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Do We Really Need a Little Shop of Horrors With Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson and Billy Porter?

Grow for me....

Audrey 2 in little shop of horrors

Reports emerged yesterday that Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, and Billy Porter are in talks to join a remake of the 1986 cult classic Little Shop of Horrors and I’m not sure how to feel about this.

The 1986 film is based on a cult, off-Broadway hit which was itself based on a 1960 black comedy film from Roger Corman. For you poor souls that haven’t seen it, it tells the story of poor Seymour Krelborn, a downtrodden flowershop employee in Skid Row who discovers a strange plant that drinks blood. It grows into a giant, talking creature and turns out to be an alien sent to colonize the world.

Little Shop of Horrors, directed by the legendary Frank Oz, is pretty much a perfect film. From the incredible cast and cameos (Steve Martin! Bill Murray!) to the still-great special effects and puppetry for Audrey II, it’s one of those movies that I come back to again and again and love every time.

The songs, by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (the men behind the songs of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) are great, from the driving soul of the opening number to the comic genius of “Dentist” to the earnest power of “Suddenly Seymour.” Honestly, just writing about this makes me want to turn on the soundtrack and belt along.

So, while the material is great, I don’t know if we need a new version of this when it’s already been realized so well. This is of course what I thought about a new version of Little Women, but that remake seems to have done just fine. The project is supposed to be directed by super-producer Greg Berlanti, who has a pretty amazing track record so … there’s hope.

There’s one big way that this film could distinguish itself from the 1986 version, and that’s by keeping the original ending as seen in the Broadway show and the Corman movie: the plants kill everyone and take over the world. It’s dark and it was so poorly received by test audiences that a new ending was conceived and shot for the film. It might not have flown in 1986, but at this point, a carnivorous plant apocalypse sounds like a relief from the current state of the world.

This casting could be great too. Taron Egerton is in talks, allegedly, to play Seymour, the role originated by Rick Moranis on screen. This does strike me as a perfect choice. Taron was amazing in Rocketman, and we certainly know he can sing. ScarJo is not going to realize her dream of playing a tree as Audrey II, but would rather take on the role of the human Audrey. She’s released an album and sung before but can she belt like Ellen Greene?

The really exciting possible casting in Billy Porter. Audrey II was voiced by Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops and it was nothing short of iconic but if anyone can match that energy in a new and exciting way, it’s Billy Porter. And oh my god, can you just imagine the outfit he might wear to the premiere? And if we follow the original and get some great talent into all the small part—this could be fun!

This is all rumor at the moment, and comes from a source that just today we’ve pointed out is less than reliable, though Billy Porter has been rumored for the project for a while. And in 2017, it was supposedly Rebel Wilson and Josh Gadd who would be taking the leads. We’ll see what becomes of this remake, but until then, we have the original to enjoy and love.

(via Daily Mail)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.