The Guardian tells us that Diane Keaton plans US remake of BBC’s Last Tango in Halifax. It will air on HBO. Sally Wainwright, the creator of the show, says she will be a producer of the American version but will not have a huge role in the production.
I know I have lots of feelings about this news, and I’m sure the dedicated Last Tango fans do, too.
First, where would it be set? I just made up the part about Santa Fe. It’s a cool place, there are ranches surrounding it, and a lot of films get made in New Mexico. It might be a sensible location for a series that needs both urban and rural settings along with great scenery. Diane Keaton has not asked for my opinion in this matter, however.
Who would be in it? Would Diane Keaton play Celia? She’s 67. What American actresses are in their 70s? Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, Olympia Dukakis, Julie Christie, Candice Bergen are a few possible names. So we have talent in that age category, but American women don’t look their age. That’s a bit of a problem. Do we want to see anyone who doesn’t look as genuine Anne Reid in the role?
There are simply tons of older men to choose from for Alan. Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Peter Coyote and dozens more. But I so like Derek Jacobi’s sweet and loving Alan. Some swaggering American who is used to waving a gun around just doesn’t feel right. And 70 year-old American men still fancy themselves leading men who should be snaring women 30 and 40 years younger than themselves. That’s a bit of a problem, too. As for the feckless John, Tony Gardner was perfection in this part. Who could equal that?
What about Caroline and Gillian and Kate? Remember my dream actress pairing of Ashley Judd and Jennifer Beals? Think they’d make a good Caroline and Kate? Other actresses in their 40s abound, include Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Renée Zellweger and lots more. But I’m sort of convinced that Sarah Lancashire is irreplaceable as Caroline. Nicola Walker in her jeans and Converse sneakers brings such nuance and subtlety to Gillian.
Casting is a challenge. Adapting the dialog and locations will be a challenge as well. Diane Keaton has taken on a huge task to make this wonderful story American. I wish her well, and I wish her great luck finding the right people to do the writing and casting and create the sets.
I’m really attached to Last Tango in Halifax. Even so, Diane Keaton is trustworthy, in my opinion. If anyone can make a love story about older adults shine, it should be Diane Keaton. Who knows, I may love the American version of this tale of second chances as much as I do the British one.
When I get attached to a show, like the Millennium series in Swedish (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest) I feel a vague dread at the arrival of American versions. Then I go see it (of course) and I like it on it’s own merit. It isn’t the same as the original, but it still has the characters and the story and I end up enjoying both versions. I’m ready to see what happens to this lovely British tale of second chances. Go, Diane!
One extra good piece of good news from The Guardian post is,
The second series of Last Tango In Halifax, one of BBC1’s biggest-rating new shows of 2012, launches next month and a third is planned.
A big hurrah for season 3.
Diane Keaton image © 2003 Columbia Pictures
11 responses to “Last Tango in Halifax might be Last Tango in Santa Fe”
I love Diane Keaton. She is very talented and I love that she is good friends with her ex (Woody Allen). Love your ideas about actresses and actors for the American series. If the actresses and actors have reversed the aging process through facelifts and botox, a good make-up artist can fix that. Love your idea of Santa Fe. Have never visited Santa Fe, but, its on my Bucket List. Santa Fe has its own mystique of modern America blended with Native American, desert charm.
Don’t know if I could watch the American version. I have this childish thought that a viewer doesn’t need a copycat version, when the original, PBS version is spoken in English, no subtitles. And, I am in Cable TV bondage. If the American version is not picked up by any the major networks or PBS, I can’t watch it anyway. But, this sleepy but happy Bostonian, who watched the Boston Red Sox clinch the World Series Title, last night, will surely watch a 3rd Halifax season.
I don’t have HBO either, so I won’t be able to recap the American versions.
Laura Linney would be PERFECT as Caroline!
I know 😉
And Kathy Bates as Celia *lol*
A girl can dream…
Olympia Dukakis? Awesome!!
Lena Headey as Gillian?
[…] and falling in love again. Forgive my passing on the following comment on this prospect from the other side of the pond: “We have talent in that age category, but American women don’t look their […]
Ali Macgraw and Ryan Oneil would be a great choice for Celia and Alan respectively
Gillian Anderson as Caroline and NIna Sosanya as Kate.
Love your ideas, Nana. Sadly, not too long ago I read that this deal somehow fell through. Don’t know what happened, but it doesn’t look like we’ll get an American version of Last Tango anytime soon.