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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ remake

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the 1986 John Hughes flick about how the coolest kid in school plays hooky.

(If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast featured:

Ferris Bueller: Matthew Broderick
Cameron Frye: Alan Ruck
Sloane Peterson: Mia Sara
Principal Ed Rooney: Jeffrey Jones
Jeanie Bueller: Jennifer Grey
Katie Bueller (Mom): Cindy Pickett
Tom Bueller (Dad): Lyman Ward
Grace, the Secretary: Edie McClurg

It would be a lot of fun to not remake the film but make a sequel in which we catch up with Ferris — did he marry Sloane? are their kids now making him crazy? or did he not peak in high school, as he seemed to fear he would (which is how it seemed to us, too)? did he go on to greater mischief? But that would be easy to cast, of course: just get Broderick and Sara and Ruck back. Not that I think any of them would be up for it… but we’re dreaming here, right?

Now, if we were to update the film, make it about high-schoolers today, that would require a shift in tone as well as a great new young cast. Today’s Ferris wouldn’t be complaining about getting a computer when he wanted a car, for one: he’d have both, plus a cell phone and a Blackberry and an iPod and every other damn hot gizmo. And it would be even harder for him to sneak away for a day off, because not only would he have to blow off school but karate class, French tutoring, soccer practice, and a dozen other scheduled events his parents have filled his day with. Perhaps the idea of a day off, of a day not filled with preprogrammed faux playtime would be an alien concept to our 21st-century Ferris…

Here’s my dream cast for the update:

Ferris Bueller: Jamie Bell
Cameron Frye: Michael Cera
Sloane Peterson: Alexis Bledel
Principal Ed Rooney: Steve Zahn
Jeanie Bueller: Kristen Stewart
Katie Bueller (Mom): Lena Headey
Tom Bueller (Dad): Jack Coleman
Grace, the Secretary: Wanda Sykes

I like the idea of the new Ferris’s parents being kinda drill-sergeant-ish, which you could get with Headey (see her in Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Coleman (Horn-Rimmed Guy in Heroes). Ferris could be trying to escape not just from school but from the regimentation of his entire life… if just for a day.

Who’s in your dream cast?

Ferris Bueller in 1:25:



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  • Kate

    Ferris: Bret Harrison
    Cameron: Paul Dano
    Sloane: Leighton Meester
    Principle: Steve Coogan
    Jeannie: Brittany Murphy
    Mom: Hope Davis
    Dad: Craig Sheffer
    Grace: Jessica (Stevenson) Hynes (from “Spaced”)

  • JoshB

    This may be blasphemy…I want to see Ferris Bueller played by Blake Lively.

    Rooney: Vince Vaughn

  • Bill

    Ferris Bueller: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Cameron Frye: Michael Cera
    Sloane Peterson: Ellen Page
    Principal Ed Rooney: John C. McGinley
    Jeanie Bueller: Liza Weil
    Katie Bueller (Mom): Felicity Huffman
    Tom Bueller (Dad): William H. Macy
    Grace, the Secretary: Ellen DeGeneres
    Economics Teacher: Gary Cole

  • shoop

    I’m not the first to bring this up, but we already have a Ferris Bueller update–Alexander Payne’s movie *Election*.

    How about bringing Ben Stein back, and making him lecture on Intelligent Design?

  • shoop

    Sorry, that should be “sequel,” rather than “update.”

  • Bill

    “Drugs” guy in the police station: James Mcavoy

  • PaulW

    a remake of Ferris?!?! BLASPHEMER!

    You might as well do a remake of Time Bandits! Or a remake of Empire Strikes Back! Or Ghostbusters! Or Meatballs, for Dog’s sake! It just doesn’t matter! :(

  • MaryAnn

    Thanks for all the suggestions, PaulW!

    I’m not the first to bring this up, but we already have a Ferris Bueller update–Alexander Payne’s movie *Election*.

    (Looks like someone read my review of *Election*…)

  • JoshDM

    Going back to a prior one of these, I just watched “Borderland” this weekend and would like to nominate Sean Astin to star as “The Pengiun” in a future Batman sequel.

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