake yet; THR says Amy Talkington is in talks to write for producer Mark Gordon. No director is set at this point.