Helen Mirren will be cleaning up after Russell Brand in the upcoming remake of the 1981 comedy Arthur. Mirren will be playing the part of Hobson, the long-suffering servant of Brand’s spoiled, drunken titular character. In the original role, the character was played by veteran British actor Sir John Gielgud, who won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work in the film.
The gender-switch is interesting idea obviously changing the original’s father-son relationship between Hobson and Arthur to a mother-son one. This is continued in to the script where it is now Arthur’s mother who controls his finances and not his father as in the original. Of course, it remains to be seen if this is a good idea or not.
Interestingly, this is not the only gender-swapping role that Mirren is currently signed for. She will be playing Prospera, a female version of Prospero in director Julie Taymor’s upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.