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October 4, 2015

Who should play Jeannie on the big screen?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 13th 2008 9:02AM
I Dream of Jeanie The big screen adaptation of I Dream of Jeannie has been years in the making. Now a script writer is attached, so who knows, maybe we'll see it in theaters in the next few years (IMDB.com lists a release date of 2010). And something tells me we'll probably see a belly button or two.

Producer Sid Ganis is bringing Rita Hsiao, who scribed Mulan, on board to rewrite the script for a movie based on the 1960s series. Ganis is psyched for Hsiao's vision of the character -- a Jeannie who's smack in the middle of modern times.

In a Hollywood Reporter story, Ganis said of Hsiao's meeting with the producers, "She has a terrific, bright, fresh approach to Jeannie's story, with a twist and turn along the way. She captured all of our imaginations in the telling of it."

I'm geeked because Hsiao was also brought on board to rewrite 2007's Enchanted and 2004's 13 Going on 30, two of my favorite romantic comedies in recent years.

Ganis has no qualms about the movie taking time to evolve, noting that Jeannie is a "beloved and iconic character," and they want to get it right and stay loyal to the TV series. Once a script is in place, they'll work on a director and cast.

Hmmm ... let's think about this. Just for kicks, I looked up Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie in the TV series. She's been working steadily through the years, and recently had gigs on Army Wives, George Lopez, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. I think she'd be great as Jeannie's mom in the movie. Larry Hagman is still around, too, having done a stint on Nip/Tuck in 2006. Let's find a role for him in the movie.

As for who should play Jeannie, Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars and Heroes springs to mind. She's got the sassy thing down cold, her belly button is cute, and she's already made a successful leap from TV to movies, with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. (At least, I thought it was successful.)

For Major Nelson, that's a tough one. Maybe Peter Krause? John Krasinski?

Who would you pick to play Jeannie and Major Nelson?

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Jason Anderson

Scarlett Johanssen was my first choice too.

All I can say is Jeannie is still my favorite old 60's show. And if they screw it up like they did the Bewitched movie, in that they try to make it a movie about a movie being made about an old show and the woman they get for the main character turns out to really be the main character, I will be extremely pissed off. Don't screw it up, Hollywood!

June 15 2008 at 8:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Mc

I immediately thought of Kristen Bell.

June 14 2008 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Connie Dinkle

Pam Anderson could still make it work. Who says Jeannie has to be 20?

June 13 2008 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese


June 13 2008 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doug Nelson

Vin Diesel

June 13 2008 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OH! what about Christina Applegate?? She is GREAT on Samantha Who - HILARIOUS.

June 13 2008 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

out of all the suggestions listed in these comments, i think reese, katie heigl or amy adams is the best choice. and i'd love john krasinski in anything...

which reminds me... maybe mandy moore? she used to be blond... back in her teeny-bopper phase. i think she is too cute :)

June 13 2008 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since Jeannie hails from Baghdad... shouldn't she be Iraqi instead of a blonde?

But I'd pay to see Kristen Bell in a diaphonous genie getup and Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) as Major Nelson...

But I remember chatting with Sidney Sheldon before he left the planet and he noted that NBC had major worries about the idea of Jeannie and Tony having sex. And when marrying them was the solution, that killed the chemistry of the show.

So... unless Tony bats for the other team... he and Jeannie should spend half of the movie recovering from exhaustion.


June 13 2008 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate to think she might be a little old, But my vote would go for Heather Graham

David Tennant for Maj. Nelson. Nobody does bumbling/exasperated better. Have to work on the accent, tho.

Roger Healy? Alan Tudyk

Dr. Bellows? - Ed Harris? his hot wife? Sela Ward.

Gen. Peterson - Larry Hagman

June 13 2008 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

JEANNIE is one of my favorite shows so I just dread a film makeover like BEWITCHED. I think they should go with an unknown for Jeannie and load up the rest of the cast with A-listers. I just hope Jimmy Fallon is not still attached to play Major Nelson. Major Healy I could see, but not Major Nelson! I met Barbara Eden a couple of years ago and she still looks great, so it would be a crime not to include her in the film in some way. Larry Hagman would make a good General Peterson. What about Bill Daily? Too old for Dr. Bellows I guess, but maybe he and Barbara could play Jeannie's parents!

June 13 2008 at 12:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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