Silly Sunday Addendum: Philadelphia Story and Harry Potter Options

Okay, your comments on the original post got me all excited!  I have to do another post to cover my ideas for Harry Potter and The Philadelphia Story.

Harry Potter in Hindi Film

Okay, hear me out.  When we were discussing Shahrukh as Sirius Black and who should be Remus Lupin, it suddenly hit me that Karan Johar, Shahrukh, and Aditya Chopra are really similar to Remus, James, and Sirius.  And then I went down a whole wormhole in my head.

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(So young!  Before Valdemort destroyed it all)

How about this.  Shahrukh is James (not Sirius).  He and Adi and Karan are closer than closer.  Shahrukh marries Gauri, his true love.  Unaware that she left behind a connected politician’s son in Delhi who is pining for her and resents Shahrukh (Snape).  Shahrukh and Gauri die (sad!).  It is part of the 1990s attacks on the film industry by the gangsters from one side and politicians from the other.  For his safety, Aryan is whisked away from film and put with Gauri’s family in Delhi.  The whole thing is coordinated by Aditya Chopra, who I am combining as both Remus and Dumbledore in some ways.  He sends Aryan away, where he won’t be noticed by the forces of politics/gangsters who destroyed his parents.

Aryan grows up in Delhi, ignored by his maternal relatives, who punish him for being bad at school and not dressing right and so on and so forth.  Until he is 11, at which point they get a visit from…..I don’t know.  Someone real world who feels like Hagrid.  Anyway, Hagrid is there from Aditya, because before they died, Shahrukh and Gauri signed a 7 year contract guaranteeing Aryan would make a movie a year from 11 to 18 for Yash Raj Studios.

Aryan is whisked off to Yash Raj where he becomes friends with Navya Naveli Nanda and Aarav, who also have 7 year contracts and are playing bit parts in a movie with him.  Aarav’s parents, Twinkle and Akshay take him in and give him a sense of what a real family feels like.  Navya is effortlessly talented and intelligent and helps the two boys navigate their careers.  Aditya occasionally appears on set to give advice, but mostly is a hidden figure.  The 3 kids solve a mystery (some reporter who has a secret source) and get through their first film, and then Aryan has to go back to his sad life in Delhi.  He also meets the government minister in charge of film who seems to hate him, unaware that this is his mother’s old boyfriend.

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(Aryan and Navya in real life.  They seem like part of a nice crowd of friends at school)

For 7 years, Aryan keeps coming back to shoot a movie, and keeping his friendship with Navya and Aarav.  Navya quickly becomes famous while the two boys lag behind a bit.  But Aarav doesn’t mind, and his parents keep loving him anyway.  And Aryan is just happy to find a place where he belongs.  Especially when he gets older and meets his Godfather, Karan Johar.  Karan would have raised him except there was fear that the political climate and so on would make it even worse for him to be raised by Karan.  Karan himself has been in hiding for the past 10 years, writing scripts under a fake name and generally not making public appearances.  But, with Aditya’s encouragement, he is now back and ready to help and encourage Aryan.

In the end, Navya and Aarav realize they are in love, Karan/Sirius Black survives (too sad otherwise!) and learns not to be afraid to be his fabulous self, Aditya/Remus gets over his terrible problem (social anxiety, not werewolf-ism) and learns he can love and marries Rani and has a late in life child who Aryan is the godfather for.  And then dies and the cycle continues with Aryan stepping up to take responsibility for the orphaned child (we do need a little sad.  And I am intrigued by the idea of Aryan raising Adirani).  And Aryan doesn’t have any romance at all, because I always felt like Harry and Ginny rushed things a little.

 

At least, that’s how I have roughed it out for now.  Alternative option, Karan is James and there is no Lily.  He dies, Roohi and Yash are whisked away to distant relatives, years later Adi sends for them, they become best friends with AbRam and Gauri and Shahrukh are the Weasleys combined with Sirius Black (I always found it a bit odd anyway that the Weasleys had no strong connection with the James & Lily crowd), Aaradha is their nemesis with all the privileges in the world.  And the Snape is someone who always loved Karan, but also hated him for rejecting them, and felt like his decision to be a single father was part of that rejection.  Which could be anyone really, who wouldn’t love Karan?  Oh, and in the end, AbRam and Yash get together, because it is clearly fate.

 

Obviously in both versions, Valdemort/Death Eaters = the general forces of conservatism in India which are trying to defeat the film industry.

