The last time we reported on My Fair Lady, the remake of the 1964 film directed by George Cukor and starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl who is made into a high-society lady by a snobbish phonetics professor, Keira Knightley was in the running for the lead role. That was June of 2008. A lot has changed since then. In fact, the film is currently in the hands of writer Emma Thompson and director John Madden, who recently finished work on The Debt, starring Sam Worthington and Helen Mirren.
It has also changed leading ladies. According to an interview that Emma Thompson gave to BBC this week, An Education star Carey Mulligan is “set to play” Eliza Doolittle, and Hugh Grant is currently being eyed as her Henry Higgins. “I think Carey is set to play it, yes,” Thompson explained. “But we still don’t know about [Henry] Higgins. I love Hugh so I’d love him to do it, he might want to, he might not want to, so we don’t know yet. But hopefully we’ll make it later this year.”
The role would be a departure of sorts for Mulligan, who was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of the naive, sweet Jenny in An Education, and will be seen next in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps as Gordon Gekko’s daughter. If she can deliver an energetic performance as Eliza, it could put her right back in the hunt for Oscar gold. The 1964 film did, in fact, win eight Oscars (though in fairness, Audrey Hepburn was not nominated).