My awesome colleague Halle Kiefer reported this past Friday that Carrie Underwood has been picked to play Maria von Trapp in a new NBC revival of The Sound Of Music. Halle was excited by the news, but she did acknowledge that there are purists out there who “might find Carrie too pop/country/tan/not Julie Andrews to step into Julie Andrews’ shoes.” That’s me. I’ve seen the film at least 20 times, I own commemorative plates, books, and the newly released 45th Anniversary Edition of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD (complete with karaoke singalong tracks and a keepsake music box!), I DVR’d the crap out of the cast reunion on Oprah and I nearly turned my honeymoon into a whirlwind tour of Salzburg so I could “Do Re Mi” up the steps of the Mirabell Gardens. So yeah, I’m a fan. And I’m not feeling Carrie Underwood.
It pains me to see anyone try to do justice to the role that, to me, IS Julie Andrews, and while I think Carrie has a killer voice, there’s something about her “type” that’s not sitting well with me. Yes, Halle, it’s partly the country/tan aspect, but I wish someone with maybe a little more, you know, acting experience, had been chosen. Broadway vet/Bunheads star Sutton Foster maybe? Rachel Weisz, who has some kind of hold on me when I think of cool, young maternal types? (But can she sing? I have no idea — even if she can, I bet she’s not a soprano.) Or yes, even Anne Hathaway, who co-starred in The Princess Diaries with Andrews and seems like a natural fit (THIS WOULD NOT BE MY FIRST CHOICE, I’M JUST SAYIN’ SHE’D BE BETTER THAN CARRIE). But seeing that I can’t change the casting of Maria, I’m at least going to put in my two cents about who else should join the film and make it tolerable since this is happening and there’s nothing else I can do about it.
Captain von Trapp: Well, considering that young Christopher Plummer is the only person I’d go back in time to try and hook up with, once again I’m torn. But this role needs an older, authoritative man with principles who looks good in military garb and can sing the s— out of “Edelweiss.” Can Daniel Craig sing? Or Colin Firth? See, if we could get Weisz and Craig (who are actually married) together for this, I think I’d be really intrigued.
Baroness Elsa Schraeder: I made a joke to a friend that Lindsay Lohan would be fun in this role. Having already told you guys how devoted I am to this film, I don’t want you to think I really, truly condone that, I just think it could be an interesting choice. Maybe for a community theater production though, not for this. Also, I never would have suggested this before, but Hayden Pannettiere‘s b—chface is so convincing on Nashville that I also think she could slide into this role with no problem. And her hair would lend itself beautifully to a mid-century updo. She’s young, but this is a remake, so liberties will be taken and Baroness Schrader will be turned into some kind of trophy girlfriend and we’ll have to live with that.
Leisl: Jennifer Lawrence, who can clearly do anything and be perfect.
Louisa: Chloe Moretz. I love her in basically everything, but she’s totally the type who could scale a wall with a whole jar of spiders in her hand.
Frederich: Thomas Howes, who played William from Downton Abbey, is a ringer for Friederich (and if he doesn’t get that role, then he needs to play an older Charlie Bucket in a sequel to Willy Wonka, because he’s that kid’s twin, too). Hey, William died in the war, so he’s obviously got some time on his hands now.
Rolf, the bleached-eyebrow Nazi messenger: The second pick I’ve poached from Downton Abbey. I could definitely see Rob James-Collier here. As Thomas on the series, he is pure, latent evil in the form of a good-looking, charming footman. Rolf, too, is a servant just waiting to get out his pent-up hate.
Max Detweiler: Uncle Max was the family friend of the von Trapps who sees the spark of talent hidden in Maria and turns them into a supergroup. It’s a small but funny role that requires some deadpan, so therefore, Bill Murray.
The chorus of singing nuns: Obviously we’ll just snag the cast of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sequel while they’re all together and just have them do a rousing rendition of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” on a green-screened abbey courtyard somewhere in India. Maggie Smith will be the Reverend Mother, obviously.
[Photos: Getty Images/20th Century Fox]