There's a lot of pictures in the remaking right now, with new ones being announced at considerable rate. Of course, Hollywood and the other international film factories have been playing this game since cinema was in its infancy, but the amount of money and effort being thrown at rehashing old brands these days seems to be getting near crisis point.
Having said that, I'm not at all opposed to the idea of remakes at all. I just don't think they're being approached in the right spirit.
Here's a round up of some freshly unveiled do-over plans.
Alcon, the financiers of the upcoming Blade Runner follow up, are also getting behind a new Point Break. Kurt Wimmer is going to write the script, which will again see an FBI agent go undercover in an extreme sports group but with "new twists and settings". Producer Michael DeLuca promises:
Point Break wasn't just a film, it was a Zen meditation on testosterone fueled action and manhood in the late 20th century and we hope to create the same for the young 21st!
His exclamation mark. Of course.
Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks are to join the band for a remake of Sparkle. The original was a rare film as director for Sam O'Steen, one of the great editors of the sixties and seventies, and while it doesn't quite shine from top to bottom, I am really very fond of it.
The story of Sparkle is a similar one to that in Dreamgirls – ie. the story of The Supremes. It's Sparks who will play Sparkle (neurolingusitic programming in action?) while Houston will play her mother. Behind the camera will be Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, the married writer and director team behind BET's The Game. Any of you seen that? Is it any good? [The Hollywood Reporter]
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, director of the absurd but well-meaning Intacto and 28 Weeks Later, which I happily prefer to Days, has been handed the duty of remaking Highlander. The press release from Summit Entertainment relates the boiled-down premise we can expect to see translated:
In Highlander, after centuries of dueling to survive against others like him, Connor MacLeod, an immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his kind, a murderously brutal barbarian, who lusts for the Prize.
Filming will begin next Spring, presumably so that the highlands will look at their best. [Summit Press Release]
The Thai film 13: Game of Death has a loopy premise about a meek, struggling salesman finding that his life has become a hidden-camera reality show somewhere between David Fincher's The Game and the Saw films. I was convinced a Hollywood remake was all but inevitable from less than fifteen minutes in.
And now I'm one step closer to earning my Boy Scout badge for Prophecy as Daniel Stamm, director of two mock-doc horrors, A Necessary Death and the fascinating and subversive The Last Exorcism, has been given the gig. See the unexpected imagination of studio execs in action there? Sheesh.
I hope they keep the same twist but multiply it outwards. Or maybe that would be too much like a certain Derren Brown TV special I saw… [Deadline]
Bryan Fuller was the creator of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies, and has recently been trying to get a new Munsters series off the ground – so far with no luck, it would seem. Perhaps he'll have to backburner Eddie and Co. for a while now, as Gaumont International Television have just handed him the reins on their first TV production.
Hannibal is to be an hourlong drama about the eponymous cannibal and his foil, FBI boy Will Graham. In many respects it will be a remake of Red Dragon and, give or take, Manhunter. Here's how the press release puts it:
[The show] will explore the relationship between Thomas Harris' classic Dr Hannibal Lector character and his patient Will Graham, a young FBI criminal profiler haunted by his ability to empathise with serial killers.
Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me) is writing and executive producing. Martha De Laurentiis (Hannibal, Red Dragon) has also signed on as executive producer.
In the original Thomas Harris Lecter novel, Red Dragon, Will Graham was, eventually, the chap responsible for capturing Hannibal Lector and putting him away. Perhaps they'll keep this turning point in the relationship back for the series finale, like Clark putting on the Supersuit at the tail end of Smallville.
This would meanthat Lecter's killings and… um… eatings would have to go undetected – or at least he'd have to catch up and take care of anybody who did cotton on. I can see how Fuller and co. could milk this for dramatic effect. [Gaumont Press Release]