Jessica Chastain says she has talked to Anne Hathaway about a Death Becomes Her remake. Chastain and Hathaway are two of the most acclaimed actresses working today. The former has been nominated for three Academy Awards, recently winning for her stunning transformation in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, while Hathaway has two Oscar nominations to her name, winning for Les Misérables in 2013. The two stars first appeared together in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in 2014 and reunited this year for James Gray’s Armageddon Time.
Released in 1992, Death Becomes Her follows two female rivals fighting over the same man who drink magic potions which promise them eternal youth but end up causing horrible side effects. The satirical black comedy was directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump), co-written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible), and starred Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini, and Bruce Willis in lead roles. Today, the film is remembered for its innovative use of CGI, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
During a recent interview with Parade promoting her new Netflix film The Good Nurse, Chastain was asked which classic movie she would like to remake, and surprisingly, she answered Death Becomes Her. The Academy Award winner has even discussed the idea with Hathaway and said she is interested in playing Streep or Hawn’s role. Read Chastain’s full response below:
I was just talking to Annie [Hathaway] about this! It would be so fun to remake Death Becomes Her. I’ll do either the Meryl Streep or Goldie Hawn role. You know, when it came out it was a huge flop. People thought it was garbage! But I think it’s a masterpiece.
Could Death Becomes Her Work With Modern Audiences?
While Chastain says Death Becomes Her was “a huge flop,“ the movie was actually a solid commercial success, nearly tripling its $55 million budget by grossing $149 million worldwide. However, Death Becomes Her was met with mixed reviews from critics who praised its technical prowess and lead performances but ultimately found the film to be severely lacking any real substance, criticizing its satire and character depth. This is likely why Chastain remembers Death Becomes Her the way she does. In the years since its release, the film has garnered a cult following of sorts, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.
In the age of overabundant remakes and reboots in Hollywood, it’s becoming increasingly important for studios to focus on adding something new to the original material rather than simply rehashing it. Despite the mixed critical response, Death Becomes Her has held up with modern audiences, so it’s an open question whether it even requires a remake. It’s also unclear whether Chastain and Hathaway were hypothetically discussing a Death Becomes Her remake as a fun idea, or are actively pursuing the project. Either way, if handled carefully at some point, a new take on the film could very well become a success.