Fairy tale remakes are inexplicably hot right now. Last week marked the release of 'Beastly,' a modern-day 'Beauty and the Beast' starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens. This week 'Red Riding Hood,' directed by 'Twilight's Catherine Hardwicke, hits theaters, with Amanda Seyfried donning the iconic red hood.
On top of that, there are reportedly two 'Snow White' remakes in the works, along with a live action 'Pinocchio.' And of course Disney's Rapunzel homage 'Tangled' and Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' are both still semi-fresh in everyone's minds. There's no question about it -– the people are hungry for fairy tales these days. (Or the studios think they are, at least.) Not that I'm complaining.
When it was announced that Seyfried would be taking on the iconic role of Red Riding Hood, it seemed like a natural choice. 'Family Guy' creator Seth Macfarlane summed it up perfectly on his Twitter page earlier this week when he tweeted: "Wolf: 'what big eyes you have.' Red Riding Hood: 'that's because I'm Amanda Seyfried.'"
Gary Oldman as Father Solomon, the globe-trotting werewolf hunter, also seemed like a natural choice. After all, Oldman is famous for his ability to melt seamlessly into whichever role he takes on. Lukas Haas, on the other hand, being cast as the village priest seemed like an unlikely choice. I just can't picture the boy from 'Witness' and the teenager from 'Mars Attacks!' listening to confessions and doling out spiritual advice.
However, this isn't the first time a fairy-tale remake has had at least one eyebrow-raising casting decision that worked out brilliantly. As a nod to the current fairy tale frenzy, here's a list of the top five unlikely fairy tale casting decisions that had skeptical tongues wagging when they were announced.
1. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter in 'Alice in Wonderland'
Johnny is a true chameleon. He can take on any role and make it his own. But the Mad Hatter? The eccentric old man with a penchant for big hats and drinking tea? It seemed like an odd role for Depp to take on. But then again, so did the roles of Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka, and he pulled both of those off perfectly, too.
2. Drew Barrymore as Danielle (Cinderella) in 'Ever After'
Spunky Drew as the downtrodden Cinderelly? It seemed like an odd choice at first, until the film came out and demonstrated that this Cinderella was far more feisty and spirited than her demure, dreamy predecessors.
3. Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell in 'Hook'
Larger than life Julia as the pint-sized, child-like fairy Tinkerbell? It sounded implausible at first, but then made much more sense once people saw the film. Julia's Tinkerbell was far tougher than the fairy was imagined in the iconic 1953 Disney version of 'Peter Pan.'
4. Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in 'The Wiz'
In 1978, Michael was 20 years old and already a huge star. Casting him as the iconic scarecrow in this 'Wizard of Oz' remake undoubtedly raised a lot of eyebrows -– if only for the considerable age difference between young Michael and Ray Bolger, who was 35 years old when he played the scarecrow in the classic 1939 version.
5. Cloris Leachman as the witch in 'Hansel and Gretel'
Isn't dear Cloris too loveable to play such a wicked character? Sure, she's best known for playing the annoying, selfish Phyllis on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' but that's a far cry from an evil witch who eats children! Being the great actress that she is, though, Cloris captured the nasty witch perfectly (and surely frightened children everywhere).
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments.