Perfect Casting: Will Colin Firth Make Carey Mulligan a Fair Lady?

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Colin Firth is presented with his Variety 'International Star of the Year' Award by Carey Mulligan

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images For Dubai International Film Festival

The planned My Fair Lady remake, if the right actors come to the party, might just be an event of such magnitude that it puts the Great into Britain.

Fate can be a fickle thing. Before the start of this stellar calendar year, in which Colin Firth has wowed the world with his performances in A Single Man and The King’s Speech (for which you can bet your house on his winning Best Actor at the upcoming Oscars), he wasn’t in the elite A-List of stars that was in the frame for plum roles.

(More on TIME.com: See TIME’s new interview with Colin Firth)

You need further evidence? It’s been suggested that he wasn’t going to be cast as Professor Henry Higgins in the My Fair Lady reboot, with Sony Pictures wanting Hugh Grant instead. But now that Firth’s stock has never been higher, Sony has not just changed tactics, but won’t make the movie unless he signs on.

Carey Mulligan is apparently still attached to play Eliza Doolittle, but filming needs to begin by next year otherwise her diary may not be able to accommodate it.

(More on TIME.com: The top 10 movies of 2010.)

Aside from Sony currently eating a large portion of humble pie, the other fly in the ointment is the notorious legal wrangling. These particular weeds are a little deep for an in-depth retelling (essentially, a rival studio holds the film rights, but some of the musical rights will revert back to the estates of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, the men who created said musical. And what’s more, the 1938 movie, Pygmalion, is also implicated, but our head will explode if we continue down this particular path).

The takeaway is this: once the legal issues are resolved, Sony should be able to greenlight the film, and that would allow Firth and Mulligan to strut their considerable stuff. But before then, Mulligan is shooting a movie in New York for one of The King’s Speech‘s producers. Speaking of which, Firth has a certain acceptance speech to write. (via Daily Mail)

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