 

Regular Harry Potter Remake

Really, this is mostly just casting of the older generation, the interesting ones.

Sirius Black: Shahrukh

Remus Lupin: Irrfan Khan

Tonks: Kalki Koechlin

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley: Juhi and Akshay

Dumbledore: Amitabh

Prof. McGonagall: Hema Malini

 

James and Lily (in flashback): Arjun Kapoor and Alia

 

And then the kids are kids.  Heck, can be the same actors as from my first fanfic above!  Aryan as Harry, Aarav as Ron, and Navya Naveli as Hermione.

 

The Philadelphia Story

In case you don’t know the plot:

Our heroine Katherine Hepburn is a sparkling glowing special very very upper class type.  She is preparing for her second marriage, after her first marriage to the wild funny boy next door Cary Grant fell apart, partly due to his drinking.  The family has been blackmailed into allowing two reporters to cover the wedding.  The male reporter Jimmy Stewart almost immediately gets a crush on the bride, appreciating her pure wild spirit.  The female reporter Ruth Hussey already has a crush on the Jimmy Stewart but he never seems to see her.  Meanwhile, the first husband Cary Grant is back and causing issues.  He doesn’t drink any more and he wants his wife back.  Katherine Hepburn gets drunk with Jimmy Stewart the night before the wedding, Cary Grant has to help get her home, the next day she breaks up with her fiance just before the wedding, but Cary Grant steps up and suggests that she announce that there has been a change of groom, back to him.  Jimmy Stewart hides his slightly broken heart, and the whole thing serves as a learning experience which makes him see and appreciate Ruth Hussey.  But the main theme is that Katherine Hepburn is trying to change herself into something else, to stop loving the person she was meant to love, and in the end she realizes who she really is is something wonderful and she never has to change, and she should be with the man who loves her for who she is and who she loves.  Oh, and a minor theme, the first husband really is an alcoholic, so it wasn’t necessarily a mistake for our heroine to leave him in the first place, but there is no reason for them not to get back together now.  Sometimes love is better on the second chance.

So, casting!  First husband Cary Grant is Shahrukh.  Full of wry self-deprecating humor, and a certainty that he is the right man for our heroine and she will realize that in the end.  Idealistic reporter Jimmy Stewart is Ranveer Singh, able to have that fresh optimism and openness, combined with being clever and sometimes sensitive.  And strong.  Female reporter Ruth Hussey, clever and smart and not spectacularly beautiful or the kind of women that men notice, I’m going to say Konkona Sen Sharma.

The heroine though, that’s almost impossible.  Famously Katherine Hepburn produced this play herself, knowing it was the perfect role for her and only she could pull it off.  It has to be someone brittle and difficult with sharp edges everywhere.  But at the same time, someone that makes the audience love her, and makes us believe that two men could love her and fight over her.  No one feels quite right to me, but here are the options I am thinking of, with pros and cons:

Vidya: Could easily carry the movie, has nice chemistry with Shahrukh.  But can she pull off that brittle and difficult vibe?  The perfect untouchable golden girl?

Kajol: Perfect chemistry with Shahrukh for this role, we can believe them as the couple that has a love that can never really end.  The love story would be very similar to Dilwale, two people with a lot of pain and complications, who still can’t help but love each other.  On the other hand, can we buy her with Ranveer?  Maybe if that role is recast with Saif?  But even so, can she give that very very very high class vibe, the kind of person who never reveals her true self to “outsiders”?

(This could drop right into The Philadelphia Story, no changes needed)

Rani: Good chemistry with Shahrukh, again, would need to recast Ranveer with Saif.  But I’m not sure if Rani can ever be that untouchable difficult golden person either.

Kareena: Perfect for the untouchable difficult golden very very high class person.  I mean, it’s what she is in real life!  I would love to see her attack that part of the role.  But I don’t know if her chemistry with Shahrukh is quite right.

Anushka: If it weren’t for the age thing, she might be perfect.  She played a similar kind of very very upper class but also with a wildness in her character in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola.  And her chemistry with Shahrukh is great.  And with Ranveer.  But it would turn their love story from “couple who grew up next door to each other and were always meant to be” into “older man who woo’d the younger girl next door after she grew up”.

Deepika: Again, the age thing!  But otherwise, she has a sort of in born grace and dignity that would work well for the character, and her chemistry with Ranveer is just right for the “young reporter who reminds me who I am”.  Plus, her Piku character is in many ways the same sort of heroine.  And her chemistry with Shahrukh is good.

