Recasting Singin’ In The Rain (If It Was Made Today)

What a glorious feeling it is to recall the brilliant, sensational glory of Singin’ in the Rain. Not only is the 1952 MGM musical one of the best in the history of its genre; it’s often considered one of the greatest movies ever made. Taking place at the turn from silent movies to the “talkies,” Singin’ in the Rain has a loose structure of a story that serves as a backdrop for some of the most iconic music and dance showcases ever to make it on screen.

As such, there’s room to remake it, if any filmmaker or studio should be bold. There are plenty of eras to satirize and celebrate, leaving the loose structure of the movie one that is ripe for a re-imagining.

The lead role of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) would need to go to someone who can sing and dance like no one else. Naturally, it makes sense to go to the stage to find someone who could possibly be worthy to carry on Kelly’s legacy. Groff, of course, is well-known for his turn in theater’s Hamilton.

Jonathan Groff is the way to go. His voice is angelic and he clearly has talent. Plus, Groff would be able to take the role in a different direction, rather than simply trying to copy Kelly. Groff is an actor who has deserved a major leading part like this for some time now. (He proved he can carry a story, thanks to his dramatic Netflix turn.)

With a quaint romance existing between Don and Kathy (Debbie Reynolds), it was hard not to notice the twenty-year age difference between Kelly and Reynolds. Fortunately, Groff and Hailee Steinfeld are closer in age, but there’s no reason there needs to be a romance between these two characters at all.

As Steinfeld has proven on Dickinson, she is more than capable of creating new paths for characters considered to be largely traditional. Frankly, Kathy would just be a great opportunity for Steinfeld to showcase all of her talent.

It would be a mistake to remake Singin’ In The Rain and not find room for Ewan McGregor, who has a truly remarkable singing voice. While he’d certainly crush the role of Don, the idea of him as Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) is a particularly thrilling one.

O’Connor had a ton of comedic fun in the role and McGregor can obviously emulate this sensibility. However, his casting might also provide the character of Cosmo with a belter of his own. There’s room for new music, too, after all. Turns in Moulin Rouge! on screen and Guys and Dolls on stage show McGregor can hold his own in soundscapes.

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