‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968) the film, is perfect and requires no changes. Nearly fifty years later, it remains a classic which lacks nothing and still basically holds up as a story and as a film today. Ira Levin‘s story is so perfect it could be adapted into a Grimm’s fairytale version that takes place in a medieval German village and still hold up just as well. We usually shudder at the news every time Hollywood dares to tread upon unholy ground and remake a diabolical horror classic. The 2014 NBC TV drama version starring Zoe Saldana was largely forgettable.
However, if ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ were to be remade as a feature film today (2017), we have some ideas for a fantasy production which would adapt the story to the current climate and offer opportunities for some fine talent to exhibit itself. Not enough older actors are given screen time these days which is a deep shame as they have such skill and talent. Hollywood could certainly do worse than take our advice.
First, to adapt the film for today, Rosemary would have been Christian homeschooled (creationism not evolution) on a small Wisconsin or Iowa farm by a conservative, right-wing, Charismatic Christian family who fully expect the coming of “the Rapture” and the AntiChrist. These people take the Bible literally as the unerring Word of God. This family votes based solely upon the anti-abortion, pro-life and anti-gay movements. Rosemary enjoys playing girl’s volley ball, and doesn’t date. She moves away from the small town amongst the corn fields and cows to live for a few years in The Big City (need not be New York) and finds her ideas shifting with the current culture. She meets and falls in love with Guy, a handsome young man without religious ideals who is scraping by as an actor but desperately dreams of making it big.
Most of the story remains the same with a few tweaks here and there. For the notorious “dream sequence” Rosemary could see herself sailing away from her family farm through a sea of corn. Instead of the Pope offering his ring for her to kiss at the end of her nightmare, it could be a TV evangelist counting wads of cash, assuring her she is forgiven.
Check out our related article: All of Them Witches: A “Who’s Who” in Rosemary’s Baby
Rosemary Woodhouse –
Mia Wasikowska (current age 27) With a name like Mia how could we not consider her? Famous for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ she has that somewhat fragile look but can show strength. or Chloë Grace Moretz (current age 20) famous for ‘Kick-Ass’ and ‘Let Me In’ (2010). Either of these ladies would also make a suitable Terry.
Guy Woodhouse –
Zac Efron (current age 29) This guy could effectively play the desperately charming actor hungry for fame and fortune; and perhaps bring his own special twist to the role.
Tracey Ullman (current age 57) Just think about it! Based on our highly esteemed portrayal by Ruth Gordon in the original film we doubt you could find better. Admittedly, if she were to play Minnie Castevet there may need to be some aging make-up involved but that’s no problem for Tracey Ullman, is it?ψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψ
aka Steven Marcato:
Jack Nicholson (current age 80) If he’s willing and able we would have it no other way! Jack was considered for the role of Guy in the original film but was considered too sinister looking by director Polanski. Imagine Jack doing this:
If Jack can’t or won’t come out of retirement, then next we’d ask…
Malcom McDowell (current age 74), or perhaps John Malkovitch (current age 63). It could happen.
Doctor Sapirstein – The Doctor from Hell:
Willem Dafoe (current age 61) Now see the picture below and imagine Dafoe as Rosemary’s obstetrician. Uh huh, say no more. Yet, John Malkovitch would be great for this role too. Hmmmmm….
Laura-Louise McBurney – The Witch upstairs –
Kathleen Turner (current age 63) Yes! It has to be Serial Mom!
Kathleen Turner as Laura-Louise and Tracey Ullman as Minnie Castevet. Delicious!ψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨΨψψψψψψψψψψψψψψψ
“Hutch” – Rosemary’s friend. This character presents some problems today that wouldn’t have been so obvious in the 60’s. An older gentleman friend from the apartment building Rosemary used to live in after first moving to the Big City. If we keep this character an older gentleman then… Bill Murray (current age 66).
But why must Hutch be an older guy? Why not make the character Rosemary’s older girlfriend who befriended her upon moving to the Big City, and who changed Rosemary’s mind about gay people because she herself is a lesbian? Perhaps a writer or counselor who’s also studied something about Witchcraft…
Winona Ryder current age 45, or Octavia Spencer (47) as Ms. Hutch.
Terry Gionofrio – Suicidal house guest
For the role of the somewhat rehabilitated drug addict Terry, we select whichever of the two actresses we selected to play Rosemary who doesn’t get to play Rosemary; Mia Wasikowska (current age 27) or Chloë Grace Moretz (current age 20). Dye hair dark.
Dr Hill –
Evan Peters (current age 30) of American Horror Story fame. He might also make a good Guy Woodhouse, in which case Zac Efron would be our good but disbelieving Dr Hill.
Check out our article on the Castevet Coven:
Anyone from our list who doesn’t make the final cut, plus these three performers who appeared as principal players in the original film and must now be supporting players in our fantasy remake…
Mia Farrow “Rosemary Woodhouse” in the original film (currently 72) could be Mrs Gilmore in our fantasy remake: “There’s nothing to be afraid of Rosemary. Honest and truly there isn’t.”
Victoria Vetri (aka Angela Dorian) “Terry Gionofrio” in the original film can now be Mrs Wees. “We’re your friends Rosemary.”
Current age 72 and serving time, but with a release planned in the not-too-distant future. It is also our wish to see Victoria Vetri and Mia Farrow paired up again, if only even for a brief scene, perhaps in the American Horror Story series. Oh please! Please! Please make it happen! (2018) EDIT: Victoria is now free and available for limited access in the LA area.
Charles Grodin aka “Dr. Hill” in the original film, (now 80) as Mr Wees. He’ll be the first to “Hail Satan!” in the climactic scene.
Or… as Dr Shand?
Ernest Harada (73) appeared as the photographer in the original film and is also in retirement, but if he could be coaxed out of it to perhaps take on another character… like that of Mr Nicklas who shows Rosemary and Guy the apartment, played by Elisha Cook in the original.
Check out our interview with a charming original cast member : An Interview with Ernest Harada: Celebrating 50 years of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’
We need a few more witches….
Anjelica Huston (current age 66) shall be our cat-toting Mrs Sabatini for our dream remake.
Edit: 6/21/2019 – Or if Daria Nicolodi (current age 69) is available… we’d love to see her back onscreen! As a veteran of Giallo and Horror – and with talent and inimitable presence – Daria Nicolodi remains a film fan’s favorite.
Nastassja Kinski (current age 56) shall be Mrs Fountain. Maybe Willem Dafoe as Mr. Fountain if Malkovitch plays Dr Sapirstein.
Christopher Walken (now 74) Can be the mysterious Mr Gilmore. We just want to see him creeping around.
Well, our list is painfully caucasian, we know. That’s due to our limited knowledge of talent. After all, we mostly watch vintage diabolical horror films, which is largely a white dominated sub-genre. Surely there are other ideas for great actors in a revival of this classic horror thriller, but we’ve already spent enough time on this bit of dream-fancy fluff. Hope you enjoyed it. Who do you think should play in a ‘Rosemary’s Baby‘ remake?
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