Tilda Swinton apparently wants to star in an updated adaptation of Auntie Mame as the iconic eccentric, socialite, and vital role model for young women. This is, obviously, the best possible news.
Vanity Fair recently caught up with Bridesmaids cowriter Annie Mumolo. Turns out that Tilda Swinton loved Bridesmaids and the two struck up a correspondence after it came out. That has turned into an attempt to get a modern-day Auntie Mame adaptation to the screen.
“She asked me, ‘Have you read Auntie Mame?’” Mumolo remembers, referring to Patrick Dennis’s 1955 novel about a boy and his over-the-top eccentric aunt. “I said, ‘No, I haven’t read the book but I’ve seen the other version of it made into a film version in the ‘50s.’ She said, ‘Would you take a look at it? I want to see if you are interested in writing a modern-day adaptation.’ I said yes, because you say yes to Tilda Swinton when she asks if you want to do something.
“I read the book and it was one of the most fun reads I’ve ever had. It’s totally different from what I had seen in the movie versions,” Mumolo says. “We had meetings and then, as I got a little overwhelmed with a few other work things, I brought on a co-writer to work together on this, because it’s a huge job and an adaptation. I brought on a friend of mine—Stan Chervin [the Oscar-nominated Moneyball co-screenwriter].”
The most famous version of Auntie Mame is, of course, the 1958 adaptation starring Rosalind Russell and a dazzling array of perfect costumes. It is extremely funny and has probably inspired the purchase of more cigarette holders and costume jewelry than any other Hollywood classic, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Just don’t watch it while drinking too many martinis or you’ll wake up to find you’ve blackout ordered an entire vintage wardrobe on Ebay. (Though there are certainly worse ways to blow all your money.)
Swinton has apparently been trying to make some version of this project happen for years; here’s hoping it’ll actually get off the ground, because Tilda Swinton in this particular role is fucking genius. Consider Auntie Mame compared to the 1961 adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Both were positioned as tales of “kooky” women; while the former has been a cult touchstone for a certain type of young woman for decades (it me), the latter has achieved status as a mainstream icon. But where movie Holly Golightly is fragile and ultimately rescued from her lost-little-party-girl ways, Auntie Mame is not just eccentric but tough as a lighter knot and retains a spinster’s freedom even when she marries an oilman (who conveniently falls off the Matterhorn, leaving her a fortune). Of course Tilda Swinton is determined to make this happen; she’s perfect for the role.