Born in Australia, Rebel Wilson began her stage and television career there before moving to the U.S. She broke out big in the movie world with her winning performance in Bridesmaids in 2011 and cemented her appeal the following year as Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect.
This year she's played key roles in How to Be Single and The Brothers Grimsby and now she is set for a starring role in a new version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. According to Variety, the movie will "bring con artistry to the 21st century — two female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune." It's just the latest in the gender-swapping remake trend, following the likes of Ghostbusters recently and the announced Splash redo.
The origins of the story date back to the 1964 comedy Bedtime Story, starring David Niven and Marlon Brando. Known for his dramatic performances, Brando surprised audiences by playing an often foolish man who pursued women solely to seduce them into bed and then leave them. He crosses paths with Niven, a charming gigolo who seduces women in order to sleep with them and then swindle them out of their fortunes. They decide the French Riviera is too small a territory for both of them to work their wiles and so concoct a contest to decide who can claim the area.
The movie was remade in 1988 as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Michael Caine and Steve Martin playing the roles originally performed by Niven and Brando. The remake upgraded Martin's character to be a full-fledged con man, putting him on somewhat equal footing while remaining a brash and crude counterpart to Caine's polished sophisticate.
Bedtime Story was a fun comedy for its time and so was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the latter adding new wrinkles to the plot to keep it fresh and surprising. The new version has already prompted complaints, both from those who resist the very idea of a remake and from those who object to gender-swapping the roles.
Really, though, anyone who has watched both Bedtime Story and the first Dirty Rotten Scoundrels knows that the filmmakers approached the material from different angles, resulting in two different but still very funny movies. We're looking forward to hearing what comic actress ends up starring opposite Wilson — our pick is Rose Byrne — and what hapless individual will have to face off against them.