Today’s deluge of remakes come to you from the ten dollar bin at Blockbuster. This isn’t to shit on any of the films we’re talking about here – I like all of them, and adore one of them – but they’re the sorts of films that make you wonder ‘Wait, why the fuck are you remaking that?’
After all, do Arthur, They Live and Romancing the Stone really have a bit of name recognition for today’s audiences? Will kids age 17-32 be like ‘Holy shit, a remake of my very favorite Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas team-up!’?
Romancing the Stone is happening at Fox, with a guy named Daniel McDermott writing. Either he’s got no credits or he did sound on a 2003 short called Ground Hero. Who knows. Who cares.*
They Live, meanwhile, is being developed by Strike Entertainment, the folks behind films like Slither, the Dawn of the Dead remake, and Children of Men. This remake is either two years two late or frighteningly on time, depending on how the economy goes in the coming months. This feels like a truly useless remake simply because the beauty of the original was in the execution, not the story, which is generic enough that it can be easily lifted in a movie that ‘homages’ it. And I don’t think the title They Live carries that much weight… or is all that evocative of the aliens in disguise story. It sort of sounds like a zombie movie. Maybe the reason this is getting remade is that Hollywood has made up its mind to remake every single John Carpenter film.
Finally, Russell Brand is going to be remaking Arthur for Warner Bros. Of all of these remakes, this is the one that has the most meat to it, and you can kind of imagine how it will work out: badly. The thing that makes Dudley Moore different from Russell Brand is that Moore was so non-threatening. He can be a complete drunken fool, but it’s playful. Brand is charming and funny, but there’s something dangerous about him. What Moore made charming, Brand might very well make scary.
* One of our lovely commenters remarks that Daniel McDermott could be Dan McDermott, one of the writers of Eagle Eye, a movie that will make you live the experience of Flowers for Algernon. Or the part where he becomes retarded again. We should hope it was the sound guy from Ground Hero.