For the longest time Keira Knightley was attached to star as Eliza Doolittle in the remake My Fair Lady. Yet, Knightley left the project and the rumors she would be directed by her Pride and Prejudice and Atonement helmer Joe Wright were soon sorted out. However, what this meant was the film was without a star or a director. Since that time John Madden (Shakespeare In Love) has signed on to direct a script from Emma Thompson as she adapts George Bernard Shaw’s play, which was previously adapted for the screen in 1964 and won eight Oscars including Best Picture, Actor (Rex Harrison) and Director (George Cukor).
As short a time ago as February 23, 2010, Carey Mulligan dismissed rumors she would be taking on the role once held by Audrey Hepburn saying, “It would be lovely, but no.” However, today the BBC is reporting Emma Thompson has confirmed the earlier rumor saying Mulligan will indeed play Doolittle and that she would love for Hugh Grant to play Henry Higgins, the role that won Harrison the Oscar years after he performed the role on stage opposite Julie Andrews.
“I think Carey is set to play it, yes,” Thompson said before adding, “But we still don’t know about [Henry] Higgins. I love Hugh so I’d love him to do it, he might want to, he might not want to, so we don’t know yet. But hopefully we’ll make it later this year.”
Of course, Thompson’s “I think Carey is set to play it” statement doesn’t sound proof positive, but I have to assume — or at least I am assuming — she is speaking with more confirmation than just previously debunked rumors.
My Fair Lady tells the story of street-urchin-turned-proper-lady Eliza Doolittle as linguist Henry Higgins draws Eliza into a social experiment that works almost too well.
Mulligan recently won the BAFTA award for her performance in An Education and was nominated for an Oscar for the same role. She will next be seen in The Greatest along with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon on April 2 and will follow that with Wall Strett: Money Never Sleeps for Oliver Stone.