From lady "Ghostbusters" to talk of a female James Bond, Hollywood has taken a shine to remaking classic movies or TV shows with gender-swapped leads as a way of mixing up a tried and true formula. But the trend dates back farther than to just the last few years. The latest example of this is "Overboard" opening Friday, which swaps out Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell for Eugenio Derbez and Anna Faris. But here are some other movies that looked to remake something old with not just a fresh face but from an entirely different point of view.
"His Girl Friday" (1940)
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell move a mile a minute and have a natural chemistry as reporters Walter Burns and Hildy Johnson in Howard Hawks's screwball comedy classic "His Girl Friday." But missing from its source material, both the play and the movie "The Front Page" by playwright Ben Hecht, is the wonderful romantic back and forth between the two because Hildy was originally played by a man.
"The Incredible Shrinking Woman" (1981)
The '50s B-movie "The Incredible Shrinking Man" is already a little campy, but for the reboot, Lily Tomlin took over the lead role and made the sci-fi fantasy a full-on parody.
"The Next Karate Kid" (1994)
After three movies featuring Ralph Macchio, Mr. Miyagi took on a new pupil played by Hilary Swank for the 1994 reboot. However, "The Karate Kid" would gender swap back to a boy for the 2010 remake with Jaden Smith.
"American Psycho II: All American Girl" (2002)
With Christian Bale definitely not coming back for a sequel, this slapdash sequel to the Bret Easton Ellis cult classic pegged Mila Kunis as an "angrier, deadlier and sexier" killer than even Patrick Bateman. The movie opens with a flashback of Kunis as a little girl being Bateman's one victim who got away and now took up the serial killer mantle.
"Herbie Fully Loaded" (2005)
When Disney dusted off "The Love Bug" and found the magical Herbie a new owner, they looked to one of the biggest young stars of the day, Lindsay Lohan. The movie was ridiculous, but Lohan proved to be a regular Danica Patrick.
"Last Holiday" (2006)
Though it's hardly a resemblance after a gap of 56 years between them, the Queen Latifah comedy is actually a remake of a British classic from 1950 starring Alec Guinness.
"The Tempest" (2010)
If anyone was going to gender swap Shakespeare, it would be Helen Mirren. She starred as Prospero in Julie Taymor's sumptuous adaptation of "The Tempest."
"Ghostbusters" is such a beloved fan favorite that this admirable remake starring the hilarious quartet of Kirsten Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones received a lot of unfortunate blowback
from dudes who didn't want to see women get the chance to be this funny.
Even Jennifer Lopez couldn't get a remake
of Goldie Hawn's "Overboard" to float. But by swapping the gender roles, Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez, with Derbez in Hawn's role and Faris taking the part of the overworked Kurt Russell, they made it work. But the "Overboard" remake is also intended to break racial barriers as well as gender barriers. "This time the Mexican is going to be the millionaire and she's going to be cleaning the floors," Derbez told TheWrap
"Ocean's 8" (2018)
Move over Rat Pack. This summer's upcoming semi-sequel "Ocean's 8" has an absolutely stacked cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna and Awkafina. Most gender-swaps can't boast this much talent.
"The Hustle" (2018)
"The Hustle" isn't a remake of the Paul Newman, pool shark movie "The Hustler" (although that sounds like a solid candidate for a gender-swapped remake too), but of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson taking over the con job from Steve Martin and Michael Caine. Their movie is actually a comedic update of a Marlon Brando and David Niven con movie "Bedtime Story."
"What Men Want" (2019)
The Mel Gibson comedy "What Women Want" is a charming enough movie, but it's in big need of an update. Taraji P. Henson is starring in the adaptation of the Nancy Meyers story as directed by Adam Shankman.