Keira Knightley: quite possibly a Fair Lady

The most a girl could ever hope for in life is to be a professional athlete, or a pirate, or a Jane Austen heroine, or the lead in a Broadway musical. Last week reported that Keira Knightley is in talks to star in a remake of My Fair Lady, so I guess that makes her the luckiest girl in the world.

To wit:

The star of films such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride and Prejudice, and Bend it like Beckham might be teaming with Columbia Pictures to play the role of flower girl Eliza Doolittle in the remake of the 1965 Oscar-winning musical. The score from the original movie is to remain in tact, along with the 1912 setting. This time around, however, Columbia Pictures wants to take the filming to the central London locations of Covent Garden, Drury Lane, Tottenham Court Road, Wimpole Street and the Ascot racecourses, instead of soundstage that was exclusively used in the 1964 movie.

Audrey Hepburn, of course, played Eliza Doolittle in the original film version of My Fair Lady. Parenthetically, Julie Andrews had been receiving rave reviews in the Broadway production of the musical for years, but producers wanted to go with a bigger name for the film, so they chose Hepburn. Her singing was eventually dubbed by Marni Nixon, though, because Hebpurn’s voice wasn’t strong enough. Andrews starred in Mary Poppins that year instead of My Fair Lady, and she later won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her portrayal of the whimsical, singing nanny.

This is not an acceptable option, however, for Keira Knightley. If she were ever given the choice between Mary Poppins and Eliza Doolittle, it is imperative that she choose the latter. Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins/Fraulein Maria has always been a fantasy mother figure to me, and Keira Knightley decidedly does not play that role in my imagination. In fact, the role Keira Knightley plays is more like the 50-second through one-minute section in her new trailer for The Duchess. (The part where she’s walking through a candlelit room looking at me all seductively.)

No word yet on whether Knightley will sing her own songs for the remake of My Fair Lady.

Do you think she can pull off Eliza Doolittle? If not, who would be a great Fair Lady to follow up Audrey Hepburn?

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