Madge to the movies: We’ll always have Baghdad


Madonna wants to remake Casablanca. Maybe. OK, fine, this is just a fairly unsubstantiated rumor. But still, the mere thought of remaking such a Hollywood classic gives cinephiles everywhere the vapors.

The Daily Mail (so put a whole rim of salt around that margarita of a rumor) claims that Madge is interested in remaking and modernizing the iconic war-time romance. According to the paper, the Material Girl wants to set the story in Iraq and star in the Ingrid Bergman role. Their anonymous source said: “She wants to update the story and maybe set it in a modern war zone such as Iraq. There is no script yet. Madonna and her people are testing the waters to see if this is the right vehicle for her and if a major studio will get behind the project.”

The paper goes on to say that studios have been lukewarm to the idea. Lukewarm? I’m downright icy at the idea. Not that I have anything against Madonna. On the contrary, I love her. But her movies? No so much. Swept Away, anyone? No, I didn’t think so.

Remakes are a tricky business. More often than not they turn out as either strangely slavish replicas (Psycho, The Stepford Wives) or silly star vehicles (Sabrina, Love Affair). Rarely do you get a genuinely original update (Clueless, Ocean’s 11). Considering that Casablanca makes almost everyone’s top-movies-of-all-time list, from the American Film Institute right on down to your Great Aunt Ida, remaking it would be an audacious, ballsy and — very likely — stupid endeavor.

But while Madonna has been many things, she has rarely been stupid. (Swept — cough — Away) So who knows, maybe her movie could be the next, um, Casablanca. The Daily Mail even provided a helpful mock-up of a possible poster:

So, Casablanca: The Iraq Story — brilliant or boneheaded? But remember, this is only a rumor. If this had been an actual remake, you would have been given instructions on where to hide and who to blame.

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