A couple of years ago “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde” was announced and into the role of Bonnie Parker, a beret-wearing outlaw rendered a fashion icon of sorts in the late 1960s by actress Faye Dunaway, stepped one-time child actor Hilary Duff. The casting obviously caused some consternation, and, at the time, it played out as a humorous spat between the former Disney poster girl and Dunaway, herself prone to kooky behavior of late, who squawked to the press, “Couldn’t they at least cast a real actress?”
Dunaway got her wish. According to The Hollywood Reporter Duff seemingly inconvenienced the project by getting herself pregnant earlier in the month and, was let go as a result, and though the producers Tonya Holly and Tom Rogers insist otherwise, it’s a pretty asshole-ish move whichever way you look at it. On the plus side, perhaps the detractors can take a rest for a while. Though Duff has tried to dirty up her “Lizzie McGuire” image in the years since that show went off the air, the thought of her roaming the countryside in a mauve beret, cigarette clamped in her jaw, with a machine gun in one hand and vapid, pretty-boy acting vacuum Kevin Zegers as Clyde Barrow hanging off the other, was a horrifying prospect that would have had even the most temperate and understanding cinephile straining for the barf bag.
As anyone with half a brain realizes, remaking Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic is brazen stupidity of the highest order anyway. It’s rooted in a specific moment of Hollywood history, reacting against both the mores of the Depression of the 1930s and seizing upon the counter-cultural trends extant in 1967; so much so that even Pauline Kael’s New Yorker review of the original – “Bonnie and Clyde” is the most excitingly American American movie since “The Manchurian Candidate”…” – remains the stuff of lore.
The film, riddled with production setbacks (the producers insist “financial, scheduling and other factors such as tornados [are] devastating some of our locations”) is blithely soldiering on regardless. Now, as Duff is with child and Zegers has thankfully moved onto pastures new, let the speculation for “the-two-most-annoying-good-looking-former-tween-actors-we’d-like-to-see-riddled-with-bullets-in-a-balletic-orgy-of-violence-at-the-film’s-climax” begin. This writer plumps for Kevin Jonas and Ashley Tisdale.