At this point it’s a fait accompli that every damn movie from the ‘80s has been remade or is getting remade. As if Hollywood’s penchant for replicating itself wasn’t bad enough, they’ve now bumped up the timeline a bit, and flicks from the ‘90s (like Total Recall) are now fair game. It's inevitable that even more will be remade in the next few years.
Source: Universal Pictures
By Nathan Bloch
The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.
10. Starship Troopers
This movie took a whole heck of a lot of flack when it came out, and for good reason. The acting, when it’s not hands-down ridiculous, mostly just elicits fits of giggles and the occasional gassy outburst. Director Paul Verhoeven’s futuristic Battle of the Bugs is like an eight-year-old’s idea of how World War III might go down, minus any dramatic tension.
But it was still a pretty dang entertaining movie, and the silly characters (Neil Patrick Harris did some of his best work in this film) and intergalactic insects managed to keep us engrossed in this cosmic melodrama. Seeing as two of Verhoeven’s masterpieces are already slated to get remade (Robocop and Total Recall), it’s not a huge leap of logic to assume Starship Troopers is going to get the Hollywood makeover sometime soon.
Release date: 2011
9. The Shawshank Redemption
You know it’s true. It’s only a matter of time before we see a remake of Shawshank starring Adrien Brody as the tall, lanky, quietly-awkward-yet-craftily-brilliant Andy Dufresne, and Samuel L. Jackson as the wise and patient Red. If they get real desperate for that remake moola, they might even stick Will Smith in as Red. When Andy and Red meet up on the beach at the end they could play a Smith rap ballad about friendship and prison (and Scientology).
Scared yet? You should be. This is a modern classic that should never be touched. It’s one of those rare gems of cinematic goodness that seems to just get better with age, and the sublime casting of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman is not something that can be duplicated. Neither actor was exactly a box office draw at the time, and movies based off of Stephen King material usually tends toward the horrific, not the dramatic, male-bonding sort.
Yet somehow Frank Darabont’s film became established as one of the magnum opuses of the 1990s – and within the decade it was made, to boot. It would be disrespectful and arrogant to try and do a third-rate reproduction of Shawshank just to lure in teenagers who’ve never heard of Rita Hayworth.
Release date: 2015
There were some rumors floating around for awhile that Speed, that seminal action flick that really put the wooden, rangeless Keanu Reeves and the obnoxiously giddy Sandra Bullock on the map, was going to get another sequel. Reeves extinguished those rumors, insisting he’d rather do something new with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but there’s no reason to think Speed won’t just get remade altogether.
In the event that it does (it will), expect to see an actor who knows how to sport a buzz cut and pump up his biceps to fill Reeves’s shoes. Someone like Chris Evans or Jake Gyllenhaal or maybe even Vin Diesel – he was pretty much born to be in a Speed remake. I mean, he can only make so many Fast and Furious movies before he’ll have to increase the size of vehicles he’s destroying and one-liners he’s dispensing. Speed is really the only direction Diesel’s career can go at this point.
Release date: 2017
7. Judge Dredd
This banal, dystopian take on the future, and the justice system, was justly denounced as a steaming pile of horses*** when it came out in ’95. In an attempt to ride on the coattails of success Schwarzenegger had garnered in his big-budget movies in and about the future, Sylvester Stallone starred as the eponymous judge to little effect.
However, when this movie gets remade, don’t be surprised if Stallone actually gets recast in the same role he screwed up the first time around. I suppose it’s a possibility that the producers might try and cast Schwarzenegger, assuming he hasn’t found another state to govern, though his price tag could make that idea prohibitively stupid.
One way or another, Judge Dredd will likely be judged all over again, and it’s unlikely the jury will have a more merciful verdict than it did the first time around.
Release date: 2013
Mel Gibson directed and starred in Braveheart in ’95, and it. Was. Glorious. A better film about thirteenth century Scottish warriors battling against the oppressive British there has never been, nor will there ever be. Mel Gibson went on to win an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director for his trouble, and will forever be remembered as William Wallace, the Scottish thorn in the side of the British empire.
