NBC's "reimagined" adaptation of Ira Levin's 1967 modern gothic classic, "Rosemary's Baby" has an air date (May 11th, 2014 - Mother's Day. Savor that tidbit...it may be the only clever thing attached to this film), and a new trailer. And if 60-seconds can be any kind of indication, Roman Polanski purists and fans of the 1968 classic starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes can breathe a sigh of relief: this two-part miniseries "event" doesn't look to be in danger of even measuring up to Lindsay Lohan, "Liz & Dick" standards, let alone the high bar set by Polanski's painstakingly faithful adaptation.
So...from the look of things:
- a) They're going to jettison the angle that casts any doubt on Rosemary's sanity
- b) Instead of a coven of deceptively harmless-looking elders, we get Don Draper running a witches syndicate
- c) Guy Woodhouse goes to the dark side not because he's self-interested, ambitious, and venal, but because he wants to provide a better life for the wife whose womb he pimps out to Satan
d) Instead of being saddled with a stiff, unappealing long wig in the film's first half (as Mia Farrow is in the original), Zoe Saldana gets to walk around in a stiff, unappealing short wig in the film's second half that makes her look like she's auditioning for the role of Peter Pan (where's Vidal Sassoon when you need him?).
They're young, they're in love, they're in Paris, and the husband looks weaselly and the wife looks like a victim. This looks like Ira Levin as interpreted for the Lifetime network.
According to the film's official synopsis on NBC.com, Guy Woodhouse (the monumentally inexpressive Patrick Adams) is a struggling writer, so we get to say goodbye to the subtextural resonance of his being a failed actor, thus an adroit and experienced liar with a built-in narcissism. The Castevets are no longer a doddering, vaguely sinister old couple in their late 60s, but a stylish, unequivocally malevolent pair in their 50s (think Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren in 1990s "The Comfort of Strangers"). What will NBC do with four hours that Roman Polanski was able to do with two? Well, if the TV remake of "Coma" taught us anything, more can definitely be less.
If just getting folks to tune in for "Rosemary's Baby" is NBC's biggest concern, I think they've got a sure-fire ratings hit on their hands. Love the idea of a remake or hate it (which I do), how can you not want to tune in? You can be among those open-minded folks capable of accepting the TV movie on its own terms, you can be in the doubting-Thomas camp willing to be happily surprised if NBC is able to pull it off, or you can spend the evening gleefully tweeting about what a colossally misguided trainwreck the whole thing is. Good or bad, curiosity is NBC's greatest ally...at least for the first night.
"Rosemary's Baby" airs Sunday, May 11th and concludes Thursday, May 15th on NBC.