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A Tough Act To Follow: Underwood To Play Maria Von Trapp

Jonathan Stoller-Schoff |
December 1, 2012 | 6:04 p.m. PST


Can Underwood even compare to Andrews as an actress? (Eva Rinaldi, Creative Commons)
Can Underwood even compare to Andrews as an actress? (Eva Rinaldi, Creative Commons)
NBC announced Friday that Carrie Underwood would play the role of Maria von Trapp in its live 2013 holiday special, “The Sound of Music.” The casting has alarmed fans of the classic movie, causing #TheSoundOfMusic to trend on Twitter.

Julie Andrews gave a defining—and academy award nomination-worthy—performance as Maria Von Trapp, and "The Sound of Music" was the biggest box office hit ever at the time of its release. In fact, adjusting revenue for inflation, the film remains the third highest grossing of all time. It is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic movie musicals in film history. This begs the question: Why, NBC? Why remake the film in the first place, let alone cast Underwood in the lead role?

Underwood is a fine country singer. A winner of five Grammys and a slew of other music awards, she has made a great name for herself in the country music world. As an actress, however, Underwood’s career is limited to her debut in “Soul Surfer” and guest starring in “How I Met Your Mother.” Julie Andrews—also a Grammy recipient—has garnered an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, and several other awards.

Respectfully to Underwood, a country singer can simply not compare to Julie Andrews. Footage is available of the scooping and riffing sensation singing the hit and it’s hardly overwhelming.

Though the terrible casting decision is bad enough, there’s a bigger problem: NBC has decided to remake "The Sound of Music." What’s next? Are we to see a string of remakes of untouchable hit films of yesterday? Who’s up for Taylor Swift as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” or Kelly Clarkson as the next beloved nanny in “Mary Poppins?”

Remaking something implies the studio is building upon the previous movie, making it better than it was before. Carrie Underwood, along with the entirety of NBC, has a tough act to follow in remaking what is arguably the most beloved movie musical of all time.


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