A friend of mine who teaches a course we can more or less call Gender in Fairy Tales and Comic Books reported that one of her students felt bad for Bluebeard, saying that maybe his wives had done something wrong. The good news is that the rest of the class rolled their eyes, so that’s all right. The other good news was someone on-line suggesting that if the story were about Pirate Lady Blueskirt, the dudebro in question would be horrified by how such a crazy bitch killed all those men. And now I want a Pirate Lady Blueskirt story.
Specifically, I want a Pirate Lady Blueskirt story where her seventh husband discovers that his bride has killed six ex-husbands who were totally asking to be murdered, what do you expect when they dress like that, besides, they totally went out and got themselves murdered every weekend, you know what kind of guys we’re talking about here. My Perfect Non-Reader (now fifteen and dealing with such issues and such guys) suggests that Blueskirt goes from village to village, marrying and subsequently killing dudebros in order to save the village maidens from creepers and date rape. At any rate, I want the story of Blueskirt and her seventh husband, who everybody treats just like women to attempt to report assault in real life. I guess the question is whether you want to play it as an up-to-the-minute legal story, with the judge rubbing her thighs as the defense attorneys detail the husband’s sexual history and so forth, or whether you want to play it in a charming French village, with the charming villagers all turning out to be very different than you first imagine.
Either way, I think Kate Beckinsale as Pirate Lady Blueskirt. That is open to argument, though—Eileen Atkins is the ominous housekeeper is not. Tyne Daley should show up in a cameo as the cop (or, in the village version, the sheriff or local magistrate) who doesn’t believe the husband’s story. Jane Curtin is his mother, who also doesn’t believe his story (I love Jane Curtin, and I think it’s a great role for her, but certainly Whoopi Goldberg would nail the part as well). I think there’s a role for Jim Broadbent somewhere, maybe as the Pirate Lady Blueskirt’s doddery First Mate who turns out to be an incredibly fierce killing machine (possibly even literally a machine) or maybe as the police chief whose initial kindly sympathy gets sterner and sterner as he questions the husband and finds that he has done everything wrong and is clearly to blame for getting himself into such a situation.
I’m inclined to Tom Hollander as the husband. I think he could pull of a very funny combination of arrogance and bewilderment. I’m not absolutely sure about that—if you are going to have, as I think you ought to have, flashbacks of Blueskirt killing each of her first six husbands, then we may want someone who would be funnier to see in that multiplicity of roles. Also, of course, Tom Hollander is a middle-aged guy, which I think would be funny, too, but then if you want to cast a younger comic actor, you’re going to have to do it without my help, I’m afraid. I don’t know who could plausibly play eighteen and be funny.
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,