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Which Grand Dames Will Star In The Remake Of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

We almost spit out our Ensure when we heard someone was remaking Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Of course, we’re still recovering from the trailer for Lifetime’s redo of Steel Magnolias, so you know we take these things pretty hard.

The Aldrich Company has just announced that Walter Hill, who has helmed everything from 48 Hrs to Brewster’s Millions, will be tackling the update of the camp classic.

This immediately begs the question: Why? Baby Jane is beloved by a small subset of the general population (namely us queens) and is hardly suited to today’s Twilight-watching tweens.

More importantly, the film endures because of the actresses involved—feuding film icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford—more than the plot or script. The 1991 TV remake capitalized on that dynamic by casting real-life sisters Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave—and even that had, shall we say, limited success.

But if this remake is going to be made, it’s gotta be all about the actresses playing Blanche and Baby Jane. Hill hasn’t picked his leading ladies yet, so we thought we’d toss out some suggestions:

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen: Everyone assumes the former Full House stars are batshit crazy anyway, and the Olsen sisters are savvy enough to capitalize on it. Bonus points if Mary Kate and Ashley both play Baby Jane and their rising-star sis Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) plays hapless Blanche.

Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith: Latifah’s already dipped into the remake pool with Magnolias, so why not another go as Blanche? And Jada’s got that hard edge you want from Jane. Must come from years of putting up with Will’s foolishness.

Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore: We would just die—die! die! die! Can you imagine? Especially if the studio ditched Hill and got Todd Haynes to direct.

Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry: This is conceivably the only way a Baby Jane remake could be a real cash cow. Have Madea and Big Momma reel around the house making sexual innuendos and poop jokes.


Okay, those are our picks. Who would you cast in the remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?


Feature photo: David Shankbone


On:           Jul 12, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Gdouglasw

      Lest we forget the Redgraves’ remake!?

      Jul 12, 2012 at 11:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Gag

      Britney and Xtina.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin

      ummm it’s Bette not betty *le sigh*

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • angelwise

      If ever a movie deserved a camp version, it is this one. Unfortunately, the track record of Hill does not bode well.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Meowzer

      Aren’t there any new ideas left in Hollywood? Any at all?
      Great movies are great for one reason. Lightning struck at the right time and chemistry clicked. Look at the recent Dirty Dancing remake. Wasn’t needed and it sucked. Look at the upcoming Steel Magnolias remake. Not needed and will suck. It’s a shame we can’t leave classic Hollywood films alone.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Carson Wilson

      Good afternoon, I’d be glad to offer my editing services. FYI, BETTE DAVIS played Baby Jane in the original, not BETTY DAVID.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • luther

      I loved Betty David, she was great. So was Joanne Crawfish.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • loafersguy

      John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony

      I’d like to see the remake go way out on it’s own and cast two men… Ian McKellen and Terrence Stamp? One of them an ex former Justin Beiber type or a boy band member in place of the Shirley Temple like role in the original? And at least one if not both characters should be straight… Making them gay camp would be too easy…

      Jul 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvlaries

      Davis ended up doing her own makeup in the film because every professional she asked recoiled, sure he’d never work Hollywood again if he did to Bette Davis what she was asking. She said she felt as though Jane never washed face, only applied a new later of makeup each day. When she finally attended the premiere with Robert Aldrich, he soon heard her softly weeping, “Did I really look that bad…?” Not every battle that Davis won was one she remained happy about.
      Streep can do anything, and if she set out to scare the hell out of us, she could, but I doubt she’d do it. A black version would definitely foster a fresh fascination factor, and Latifah does have the chops for it. We’ll see.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cinesnatch

      Nurse Ratchett would be a better role for Latifah. I don’t see her as either sister.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kevin

      oh gawd IT SAID “DAVID” as well i didnt see it i was too incensed to notice when I saw Betty !!! double *le sigh*

      Jul 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lambillio

      @kevin: yeah and davis, not david…

      Jul 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael in Toronto

      Betty David: un-frigging-forgivable…

      Jul 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aquarelle

      Betty David … oh Dan, I think you’ve just been officially kicked out of the club. Better start looking for a girlfriend.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dj riz

      harvey fierstein and charles busch and yes.. directed by tood haynes

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric

      First choice: Angelina and Jennifer Aniston. Second choice: Lindsay Lohan and Emma Stone.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeoMarius

      No one! Quit remaking classics; they never compare favorable to the original. See: the Women

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LeoMarius

      No one! Quit remaking classics; they never compare favorably to the original. See: the Women

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Theespian

      Baby Jane by Michael Holmes (The Judy Show!) he is without equal as a Bette Davis impersonator

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chrisconcert

      How about Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey? Beaches Reuion! Gaaaayyy!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jonathonz

      How about Varla Jean Merman and Coco Peru? If it’s not drag queens I am VEHEMENTLY UN-INTERESTED!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MisterD

      Bette Midler and Meryl Streep

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      Again hire an editor. Preferably one who knows the difference between Betty David and Bette Davis.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott

      Shirley Jones as Blanche and Barbara Cook as Baby Jane. Jones took all of the film roles Cook did on Broadway.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam Glass Jr.

      I guess that Hill and the Aldrich Company never saw the refreshingly camp homage to WEHTBJ, called BABY JANE? (2010), directed by Billy Clift, with Matthew Martin and J. Conrad Frank as Jane and Blanche, respectively. (Only in the chronological sense.) They probably don’t know that he’s also gearing up for the second screamingly funny camp salute to Bette and Joan, HUSH UP, SWEET CHARLOTTE!