 

As for the plot details, there isn’t even that much to change.  Make it a wedding at one of the huge Farmhouses outside Bombay, and the heroine’s family is very very wealthy and also very very high class.  Shahrukh’s family is equally high class but not nearly as wealthy, and he lives in a smaller place next door, and has returned for the wedding to try to stop it if possible/because he knows the heroine won’t go through with it and wants to be there.  Some online gossip type website has gotten word that the heroine’s father (Jackie Shroff) is having an affair, and to keep it quiet, they agree to let Ranveer/Saif and Konkona come cover the wedding in a very dignified way.  Ranveer is immediately struck by the bride when he first meets her, being very casual and carefree striding around the house.  There are various song sequences, the Sangeet and so on, plus a flashback to the original romance, when Shahrukh and our heroine eloped as young people who were passionately in love, which morphs over the course of a love song montage into constant fights about his drinking, until she leaves him.  There’s a happy drunk song with Ranveer/Saif and heroine, then Shahrukh helps them out and has an mentally sung love song as he looks at the heroine recovering from her drunk, a love song which jumps over to be Ranveer/Saif’s love song as well as he looks at her and feels the same things.  Finally, at the wedding, the heroine is all dressed up, everyone is there and ready for the ceremony, when the groom walks out.  Shahrukh steps up and tells her to inform the crowd that they are going to get the wedding they were “cheated” of years ago when she and Shahrukh eloped, she and Shahrukh get married, and Ranveer/Saif watches sadly, then turns to look at Konkona and finally sees her, really sees her.

 

 

Okay, that was a lot of self-indulgent discussion that probably most people won’t even care about, but if you were interested in one or the other of the discussions above, let me know what you think in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Silly Sunday Addendum: Philadelphia Story and Harry Potter Options

  1. Harry Potter: love both remake possibilities. Wow, the Karan, Adi, and Shah Rukh as the trio is such a cool idea. Who would be Wormtail? Wonder if Hagrid in the first one could be someone like Anupam Kher. Someone who mentored Shah Rukh in his early days and has great chemistry with him, so hopefully would with Aryan.

    Deepika, while too beautiful in some ways, is the closest to Kate Hepburn for me.She is great at both acerbic stuff and goofy comedy. I’d love her in the Philadelphia Story. Other ideas that popped into my head reading this addendum were Bringing Up Baby and It Happened One Night (Shah Rukh in both lead roles, obviously). Deepika would work again as Kate Hepburn, and maybe Kangana for Claudette Colbert?

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    • Wormtail is tricky, because it feels like there are too many real life options and I don’t want to curse any of them by naming them as a Wormtail! Anupam Kher, for instance, could work by some lights.

      It Happened One Night has been remade twice and I am ashamed to say I still haven’t seen either one. The first one was in the 50s, and the last one was an early 90s Aamir film. So I guess we are ready for another one! Pooja was the heroine of the 90s one, I would kind of love to see Alia in a new version. for the same reasons her sister worked, very baby kind of face that would make you forgive her for being so spoiled and immature. But with an intelligence shining through at the same time. But oops, then Shahrukh wouldn’t work at all. Maybe Ranveer. If it is Shahrukh, then I think I might vote for Deepika again for It Happened One Night. And for Bringing Up Baby, I feel like I already did it. One moment. Ha! Here it is: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/07/30/silly-sunday-speculative-post-jab-harry-met-sejal-week-classic-odd-couple-films-that-need-a-remake/

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  2. Philadelphia Story really is one of the best…the original is so perfect it’s almost impossible to even think of any adaptation. I also think Deepika is the closest you’ll get to Katharine Hepburn among the current actresses…they both have an elegant athleticism to them. I have to say the only actor I can picture in the Cary Grant role is Arjun Rampal for some reason even knowing that humor is not his strong suit. Otherwise I could see Fawad or Ranbir or Saif or Irrfan matched with Deepika in that role before I could see SRK (sorry!). You know who would be perfect if he were just better matched physically is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He bears a striking resemblance to Cary Grant when you think about it. And for the Jimmy Stewart role I would pick Abhishek for sure, maybe Rajkumar Rao as back up. And for the reporter role definitely Rani or Parineeti.

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    • I could see Arjun Rampal. The Cary Grant role is really more about maturity and calm for most of the film, rather than the usual Grant charm and comedy, and Arjun could do that perfectly. I was thinking of Parineeti before I put in Konkona for the reporter!

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