For better or worse, Hollywood is really into remakes right now. But instead of viewing this trend as annoying and cynical, what if we really leaned into it and used it as an opportunity to rebuild the classics from scratch, making them even more perfect? It is in that spirit that MarieClaire.com presents Recasted, which dares to wonder, “Who would we want to see in this iconic film today?” Think of it as Fantasy Football mixed with your annual Oscar Pool.
To kick things off, let’s tackle Titanic. Movies really don't get bigger than this: Though it was, at the time of its 1997 release, one of the most expensive movies ever made (with whopping $200 million budget), its box office-smashing brought in nearly $2 billion worldwide and it took home an insane 10 Oscars that year. (But none for you, Leo. In fact, you’ll have to wait almost 20 years for that honor.) Those numbers—and the fact that it remains, somehow, one of the biggest cultural touchstones of all time—means it is positively ripe for the remakin’.
Though it’s original cast was stacked—Young Sexy Leo! Beautiful Kate!—it’s interesting to think who could be cast now and put on a similar career trajectory to those two now-megastars. Also, I was already thinking about this movie because of that killer Ariana Grande and James Corden medley.
My heart will go on...and so could this franchise.
Originally: Leonardo DiCaprio
Recasted: Timothée Chamalet
Not only is Timmy’s stardom the 2018 Tumblr-heartthrob equivalent of Leo’s
Pre-Y2K domination, but Chalamet’s got the talent, the aw-shucks charm, and the incredible head of hair to make an audience fall in love with him upon the first scene. Honestly, whoever styled Leo’s hair in the original deserves an Oscar of their very own.
Originally: Kate Winslet
Recasted: Saoirse Ronan
I mean, Ronan and Chalamet are basically the golden children of Hollywood right now, and on top of that, they’re friends in real life. We’ve seen their chemistry together (ironically, through their characters’ lack of chemistry) in Lady Bird, but I feel that giving these two center stage in a true-form romantic movie will give everyone the feels. Alternate title: Lady Bird On a Boat.
Originally: Billy Zane
Recasted: Ansel Elgort
The certified villain of Titanic (aside from the iceberg, I guess), Cal serves as the foil to all of Jack’s lovable qualities. He's rich in money but poor in personality, he’s the natural pick for Rose and yet lacks heart (and, until this recasting, a formidable career as DJ Ansolo). Though he hasn’t really been given the chance, Elgort seems like he’d have the range to embody rich-guy smarm very well. Something about his face just screams, “I was wealthy in the early 1900s!”
Ruth DeWitt Bukater
Originally: Frances Fisher
Recasted: Carrie Preston
She is unsung! Give her a role in Titanic: Redux! While we’ve mainly seen Preston in more comedic-quirky roles (The Good Wife, Claws, one of the wild-child cousins in My Best Friend's Wedding), every move she makes in a scene has an element of classic, powerful acting talent—understandable, since she has a degree from Juilliard to her name. And I know what I’m talking about here because I have a rewards card to the Pinkberry located near Juilliard's campus, so.
She’s got the face-acting chops to play a mix of concerned and ruthless. Plus, her character in Claws has a very similar storyline to the Bukaters (losing their money), and let me tell you: She plays fake rich very well.
Originally: An elaborately reconstructed Titanic
Recasted: One of Betsy Devos’s yachts
BONUS: Who would sing the remade “My Heart Will Go On,” the film’s iconic theme song?
Originally: Celine Dion
What could possibly make you choke up more than Celine’s version of this song? I’m not sure it’s humanly possible, but if anyone could push that boundary it’s Adele. In Adele’s hands, “My Heart Will Go On” would achieve peak schmaltz, but Adele would keep it grounded and modern at the same time. This one is a no-brainer.