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Five Possible Jeannies for the Big Screen 'I Dream of Jeannie'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 21st 2010 1:03PM
barbara_eden_i_dream_of_jeannie
Another week, another story from Hollywood about a beloved TV show being turned into a feature film. Last week it was 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' and this week it's ... 'I Dream of Jeannie.' Yes, yes, they've talked about this one before. But that was then and this is now and the Los Angeles Times reports that 'I Dream of Jeannie' is back on with Sheila Callaghan, one of the scribes on 'United States of Tara,' has been handed the assignment. That means whatever the writers from 'National Treasure' and 'Mulan' and 'Bend It Like Beckham' who've taken a swing at it in the past few years weren't able to make it work.

There is an essential problem with 'Jeannie,' as anyone who knows the shows realizes. How do you make the story of a love-crazed, subservient slave-like genie who lives in a bottle and calls her astronaut boyfriend master relevant. That's a tough nut to crack, but maybe casting the role of Jeannie would be a start.

So, here's our idea of five actresses -- primarily movie stars -- who would bring something new and different to the role Barbara Eden made famous:

1. Scarlett Johansson. For starters, she's adorable. That's a prerequisite for the Jeannie role because her aggressiveness and antiquated notions have to be lovable. Scarlett has all the talent in the world, proving that with 'Lost in Translation,' 'Vicky Christina Barcelona' among other movies. She also has a flair for comedy, which is a must because 'I Dream of Jeannie,' is a sitcom.

reese_witherspoon_smiling_chair2. Reese Witherspoon.
The Oscar-winning actress has all the qualities needed for a Jeannie, even the cute and perky spunk that Barbara Eden brought to the role. Reese also has the charisma thing that made material like 'Legally Blonde,' essentially a goofy comedy, really work. She'd make Jeannie's quirky ways endearing and sweet. And she'd look great as Jeaney, Jeannie's brunette sister, too.

3. Kate Hudson. It's nearly impossible to watch Kate Hudson and not be reminded of her mother, Goldie Hawn, who in that era would have been a great choice for Jeannie. So, when you imagine Kate in the role, you can appreciate how her kooky sensibilities would make Jeannie hilarious. Kate also showed in 'Nine' that she's got the dance moves to entice Tony, not to mention show off her belly-button. Did you know that NBC censors wouldn't allow Barbara Eden to show hers back in the day?

4. Cameron Diaz. There's something about Cameron. She already has experience re-creating a TV role to the big screen -- one of the angels in 'Charlie's Angels' -- and she brings great charm to her performances, especially the comedies. With Jeannie, she'd use that slightly loopy thing that makes her Princess Fiona such a hoot in the 'Shrek' movies.

uma_thurman_white_tank_top5. Uma Thurman. If you're looking for a more unusual and exotic Jeannie, then we're talking about Uma. She might be just right for Jeannie. And if they were to make Jeannie a more pro-active character, more self-possessed, Uma has the kick-ass history from her 'Kill Bill' movie experience to defend Tony without any need for blinking and doing magic. Can't you just see Uma writhing in a puff of smoke from the bottle?

Okay, these are our ideas. What about yours? Assuming this movie does finally reach fruition, what movie star are you hoping will be making a home in the bottom of that genie bottle?

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Bob Toth

Uma Thurman? - UGH

How about Yvonne Strahovski from "Chuck". Beautiful, sexy & can kick some ass when needed.

April 28 2010 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

My choice would be Grace Park.

April 28 2010 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

To all the people who suggested Jenna Jameson, it's been done. She made "I Dream of Jenna" some years ago.

I'm sure Hollywood has Jessica Simpson at the top of their list.

"How do you make the story of a love-crazed, subservient slave-like genie who lives in a bottle and calls her astronaut boyfriend master relevant."

I think it's harder to find a believable story where the master turns her down. The solution is to change Tony from an astronaut to a priest. Major Healy becomes a friend who's a Protestant minister and doesn't have to be celibate. The General becomes the Bishop. Jeannie gets caught bowing to Mecca for her evening prayers and is put on a terrorist watch list. Hilarity ensues.

April 27 2010 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scoobbb

Most of the actresses being named (in the original article and in the comments) are not sexy enough and are too old. Jeannie needs to be young, hot and curvy (ie, not flat-chested). If we're going "exotic," how about Beyonce?

April 27 2010 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stefan

Oh please not Cameron Diaz, That woman makes me want to puke! I would like to see the role being played differently than a clone or look alike of Barbara Eden, who I also agree cannot/should not be imitated. I may be biased but I would love to see Penélope Cruz in the role. Her "perkiness" would bring credit to the role and her accent could be a plot item. Sure it would be a stretch to explain why a Spaniard is a Genie, but they never did explain how a fair blonde was a genie either! If they had to go with a blonde, how about Yvonnne Strahovski from the NBC show "Chuck"? I think she could carry the role very well.

April 27 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Halle Berry

April 27 2010 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JEREMY

Okay,we've read the author's suggestions,now I'd like some feedback for MY choices,which are as follows: 1.ANNA FARIS 2.JAMIE PRESSLY 3.KALEY CUOCO 4.ASHLEY TISDALE 5.PAULEY PERRETTE 6.CHERYL HINES 7.SARAH SILVERMAN What do you think of MY choices? I open the floor for your response.

April 26 2010 at 11:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JEREMY's comment
Stefan

Sarah Silverman???I think not. I cannot imagine how the press junket would be with her spouting her political views all over the place and taking her comments away from the focus of the movie. An example of how an actor has killed their career by using the stage to push an agenda. I used to really like her as a comedian too before she got too political. Try again!

April 27 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

No! No! No! Just let it be! Any investors stupid enough to sink money into this deserve crap!

April 26 2010 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ramiko2010

I'd Say Sexy Sara Underwood!! :-)

April 26 2010 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TommyA

While Uma would be a good choice for reasons mentioned, I couldn't agree more with the idea of Jenny McCarthy in the role! And just on the outside chance that she doesn't ... Jaimie Pressley is a great second choice too! Would love to see any of their belly buttons in the Jeanie outfit! But what about Major's Nelson & Healey?? Wil Smith & Alfonso Riberio?

April 26 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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