If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve probably seen friends or family share what appears to be an exciting update on a cult classic: Death Becomes Her being revived. You may even be the person sharing that teaser poster floating around the internet. And who could blame you, really? Any ‘80s baby or ‘90s kid would be overjoyed to see this nostalgic classic come back to life (in the right hands, of course). So, how credible is the rumor?
In the original movie, which was released in 1992, Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep starred as Helen and Madeline — the ultimate frenemies. When movie star Madeline (Streep) steals frumpy Helen’s (Hawn) plastic surgeon husband Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis), Helen spirals out of control. Then, years later, she reappears looking impossibly young and vibrant with a bestselling book on her hands. The key, Madeline soon discovers, is an immortality serum. That discovery leads to some truly hilarious adventures between the feuding women.
Although the film received mixed reviews when it was released, it’s gone on to achieve cult classic status… hence the excitement about a rumored return.
What does the viral post claim about a Death Becomes Her remake?
In case you’ve somehow managed to miss the viral post, A-list actors are allegedly already attached to the project. Kate Hudson would reportedly be stepping into her mother’s shoes as Helen, Anne Hathaway would play Streep’s former role of Madeline, Robert Downey Jr. would tap in for Bruce Willis, and Lady Gaga would play the part originally held by Isabella Rossellini — a stunning, wildly wealthy socialite who gives the women the immortality serum.
Where did the rumor originate?
The rumor can be traced as far back as July 2020, when a Facebook user by the name of Ben Ashley shared a poster showing the four supposed stars attached to the sequel or remake. It was then picked up by other small entertainment sites.
However, the rumor took new shape earlier this year when an anonymous submission on the Deuxmoi Reddit thread claimed: “Was told Netflix is in the process of acquiring the rights to do a direct remake of DEATH BECOMES HER — if it goes ahead it should be announced very soon. Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox and Justin Long are tentatively attached to star.”
By October 2022, the rumor was once again circulating on social media, mainly pushing the version including Hudson, Hathaway, Downey Jr., and Gaga. It’s hard to say why the alleged remake rumor is making the rounds again, although the black comedy did celebrate its 30th anniversary in July.
Is it really in the works?
Alas, although reboots and remakes are running rampant right now, this does not appear to be one that is actually at any stage of production. No major TV or movie news sites have published information on the rights being acquired or casting announcements. The only hint at afterlife the beloved film seems to have so far is a 2017 announcement that Kristin Chenoweth would be starring in a Broadway musical adaptation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t come to fruition yet either.
That’s not to say it won’t ever happen. Sometimes, reboot rumors are rooted in some truth. Case in point? Earlier this year, chatter about a NeverEnding Story remake reached a fever pitch. As it turns out, the rumors weren’t all true — Disney has no current plans for it — but several high-profile studios and streamers have been confirmed to be interested in the rights.
In other words, there’s still hope. For now, though, fans will just have to cue up the original ‘90s masterpiece (for the millionth time) whenever they want to revisit Madeline and Helen.