      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike

      Edina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth! There rivalry is up there with Davis and Crawford and they are approaching the right age!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark

      Not a very good “queen” if you call Bette Davis “Betty David”. Julie Harland should jump out her grave and slap you.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bomo Queebo

      RuPaul in a dual role as 2 sisters from 2 different 60’s girl groups – one successful and the other whose career was sabotaged by a spouse (like Phil Specter did to Veronica of the Ronettes) or who was dumped from the group (like Flo Ballard) or who was unable to make the transition from early 60’s “glamour” to late 60’s “authenticity” – lots of possibilities – making it black & gay would give it the difference required to make it worthwhile – otherwise it would be 2 dreary little white female ickies trying to step into the huge vacancies left by major talented fabulous old movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood – only a black drag queen is up to that and RuPaul is the only black drag queen with the chops to pull it off – unless it was Latrice (motherfuckin) Royale as the Jane character all big & bitter ’bout the past… I could see that – that would be good – lots of opportunities for retro fashions in flashbacks!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gene

      Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley ……But ya did Eddie, but ya did!!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gaspar Marino

      Bette Midler and Meryl Streep.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bbg372

      Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • luther

      @Gaspar Marino: okay, that’s a pretty good combo – but who would play what?

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MisterD

      I see Bette Midler playing Bette Davis’s part…

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Amanda

      Lypsinka and Hedda Lettuce.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein

      @Jonathonz: DEFINITELY!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)

      Choice between 2 pair: Bill Clinton,as “Blanche”, Newt Romney as
      Baby Jane,or:Clarence Thomas as Baby Jane,Anita Hill as “Blanche”.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mal Tempo

      It’s obviously going to be Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JD

      In point of fact, the writer gaffs with “Betty David” for Bette Davis.

      I do not agree at all that the plot is lack-luster. The plot is interesting and intriguing. I enjoyed the use of early Crawford and Davis films to “show their past.” The problem with the original film was the FILM-MAKING. The movie looks like is was made on-the-cheap, in spite of good sets, costumes, make-up, and what have you. Blame the camera and film-stock for the look of the movie. Particularly the final scenes at the beach–that have long shadows (in the “morning”).

      Let’s not forget, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane was nominated for FIVE Academy Awards, and actually won for Best Costuming.

      When I was a teenager, I read the book–and what impressed me at that time was that the movie nearly exactly shows what the book tells. The only other time I could think of where this happened was Rosemary’s Baby, where Polanski managed to do the same thing.

      I’m sorry to say it, but I think the writer of this piece is not in-touch with the topic, but is just writing about clichés that everyone knows. Articles that are frequently cliché, shallow and ill-informed, are not really worth my time. And for god’s sake, hire a proof-reader. Bette deserves better.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • butterfly

      @bbg372: everyone would go see it.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BobbyG

      Streisand and Midler.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Jenkins

      @MisterD: Yours is the only viable choice I’ve seen so far- don’t think anyone else could or SHOULD handle it- if it must be handled at all- Why make a remake of a Classic of Classics- No one can Really do it justice. The public of today would never leave the two sisters out of the limelight long enough for them to reach the deteriorated state of Bette and Joan in the original. The papparazzi would be all over a story like theirs- so the whole premise would be unworkable in today’s society. Not to mention the truly AWFUL remakes they’ve been doing lately- DARK SHADOWS, A COMEDY??!!! That’s what killed Jonathan Frid- it wasn’t old age at all.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris

      I appreciate the many suggestions of Bette Midler, and I love her,I have seen her in concert multiple times, but I just don’t think she is really much of an actress, even in first wives club.

      I suggest Glenn Close and Meryl Streep.

      Jul 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Warwick

      Anjelica Houston and Kathleen Turner.. With a cameo by Liza and John waters

      Jul 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay Wilson

      Joan Collins and Linda Evans or Linda Carter and Lindsay Wagner!

      Jul 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NoHoInTO

      Although one can never replace or replicate the performances from Bette and Joan, I believe the best comeback solution would be to cast ‘Nancy Kerrigan’ and ‘Tanya Harding’ to do “Baby Jane on Ice”! …then maybe “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte”,…

      Jul 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)

      @bbg372: bbg372:Why not Angelina Jolie
      and Brad Pitt?

      Jul 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ace

      Lady Gaga and Madonna (they don’t exactly love each other to begin with) OR Matt Lucas and David Walliams (Little Britain)

      Jul 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shoan

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      Jul 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Raul in Miami

      Faye Dunaway and Merryl Streep

      Jul 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick

      The Olsen twins are too busy spending their money on lots of coke and opiates, and getting fucked by male celebrities to do movies now.

      Jul 13, 2012 at 12:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho.

      Jul 13, 2012 at 5:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • richard

      angelina jolie and lindsey lohan, or meryl streep and glenn close.

      Jul 13, 2012 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff

      charles busch and harvey fierstein would be brilliant. alternately liza and bette midler could be very interesting. eh – better, i think they should leave this one alone.

      Jul 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • I won't grow up

      Come on girls we can all agree, this MUST be directed by John Waters and star Faye channeling Joan again as Blanche and Meryl as a bouncing off the walls chewing the woodwork Jane. With Harvey Firestein in the Victor Buono roll.
      I just scared myself…why am I giving this so much thought? We MUST storm the castle and stop this from happening. Baby Jane is the Gone With The Wind of camp.

      Jul 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • don

      paul ruben (pee-wee herman) and faye dunaway or glenn close

      Jul 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbo324

      It’s dated material! Two competitive sisters in the early days of movie making- how can you make it current without destroying the basic premise?? Even if they could get Helen Mirren and Judy Dench it would still be compared to the original. Helen Mirren and Judy Dench…..not a bad idea, though!

      Jul 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Redd

      Too bad Liz Taylor passed away. She could have played Blanche to Debbie Reynolds’ Jane! Touche!

      Aug 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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