Remakes. Hollywood is rotten with them. We all claim to hate them, but nevertheless, Tinseltown keeps churning ‘em out because we keep seeing them. Might as well resign ourselves to the fact this phenomena isn’t going anyplace. In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of the films/properties we actually wouldn’t mind seeing get a second chance. See if you agree.
The Indiana Jones Film
Before you throw me to the gators on this one, let me start by saying Raiders, Temple, and Crusade are three of the best adventure films ever produced. But with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I lost my faith in Indy — the creatives behind the story and the man who plays him. With all the talk of Harrison Ford’s interest in a fifth film, I say no thanks. And if they’re going to end up making another Indy film anyway, then it needs to be with a new actor and team. Don’t throw out the previous trilogy. Just tell new adventures set in that same timeline. So technically, this entry is a cheat because what I’m actually proposing here are sequels. But with new blood it would feel like a remake.
Network is one of those classic films that acts as a snapshot of its times while offering some biting (and much-needed) commentary on the changing state of the news. The film was a tour de force for its mad-as-hell star Peter Finch, who starred as Howard Beale, an aging news anchor who tells his audience to tune in for a future broadcast to watch him commit suicide on live TV. So much has changed about media and how we consume it that having someone like Aaron Sorkin revisit it would be worth a watch. No idea who we’d cast in the Beale role though. Finch is hard to top.
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Gregory Peck original is a stellar adaptation, but this story belonged to the literary world before it ever came to film. As such, it would not be any form of sacrilege to bring together a strong cast for another go-around. With familiar stars, it could even bring an important novel back into the consciousness of today’s audiences.
This one you would have to be incredibly careful with considering that Fritz Lang was a true film visionary. His love story set against the backdrop of a futuristic city divided by class, was well ahead of its time. To produce the same impact, you would need someone like Christopher Nolan or Darren Aronofsky behind a remake — someone who can create amazing alternate realities from scratch without losing sight of story.
The original starred Charlie Chaplin and a young Uncle Fester as an unlikely duo, who come to share a surrogate father-son relationship, which falls in jeopardy when the truth about the youngster is revealed. Chaplin had taken a longer break than usual from his standard Tramp pictures to bring some heart and tears to the laughter. You can never replace that with a new cast, but it could be fun to view this story again through a more modern lens.
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
The true life story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was handled well the first time around with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the title roles and George Roy Hill handling the action. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most historically accurate depiction of the train robbers and so a more authentic interpretation would be welcome.
This real-time western with Gary Cooper as a sheriff facing down a group of killers with no help from the town he’s trying to protect, is easily one of the best westerns ever made. It’s also been the subject of one made-for-television remake already, but with the success of 3:10 To Yuma, it would be nice to see this get the big screen treatment again.
The Night Of The Hunter
We won’t even talk about the one time TV tried to resurrect this classic suspense tale with Richard Chamberlain in the role. The best version was, by far, the 1955 Robert Mitchum version in which Mitchum plays a psychotic killer, who targets a single mother and her two children. All those jabronies you see walking around with LOVE and HATE tattooed on their knuckles — they get it from this movie and the Davis Grubb novel on which it was based. A remake would be great in the hands of someone like David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). And personally, I think Ryan Gosling would have the acting chops to take over for Mitchum as the Love/Hate Preacher.
This one we would only want to redo if it had the support of creator Don Coscarelli. While the director has considered doing a Phantasm V for his original series of films, the property may be ripe for a reboot. After all, the brilliant Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man) is now well along in years, so his future involvement with the series isn’t something fans can count on. And really, there is no Phantasm without the Tall Man. We say start a nationwide search. If AC/DC could pull it off, so could Coscarelli.
Unfortunately, director Dario Argento hasn’t made a decent film in decades. His three masterpieces are Suspiria, Deep Red, and Tenebre, any one of which we’d love to see in a reinterpretation. However, it’s Deep Red that has the most potential for making a fine remake. New versions of any of these films, however, would have to be colorful, mean, nasty, and violent. None of this Hostel/Saw torture porn crap. Just Grand Guignol murders heavy on style.
Which movies would you not mind seeing as remakes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
[Image via BZfilm.com]