Old movie remakes often just make me ill - A rant in 775 words.

Jedi Mind Trick
Jedi Mind Trick's picture

I was recently thinking about how an inordinate number of movies seem to be rehashes of old stuff. All sorts of stuff has been reimagined and rereleased – Tron, Judge Dredd, Red Dawn, Carrie, The Karate Kid, Conan the Barbarian, Clash of the Titans, and a host of others have made a run at theaters. As I write this…RoboCop is up for a do over and a few other 80s remakes are in theaters now.  

Not only has Hollywood shamelessly mined trails previously blazed, Hollywood seems to be addicted to following in other’s footsteps (even when they seem to lead to dank, brackish water-filled cenotes populated by toothy crocodiles that take your money and generate no return on investment. LOL.) Proof, you ask? Here…here’s proof - Some remakes that are in various stages of being PLANNED are: The Crow, Starship Troopers, Wargames, Time Bandits, Escape from New York, Heavy Metal, and Highlander. Even if the remakes of some of these are bad, they might be a step up from some of these originals (Highlander, I'm looking at you.) For the most part, though, we know that the producers and actors all know that we know they know that these movies will probably suck.

With this in mind, I ask myself – “Self, why the hell do people spend money to make these movies?!?!”

Since I know that it is perfectly sane behavior to ask yourself stuff and, probably not so sane behavior to reply…I typically don’t respond to myself when I ponder these sorts of things aloud (unless I’m alone or wearing my headset playing Call of Duty on xbox. LOL.)

You might also ponder...if they are going to redo a movie, why not redo one that there is NO WAY they could do worse than the orginal…like say, DUNE. Or Starship Troopers… or Episodes 1-3 of the Star Wars saga.

Really, though..why do producers and directors go after these remakes? It could be a chance to get a slice of the marketing dollars that come with nostalgic IP *OR* they are illiterate degenerates that don’t know there is perfectly good material available that has NEVER BEEN MADE INTO A MOVIE.

For instance:

The Otherland Series by Tad Williams. Granted, in 2012 Warner Brothers bought the rights…but WHERE IS THE MOVIE? This series kicked serious ass and had me with my nose in a book over an entire summer where I had a corporate apartment on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. Could you imagine how cool this series could be in theaters? If it caught on, kids wouldn’t need to text anymore…they’d just go at it in Xabbu!speak! LOL.

The Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. Could you imagine this one as three movies? Start with The Real Story…then work through the various viewpoints just like Donaldson did. It would be insane. (Who would be hot enough to play Morn? Or cocky and self assured enough to pull off a good Nick?)

Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. You guys probably suspect by now that I’m an easy mark for a time travel story that ALSO INCLUDES the sorcerers, anyone named Doyle, insane clowns and scenes of Mamlukes being murdered by the hundreds. This story is just great. Would be an excellent movie.

Neuromancer by William Gibson. Hello! WTF? This one has crazy violence, wicked tech and a pissed off AI. What could be better in a movie? I mean, where HAL was all about telling Dave that he wouldn’t allow something, Wintermute would just align the orbitals, launch nukes and be done with it. Besides…could you imagine the marketing opportunities that would come with this one? Samsung could just tweak that new big Galaxy phone just a little to make it a wrist console…Google could reveal the temple trodes for their Glass product and we’d be off and running.

ANY SINGLE ONE of the Eisenhorn or Ravenor books  by Dan Abnett. Good, glorious heaven. A movie based on one of these books could be a visual and mental feast. The books are dystopian and the characters are made for screen. The tech is insane, the character motives are dark, the mood is brooding and the violence gruesome and nonstop.

So count them...that’s five books (many of them series no less) that have not made it to the screen. There are tons more, I know, but I my rant has to be short and to the point (something about attention span and word count/reading levels and all that.).

What are your thoughts on these as movie options? Good opportunities or no? What would you place ahead of these in the ‘SF THAT SHOULD BE A MOVIE’ category? Why?