Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Witchy Woman

Though she no longer, uh, espouses Scientology, it seems Nicole Kidman still has an interest in marginalized quasi-religious pagan cults: she's all set to play the evil White Witch—the bitch ice queen who seduces young boys with candy and plunges Narnia into an eternal winter—in a movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe***, one of the famous books from that underappreciated genre "blatant Christian allegories thinly disguised as children's books." The film's not due out until Christmas 2005, but last week Disney printed a (Nicole-free) ad for it in USA Today, perhaps hoping to raise interest in this avowedly Christian film among the jew-haters fans of The Passion or piggyback on the critical and commercial success of J.R.R. Tolkien's pseudo-religious Lord of the Rings tomes. (Indeed, it was a young Tolkien himself who first turned the then-atheist C.S. Lewis on to Christianity while they were both at Oxford, leading both authors to embark on a long career of writing symbolically-loaded and unashamedly "Christian apologist" fiction.) This is just after PBS finalized plans to air a 4-part documentary on C.S. Lewis based on that storied Harvard class everyone shops but no one actually takes, 'Sigmund Freud v. C.S. Lewis: Two Contrasting World Views.'

***What's up with this Zap2it article about Nicole and Wardrobe? It says Wardrobe "will be filmed on location in New Zealand and Czechoslovakia." Now I know the film is a fantasy, but considering Czechoslovakia no longer exists (and hasn't for 11 years), how do they plan on filming there?

Going back to Nicole for a moment: news of Nic's bad witch role in Wardrobe arrived just weeks after the official announcement that she will star as good witch Samantha in a Summer 2005 movie version of TV's Bewitched, opposite Will Ferrell's mortal Darrin. (How great would it be if about 40 minutes into the film Jack Black suddenly came onscreen instead of Will Ferrell and played Darrin for the rest of the movie, in homage to the whole Dick York/Dick Sargent switcheroo from the original TV series? Heh.) Though this will probably be the first time Nicole will be acting opposite someone as tall as she is, I can't say I really see Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell as an on-screen couple—I mean, are they remaking Bewitched or Linda Hamilton's Beauty & The Beast?

Oh yeah, so all these witch roles for Nicole have been announced within months of the arrival of her next big blockbuster starring role (I'm assuming her lead in April's devastating and long-awaited Dogville won't have them lining up at the multiplex), in the remake of The Stepford Wives due out early this summer [watch the trailer]. The original was a campy horrorish flick, but Nic and others involved in the movie have said this one will be more of a social satire, with Nicole's perfectly engineered android-wife playing it more like the gals from The Witches of Eastwick. I think it will probably be horrible, but how great will it be to see Nicole playing a robot wife opposite that most robotic of thespians, Christopher Walken?

Dude, it's just witch witch witch for this woman! What's next, a Harry Potter movie? (How great would it be if she played the adult Hermione in a flash-forward sequence, or better yet, a REUNION SPECIAL?) Is Nicole jealous of the success serious actresses like Cate Blanchett and Maggie Smith are finding these days playing witchish characters (that's in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, respectively)? Or maybe it's just that after years of being married to a little troll (and a gay one, at that), it's easy for Nicole to envision herself in fantasy roles. <Zing!>


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