dream cast: hypothetical ‘Remington Steele’ movie

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week: Remington Steele, the 1982-7 NBC romantic comedy series about a female private detective, Laura Holt, who hired a former con man, alias Remington Steele (possible real name: Harry Chalmers), as a front man for her PI agency, because, you know: Who would hire a lady detective? Of course, you could cut the sexual tension between the two of them with a knife. When the show grew into its own in its second season, a former IRS agent, Mildred Krebs, came onboard as the agency’s secretary, third investigator, and mother figure.

(This week’s Dream Cast topic was suggested by my friend Bonnie offline; if you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with and don’t see me in person to share it, feel free to email me.)
The original cast featured:

Remington Steele/Harry Chalmers: Pierce Brosnan
Laura Holt: Stephanie Zimbalist
Mildred Krebs: Doris Roberts

There’s two options for a movie version. Either it has to go retro, back to the 80s, because no one would believe today that a woman would not be taken seriously as an investigator of crime. Or it has to switch things up by, perhaps, positing a male PI who’s so young (or so young looking, or so not-PI looking) that he’s not taken seriously, and so he hires a (slightly) older and more experienced woman as his front. Mildred can probably stay Mildred, though, in either case.

Here’s my dream cast for the retro remake:

Remington Steele/Harry Chalmers: David Tennant
Laura Holt: Mariska Hargitay
Mildred Krebs: Julie Walters

And for the gender-switcher remake:

Remington Steele/Mary Chalmers: Catherine Zeta-Jones
Larry Holt: Colin Hanks
Mildred Krebs: Julie Walters

(I think our modern female Steele could keep the name “Remington” — it sounds gender nonspecific enough, in the same way that names like “Madison” and “Sydney” do.)

Who’s in your dream cast?

Look, it’s 80s-licious!

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Thu, Aug 28, 2008 11:44am

Remington Steele: Colin Farrel
Laura Holt: Claire Danes
Mildred Krebs: Lily Tomlin

And for the gender-switcher remake:

Remington Steele: Mary Louise Parker
Larry Holt: Cillian Murphy
Mildred Krebs: Anna Deavere Smith

I never watched the show, so I could be way off base.

Thu, Aug 28, 2008 1:38pm

Hmm. With the original setup (female PI not taken seriously) Cillian Murphy would make a great Steele. He was so great in _Sunshine_. Ooh, Michelle Yeoh as Laura! LOL.

Ok, maybe not, because as you say, the original setup wouldn’t work these days.

Thu, Aug 28, 2008 11:56pm

Well the original setup would work if the female PI came off like an airhead.

They’d clearly market it as a follow up to Legally Blonde. They’d call cast Reese Witherspoon as Laura…but they’d have to rename her Elle of course. And They’d cast Shia LeBeouf as Remington because he’s a hot property right now.

And then they’d cast the woman who was the mom on Everybody loves Raymond as Mildred.

And you and I would not watch it.

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 8:36am

Retro-tastic 80s Version – skewed slightly younger for the Gossip Girl generation:

Remington Steele: Paul Bettany
Laura Holt: Keri Russell
Mildred Krebs: Ginnifer Goodwin (Anyone other than Wanda Sykes)


RS: Lena Headey
LH: Chris Pine
MK: Ginnifer Goodwin again

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 9:18am

I was gonna go with Paul Bettany myself. I’m just anxious to see the Farrel we saw in “In Bruges” again real soon.

C David Dent
Fri, Aug 29, 2008 10:14am

Standard Setup
Don’t have to go retro if you make Laura Holt a one-time fashion model. It isn’t that people don’t take her seriously because she is a woman as much as it is is because she has this other more public persona.
Remington Steele: Daniel Craig
Laura Holt: Sarah Jessica Parker
Mildred Crebs: Cher

Gender-flipped Alternative
In this variant, Larry is an uber-genius (think Encyclopedia Brown a little older) and so he hires the “front girl” to be the detective.

Remington Steel: Halle Berry
Larry Holt: Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Mildred Crebs: Glenn Close

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 11:25am

Don’t have to go retro if you make Laura Holt a one-time fashion model.

Then you’d have *Moonlighting.* :->

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 12:08pm

Remington Steele: David Tennant
Laura Holt: Elisabeth Röhm
Mildred: Alfre Woodard

i love Alfre Woodard, and want to see her in almost *anything*… anything worthy of her talents that is.

my suggestion for the gender switcher:

Remington Steele: Alfre Woodard (i did warn you!)
Larry Holt: David Tennant
Morton Crebs: Wallace Shawn

Fri, Aug 29, 2008 11:33pm

I’ve never seen this show, it actually looks kind of cool, in a desperately ridiculous kind of way.

Good suggestions, here’s my addition:
Remington Steele: John Travolta
Laura Holt: Selma Blair
Mildred Crebs: Judi Dench (though Julie Walters would probably be better)

Reminton Steele: Angelina Jolie
Larry Holt: Thomas Sangster (I’d go the genius-kid route)
Mildred: Judie Dench

Shannon Ohara
Shannon Ohara
Wed, Dec 31, 2008 9:41pm

Ahh a RS movie, my dreams would come true.

Remington Steel: Im sorry I just cant name anyone because I feel there is no other than Brosnan.

I feel so old right now. OK OK.

Remington Steel: Gillian Anderson
L. L. Holt : David Duchovney

MezzoMamma1 .
MezzoMamma1 .
Fri, Oct 11, 2013 1:27am

WRONG the original cast was Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, James Read and Janet DeMay.