In the advent of Hollywood running out of ideas, their seems to be an increasing propensity for studios to phone it in and churn out yet another re-make of another tired franchise. Some TV and movie studios have done well at doing their source material justice, but it seems that for one good reboot there are a dozen that are terrible.
In the spirit of conformity, I’ve decided to compile my own list of movies that I would like to see get the Hollywood reboot treatment. None of these are especially bad movies, they just may have been ahead of their time, and a little behind on their visual presentation. These are in no particular order.
“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!” The concept behind Highlander is awesome. A group of immortals fighting across time, absorbing each other’s power to become stronger by decapitation. Fighting until the last man so they can receive “The Gift.” Badass sword fights. What more could you ask for?
Unfortunately, Highlander does not stand the test of time. The acting is pretty silly at times, the costume design from the 16th century Scotland setting was atrocious, and the special effects leave a lot to be desired. What’s even worse is each succeeding movie has gotten exceedingly more insufferable.
I think this franchise would benefit from a revival. Personally, I think Ridley Scott could handle the epic scope of the film, with somebody with experienced action prowess like Gerard Butler (already somebody Scottish) taking on the role of Connor MacLeod. Maybe give the role of Kurgan, the big bad to someone like Hafthor Bjornsson (Gregor Clegane, Game of Thrones), who has shown that he could portray a pretty imposing guy.
2) The Neverending Story
This was a staple of my childhood. Bastian, a meek young boy, discovers a book that tells the legendary tales of Fantasia, a world in danger of being consumed by the Nothing. Bastian reads about the brave, young warrior Atreyu, who exemplifies everything he’s not. Bastian is astonished when at the climax of the plot, the young child Empress speaks to him directly through the pages and pleads for him to save the day.
I tried to make my own children watch this a year or so ago, in a vain attempt at exposing them to the magic and fantasy that lured me in when I was their age. They were totally NOT feeling it. I can’t blame them. The effects were ambitious at the time, but the appearance of the animatronic puppets got more and more silly as each year passed.
I think I’d like to see Steven Spielberg get his hands on something like this. He’s been doing a lot of time-period/biopic type stuff lately, and those are great. I would like to see him go back to his roots, though. Give us a new take on a touching fantasy adventure. I would maybe have suggested Peter Jackson for this, had I not watched the latest Hobbit movie. Gross…
3) The Secret of NIMH
What was with the 80s and 90s obsession with anthropomorphic vermin? I don’t know, and I don’t really care. The Secret of NIMH was a cartoon movie that was equal parts fantasy and science fiction, and it was AWESOME. It followed the tale of Mrs. Brisby, whose son falls ill due to pneumonia. She then goes on a quest to save him and discovers way more than she bargained for. This movie was actually pretty dark. Characters died, and it had a lot of impact. At least on a young child like me.
There isn’t anything terribly wrong about this movie, aside from the fact that not a lot of people know about it when they should. The animation holds up pretty good still, despite being from the mid 80s.
For some reason, this screams like it should be a Focus Films stop-motion animation movie (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls) to me. I think the team at Focus really handles children stories well, and makes the movies enticing for adults. They could do a lot with the sometimes dark source material and make a really interesting adaptation.
4) 12 Angry Men
Some people may not have heard of this black and white character drama from the late 50s (do yourself a service and give it a try). Others may be guffawing at me right now. “Why would you remake such a legendary movie!?” they would scream at me with stabby, knife-weilding fury. Guess what? They DID remake it. Forty years later, and with a pretty talented cast that did well at keeping the script decently close to the original. They took the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach, and I respect that. 12 Angry Men is one of my FAVORITE movies. Only changing locale twice (three times if you include the restroom,) 98% of this movie takes place in ONE ROOM.
It follows the story of 12 jurors of a murder trial. At first everyone is quick to condemn this young man and are more than willing to send him to prison for the rest of his life so they can get home to their families and ball games. One man is left unsatisfied, and unsure of the evidence presented in the case. For the rest of the movie, they discuss and argue about different aspects of the case until they’re red in the face. We learn more about all of these characters in the most organic way. It’s truly exceptional.
Why I would like to see it remade is simple. It would be an interesting way to bring topical issues and perspectives in the forefront. The original handled things like racial profiling well, but there are more complex issues that a movie like this could bring to the forefront when 12 strangers from different walks of life get in one place and are forced to come to a consensus in more modern times.
This may seem like a weird choice for a courtroom drama, but I think Quentin Tarantino could actually do this justice. Tarantino has a knack for developing very interesting characters, and has done some really great extended dialog sequences in movies like Reservoir Dogs and Inglorious Basterds. Plus, he would draw a lot of star power into the movie. And people would go see it, and it would be amazing.
5) The People Under the Stairs
I just felt like I had to put a horror movie on this list. The People Under The Stairs was a Wes Craven movie about a young burglar that breaks into the house of a demented brother and sister that kidnaps children and do weird stuff to them. It is the ultimate case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a true testament to the ol’ saying “Crime doesn’t pay.”
Since the movie was made in the very early 90s, the costumes were very dated, and what could have been very frightening often came off as laughable.
I think Gore Verbinski could make a terrifying version of this movie, using stellar visuals in the process. I don’t know that much about horror movies, but I do know that I really enjoyed The Ring. Not just because it was scary, but it implemented some really gorgeous cinematography as well.
What about all of you? What movie would you like to see get the reboot treatment? Sound off in the comments below. Just, please don’t suggest Back to the Future.