I'm pretty sure Uncle Grambo had this info at least a few days ago, but I can't check right now because he's so damn popular his site went over its bandwidth limit and is now down until June comes around. And I know it was on E! online after it was reported by Star magazine last week as well. Nonetheless, I was just browsing, and it seems that the story has now made AP. I guess the wire service wasn't comfortable running such major news without better sourcing, i.e., quotes from La Simpson herself. It just goes to prove that "journalists" such as Grambo, Jessica Blueprint and the web's most trusted news source, Gawker, have now surpassed the wires as the place to get the news of the day!
Jessica Simpson May Play Daisy Duke the headline reads. The story includes that such a role might be "consolation" for her ABC pilot being dropped. But the scary part to me is that JSimp is obviously getting a little big-headed, with full on diva-opinions and delusions of power.
According to this article, ABC wanted to recast her pilot, but The Simple One put her foot down because she was loyal to the cast. Since she knows better than those running ABC -- wait a sec; sadly, that could be true -- she seems to think she killed the pilot herself. She's quoted saying, "I connected with my cast, and I loved how it turned out, and I think that it could have been successful the way it was."
But better yet is her ability to dispell any possibility that the producers would want anyone else to play Daisy. In none of these stories have I seen any claims made by the producers or studio that she's even in negotiations. At this point, it's still just gossip. It doesn't seem to have made either major trade paper yet, but Simpson says her casting is "looking very, very good and that will happen after my tour. As of right now, I'm (in) the No. 1 slot for Daisy, so hopefully nothing changes." I sure hope she's not jumping the gun. I suppose it might be really disappointing for her should the producers end up choosing someone -- anyone -- else. (According to E!, she beat out Brittany Spears, Mandy Moore and Jessica Biel.)
Now I don't know about you, but I see plenty of other actresses in this role. In fact, Biel would be a "great" choice, as would Shannon Elizabeth, Piper Perabo, or even Moore. Not that the role of Daisy Duke is all that demanding, such as my other casting post today.
I know ... I know. Why even pay attention to The Dukes of Hazzard, you ask? I know it wasn't exactly high art, but in my formative years, it was one of the few shows I watched religiously every week. I would go for Friday night dinner at my grandparents' apartment (we're reform Jews so we never actually called it Shabbos dinner, even if we delighted in mispronouncing all the prayers on a weekly basis), and after dessert, I would be excused. While the grown-ups talked, I would watch TV in the back room. When my younger cousins moved home to San Francisco from Columbia (yes, we're interesting reform Jews ... or at least they are), they would join me, but we'd still watch Bo & Luke jump through the windows of the General Lee (the other coolest car on TV) and laugh at Boss Hogg and Cletus. The only thing that would distract us from the show was the occasional glimpse of couples having forgotten to draw the curtains having sex in rooms at the Fairmont Hotel across the street. (Ahhh ... those were the days.) Point being, like any adolescent/pre-pubescent boy at the time, I had a big ol' crush on Catherine Bach and her wearing of the shorts that became a fashion style in their own right.
I have no doubt that a Dukes of Hazzard movie is going to suck. Royally. The campiness of the bad late-'70s/early-'80s series is cheesy in a way that can only be appreciated by watching the original article. They'll try to put a Charlie's Angels spin on it and modernize it, creating a big action movie; or they'll try to Starsky & Hutch it, trying to out camp the original which would backfire because in this case the original TV series was intentionally funny; or they could even try to subject it to a Beverly Hillbillies or Brady Bunch treatment where the characters from the show don't really change at all but the external situations and characters are all brought into the modern era. And what you would get with any of those options is one truly lame movie.
Of course, now that I think about it, Jessica Simpson trying to open the door to the General Lee or jumping through the window and constantly banging her head for 90 minutes? I could watch that. Maybe this isn't the worst casting idea after all.
Doesn't this qualify as one of the signs of the coming apocalypse?
Posted by: FIlmbrain | Friday, May 28, 2004 at 12:57 AM
No, not really. If Jessica Simpson is going to act in feature films, it might as well be bad adaptations of early-80s television. That's a relatively natural fit.
Posted by: Aaron | Friday, May 28, 2004 at 02:03 AM
If they're going to do this, they should at least do it right by hiring a brunette. We are terribly under-represented in the ranks of pop idols.
Then again, it is "The Dukes of Hazzard." Hiring a blonde isn't exactly going to destroy the movie's artistic credibility, so long as she looks good in hot pants.
Posted by: Marleigh | Friday, May 28, 2004 at 08:52 PM