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.
Cult classics don’t reach cult status just by casually aging: They get it for having an insane storyline (usually one that toes the “too much” line, respective to the year it was released), while also being chock-full of super-crushable actors. After watching Sarah Michelle Gellar fit into the dress she wore to the Emmys 19 years ago—which, props, because I can’t even fit into the jeans I bought last month—I immediately started to think about Cruel Intentions.
A box-office semi-hit, this movie tells an...interesting story of two rich, awful teenagers that are related through their parents’ second marriage and have a lot of sexual tension. Uh, sure. Throw in a pact to take the virginity of a nice new girl, portrayed by quintessential GND queen Reese Witherspoon, and you have yourself almost two hours of creepily arousing hijinks! And by hijinks, I mean deceit and death. Mainly, this movie was carried to the finish line on the backs (and fronts, and faces, and eyes…) of its gorgeous cast.
So who could glam and charm audiences the same way in 2018? Let’s recast Cruel Intentions.
Original: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Recasted: Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne is an Internet enigma. Is she an influencer? An actor? A singer? (Let’s go with no on that last one.) Regardless of what you think of her, you have to admit that she’s a genius at the game—she’s never not in your feed or conversation. But it wasn’t until I watched her insane mini-documentary on Vogue that I realized the range of her talent. She’s basically been playing a version of Kathryn Murteuil her entire career: Disney girl by day, prolific joint-roller at night. Much like Kathryn, she knows how to get the parents to love her, but when that charade is over, she’s onto more exciting things, and calls her own shots.
Original: Ryan Philippe
Recasted: Cole Sprouse
Everyone is addicted to Cole Sprouse right now, thanks to Riverdale. And honestly, I may be next in line: Cole has the adorable face and oozing charm to play a character everyone’s in love with, but there’s something in those bangs that totally says “evil heartbreaker.” (Honestly, it may just be dry shampoo. But still.) While no one has the ‘90s soap opera attractiveness–level of Ryan Phillippe, Cole gives us a smoldering Neutrogena vibe that can keep us riveted for an hour-and-a-half easily.
Original: Selma Blair
Recasted: Beanie Feldstein
No stranger to playing a high schooler on the outskirts (I debate getting her iconic Lady Bird line, “It is the titular role!” tattooed on me weekly), Beanie is the perfect Selma Blair replacement—and not just because I feel strongly that she must take piano lessons in real-life like Cecile. Her career so far shows that she can portray a great mix of naive and sweet—can you be mean with a nickname Beanie?—which are cornerstones for this character. Plus, there is no doubt in my mind that she wouldn’t completely crush the “sexy photo shoot” scene after a few iced teas from Long Island.
Original: Reese Witherspoon
Recasted: Elle Fanning
Innocent? Check. Adorable? Check. Can rock a short blonde haircut? Infinitely checked. Elle goes through peaks and valleys in terms of her presence in Hollywood: She’ll either be in every movie at once or no movies for two years. And from my glance at her IMDB page (followed by reading about how Dakota Fanning celebrated New Years Eve at SUR, because what?) it seems that the end of 2018 is shaping up to be busy for this ingenue. So why not ride that high and fill Reese’s shoes? Plus, I’ve become such a #FanningFan after her phenomenal performance in 20th Century Women, co-starring Annette Bening. (I'm not sure who she would play in our Cruel Intentions remake, but she should be invited to set everyday and treated like a queen each time. That’s a fact.)