Retro-Cast: The Devil Wears Prada In The 80s


Based on Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling novel, The devil wears Prada is one of the most commercially and critically successful big-budget dramatic comedies of the past 15 years. Anchored by Meryl Streep’s villainous turn as Miranda Priestly, much of the appeal comes from performances by fresh-faced young actors such as Anne Hathaway and an introductory role for Emily Blunt.

RELATED: 10 Things About Miranda That Make No Sense In The Devil Wears Prada

With the film celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021, it’s worth wondering what the film would look like if it was shot two decades earlier with some of the biggest and newest stars of the time.

8 Michelle Pfeiffer: Andrea Sachs

Elvira lifts her nails in Scarface's club

The role of Andrea Sachs requires virtue and vulnerability to go with thick skin and an enterprising attitude to be successful in the world of high fashion. Considering how she exuded both qualities in Fat 2 and Scarface In consecutive years, ’80s star Michelle Pfeiffer is an ideal casting choice for the lead role in an’ 80s version of The devil wears Prada.

As a multitalented ingenuous who could play both comedy and drama while taking on Al Pacino and other top stars, Pfeiffer’s versatility and ease of rooting for screen presence would go a long way in creating an extremely compelling ’80s version of the story, especially the prospect of seeing her take on Jane Fonda as Miranda.

7 Jane Fonda: Miranda Priestly

When you consider the petty gravity that Miranda Priestly imbues as the cruel and ruthless editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, only one actress from the 1980s comes to mind: two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda who knows how to combine comedy better. and drama. than most. Those who have seen how bossy and terrifying Fonda is Monster-brother Where Grace & Frankie will agree.

RELATED: The 10 Best Jane Fonda Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Miranda Priestly’s role is so much larger than life and so poorly caricature that it takes a seasoned professional like Fonda to capture the nuances of the character and anchor it in a sense of reality so audiences can believe the story and to take root for Andy as his main opponent.

6 Diane Lane: Emily Charlton

Vera sits on the bed with Dixie in The Cotton Club

One of the most enjoyable aspects of The devil wears Prada is Emily Blunt’s irreverent turn as Emily Charlton, Andy’s near-competitor and distraught office confidante. A similar star from the 1980s who would be an ideal replacement is Diane Lane, who has starred in three consecutive films directed by Francis Ford Coppola on her way to becoming a big movie star.

As seen in his final day romance comedies, Lane has excellent comedic timing to go with his stellar acting chops, making him an ideal screen partner with the equally new face Pfeiffer and veteran Fonda. Emily needs a deft touch of biting sarcasm and heartfelt pathos, a Lane combo continues to prove to be a major force.

5 Nigel Kipling: Gene Hackman

Royal poses near his son's trophies in The Royal Tenenbaums

Stanely Tucci gives a delightfully devilish performance as Miranda’s brown-nosed assistant Nigel Kipling. In another role that requires a delicate balance between comedy and drama, who better than the great Gene Hackman to play the role with such indelible credibility?

Although he is best known for his Oscar-winning dramatic work, Gene Hackman’s stellar roles in Get Shorty, The Birdcage, The Royal Tenenbaums, and others prove just how good he is at acting. Nigel exudes an air of snobby sophistication that requires an actor who can defend himself against the power of an artist like Streep or Fonda, and Hackman has the golden statuettes to prove his good faith.

4 Nate Cooper: Nicolas Cage

Randy sports a feathered hairstyle in Valley Girl

One of Andy’s biggest conflicts in the film is her relationship with her boyfriend Nate Cooper (Adrien Grenier), whom she reconciles with at the end of the story. A trendy new actor who came of age and found instant success in the 1980s was Nicolas Cage, who makes a lot of sense in the role.

RELATED: 10 Best / Worst Nicolas Cage Movie Hairstyles, Ranked

As a teenage idol who broke out in romantic comedy valley girl Before becoming one of the most respected actors of the ’80s and’ 90s, Cage would undoubtedly give a memorable turn as Nate with his quirky humor, odd line deliveries, and unforgettable onscreen presence. Nate must have an emotional weight in his character, something Cage continued to show on screen as the ’80s progressed.

3 Christian Thompson: Rob Lowe

Billy is standing outside in St. Elmo's fire

One dramatic hurdle Andy must overcome in the film is his absence from Nate, during which she meets dashing writer Christian Thompson (Simon Baker) in Paris. To really make your conflict believable, you need the most beautiful and charismatic actor imaginable. The 80s movie line-up makes Rob Lowe dream in the front row.

If Michelle Pfeiffer plays Andy and Nicolas Cage plays Nate, the love triangle would turn electric with Rob Lowe added to the mix. After playing several sexy sweetheart roles in teen comedies in the ’80s, Lowe really demonstrated his acting skills in Wayne’s world and Tommy boy.

2 Serena: Iman Abdulmajid

Nina wears big gold earrings in No Way Out

A beloved aspect of The devil wears Prada is the inclusion of actual fashion models as a way to reinforce the veracity of the story. World famous model turned actress Gisele Bundchen played Serena, an office slap and close friend of Emily. Had the film been shot in the 1980s, equally famous model Iman would be an inspired casting decision.

While Bundchen had acting credit before The devil wears Prada, Iman starred in four feature films in the 1980s, including Best Oscar winner Outside of Africa, as well as several television episodes. Casting her in the role would not only be a great example of portrayal, but her model stature would make the story even more authentic.

1 James Holt: James Spader

Mr. Richards wears a suit and round glasses as a mannequin

The final main character in the film is James Holt (Daniel Sunjata), a flamboyant aspiring fashion designer who is set to overtake. Track by Miranda. He spends a lot of his time trying to impress a boss he hates while still keeping a smile on his face. One actor who has apparently made a career out of this sort of lie is James Spader, who would be perfect for the role.

As a fresh-faced actor in the 1980s, Spader gave impressive and varied performances in Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero, Wall Street, and others, proving he’s much more than a memorable villain. As Holt, Spader could almost recreate his manipulative and high fashion trick as Mr. Richards in the 1987 comedy Model.

NEXT: The 15 Best James Spader Movies, Ranked (According To Rotten Tomatoes)

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