The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Director(s): George Miller
Writer(s): Michael Cristofer, John Updike (novel)
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cher, Jack Nicholson
If we’re going to live in reality in reality’s terms where reboots and remakes are all the rage and not going away anytime soon, then you’ll understand why I always like to play the game of “Why haven’t they remade this yet?” It’s usually based on a couple criteria; either, A) We totally have the technology to make the creator’s vision come to life; B) This is a pretty great story, why not re-tell it in modern times?; Or C) I know some great actors that could pull this off if they ever decided to remake this thing! Lucky for you guys and ghouls; I want to talk about a flick that fits all three categories; The Witches of Eastwick!
First off, the sheer star power of this flick makes my head spin since this flick was made when all of them were arguably in their prime or in the cusp of their prime. The movie follows three friends played by three legends; Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher, as they live their mundane lives always wishing for something more. Each of the ladies has their own set of issues, whether it be reminiscing time with a loved one, being sexually harassed by colleagues, never standing up for themselves or taking care of multiple kids. What the ladies do have in common though is they all yearn for companionship of some sort and they collectively wish for the perfect man to come along to change their lives. However, little do the ladies know, they have a power in them to make their wishes come true and fate decides to answer their call for a man to shake things up in their lives.
Nowadays, the idea of a charming devil isn’t exactly foreign to folks with shows such as Lucifer giving the audiences a more witty (and dare I say, sexy) form of the Devil which one can empathize with on some level but for me, Jack Nicholson seems like he was at least born part-demon, just because of his sort of mischievous charm that shines through in every flick. If you take his roles from Batman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or The Shining; one would think, “why hasn’t this guy played Satan already?!?” From the smooth, yet accentuated tone of his voice to his wide smile; I would dare say the cliche’ of this man was BORN to play this part. The minute you see him on screen, he already owns the damn television. The movie does a great job in showing the lives of the main ladies in the flick and how they struggle with their own personal issues to the point where once the “man of their dreams” shows up, you instantly can tell that he is what they are looking for, personified. Nicholson does an amazing job of always teetering that line between creeper and charmer; Lothario and Bond; Goofus and Gallant.
He approaches the ladies in different ways which is the most interesting part of the movie since all three ladies have different needs and in an interesting way, he makes them a better version of themselves and by the time you get to know the Devil, you realize that he is also starting to change as well. Of course there is conflict between the ladies and the devil once they realize the real harm that…well a devil can do but what the movie does really well is make the devil a sympathetic character that definitely has a dastardly plan but also reveals that there is more to him than seduction and cackling. One of my favorite parts of the movie is how the devil himself breaks down and admits that loneliness has no master since it targets all living beings. This sort of depth to something seen as evil can only be measured by the actor playing the role and Nicholson seems to pull off the role so naturally that you tend to forget all the awful things he ends up doing throughout the flick (respectfully to Mr. Nicholson of course, I know he’s not the devil…or I’m quite sure he’s not the devil).
Now, as I’ve been writing this article, I’ve been playing the game on how I would remake The Witches of Eastwick. Yes, I’m aware a show that lasted one season was made more than a decade ago but…yeah, this story plays better as a flick. I think that the movie magic technology today would definitely make the devil’s hijinks look amazing and a modernized take with the right actors sounds FANTASTIC. All checkboxes seem to be filled so yes, this flick is RIPE for a remake. So who would I cast? After some deliberation I have the following:
Three Lovely Leads: Zoe Saldana, Lady GaGa, Emma Stone
The DEVIL: Robert Downey Jr. (he’s the first and only person come to mind who can give the charm of the devil his due and also captures that same mischievous debonaire attitude as Mr. Nicholson)
Feel free to make your own casting choices in the comments section of the article and/or FB page!
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.