With Disney’s streaming service set to launch next year, the studio is hard at work preparing original content to compete with their subscription-based counterparts Netflix, Prime, DC, Hulu, and all the others. So far they’ve announced some big projects that include TV series’ for Monsters Inc., High School Musical, as well as live-action movies for Don Quixote and Lady and the Tramp. Those are all very much in the Disney wheelhouse and seem like a good fit for their new venture. One project that seems quite leftfield for the conglomerate, however, is the upcoming High Fidelity TV reboot that was announced earlier this year. They weren’t kidding around, either.
According to Variety, Zoe Kravitz will lead the 10-episode series in a gender-flipped take on the role originated by John Cusack in the 2000 movie, which was based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name. In the film, Cusack’s character, Rob, was a record store owner who made deadass good mixtapes and discussed his Top 5 worst break-ups. The decision to add Kravitz is also a fun nod to the original movie, as her mother, Lisa Bonet, had a role in it as a singer.
The new series will be written by Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka, whose previous credits together include Ugly Betty and Chicago Fire. Fans of the movie will also be pleased to see the return of co-writer Scott Rosenberg, who will serve as a producer here.
News of this casting makes this project more appealing. Was anybody all that fussed about a High Fidelity remake when it was first announced? Kravitz is an actress who’s been making a name for herself in recent years, especially after starring in the award-winning drama series Big Little Lies and Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But most of her other acting roles have been as a supporting player. This show gives her a platform to solidify herself as a leading star.
Disney’s streaming service will be rated PG-13, so we can expect this show to be a family-friendly comedy. A lighter re-imagining of the source material isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but I’m interested to see how well it translates to the screen. The original is far from edgy, but don’t expect any curse words or Jack Black songs in this one.
With a strong lead like Kravitz on board, though, there’s enough reason to tune in and give it a chance. In the movie, Cusack’s character was a grating dickhead who was forced to confront his own obnoxious flaws. I imagine this one will be more optimistic, and hopefully feature some good musical choices for good measure.
A gender-flipped remake of High Fidelity also has the opportunity to tell an interesting story that’s just as interesting as its predecessor. Both the book and the film explored the main character’s fear of commitment and how it ruins his relationships. Exploring this theme from a female perspective, with a compelling character at the center of it all, isn’t a massive departure from the source material anyway. It’s merely a fresh take on a subject that is universally relatable and one which opens the door for some laughs and drama at the expense of romantic mishaps. The most enjoyable love stories are shrouded in misfortune after all.