The thought of Braveheart getting remade is one that can keep you up at night if you let it eat at you. Who would direct? Ridley Scott? Zack Snyder? Peter Jackson? All of these substitutes are unsuitable and would fall short. Who would star? Hugh Jackman? Jackman is best when he’s inducing a female swoon, deploying adamantium claws, or smiling. He would not be believable plying a broadsword and against British soldiers while hollering “Freedom!!” Not unless there was a dance number right after that.
Release date: 2025
5. The Fifth Element
Yet another futuristic movie starring an action star, The Fifth Element was kind of hit-and-miss. It was like Blade Runner, but with stupid jokes. It was kind of retarded. Neither Bruce Willis’ squinting nor Chris Tucker’s high-pitched ranting could save it from stinking up the screen.
But don’t you assume for one second that that means they won’t remake it in an ill-advised attempt to transform something that sucked in the ‘90s into something that sucks slightly less a decade or so later. Instead of Bruce Willis we’ll get The Rock, er, Dwayne Johnson, and instead of Milla Jovovich we’ll get some other European actress whose claim to fame is a B-movie franchise. Or Claire Danes. She’d work too.
The thing is, The Fifth Element wasn’t original when it came out in the ‘90s, so when they remake it it’s going to be like a carbon copy of a carbon copy of an amalgam of films that were actually unique. You can get Christian Bale to star in it and it still won’t be any good. (Though the outtakes will be awesome.)
Release date: 2019
4. True Lies
Over the next couple of years we’re going to see more and more Arnold Schwarzenegger movie remakes. Total Recall is on the fast track to getting remade, the Terminator franchise is basically getting rebooted, and soon – just you wait – True Lies will get thrown into the mix. Assuming James Cameron ever gets around to putting the finishing touches on Avatar in the next decade, he might even be the one to remake it.
Now, in the event that James Cameron is the one who directs his own remake, he’ll probably want to go with Arnold again. But Arnold’s going to either be the mayor of Los Angeles or the owner of California by then and probably won’t have time to make movies. Cameron will then reproduce Arnold with CG, which should occupy him for the last two decades of his life.
Release date: 2030 or 2040
3. Good Will Hunting
This one is less predictable, but no less inevitable. Ben Affleck, several films under his directorial belt at this point, will direct it himself. He’ll try to cast his brother Casey as Will Hunting, but by 2027 even Casey won’t look all that young any more.
Gus Van Sant will protest vehemently about the violation of his artistic integrity, and make a last ditch effort to turn Will gay and suggest he have an affair with Sean (the part played by Robin Williams). Van Sant and Affleck will have an ugly, public falling out, which will later be smoothed over by Matt Damon long after the remake has tanked at the box office.
In the remake, Will is an autistic psychic who bends space and time to clean the bathrooms at NASA. He finally solves the age-old problem of anti-gravitational propulsion and smears the answer on the wall of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s locker room in his own excrement.
The Academy nominates Good Will Hunting for NASA for three Oscars: Best Sound Design, Best Song, and Best Cinematography. It loses all three to The Blair Witch Project: Witchy Woman.
Release date: 2027 or 2029
I’m just surprised that they haven’t already remade Tremors. Now it’s just a waiting game before they pull this one off the shelf and spruce it up with some better effects and a few glossier actors. This is one movie that might not suffer terribly from a remake – which isn’t to say the original wasn’t awesome. But the idea of some CG ground worms ripping people to pieces before swallowing them up (rather than watching an animatronic puppet flop onto the dust and wiggle its jaws) is tempting.
The real question here: who’s going to replace Kevin Bacon? I mean, we’re talking about an actor who has an entire game named after him. You can’t just stick Ashton Kutcher in his place and hope that people will start playing 20 Degrees of Ashton.
Perhaps Kevin Bacon isn’t such a huge problem. Maybe he has a son or a cousin or a brother who’d take his place in the remake. Or maybe Bacon could play the older, wiser cowboy/handyman, and you could enlist a young up-and-comer to be his protégé: Shia LaBeouf? Emile Hirsch? Think about it.
Release date: 2014
1. Fight Club
David Fincher’s groundbreaking film from the late ‘90s ruffled many feathers – the media, the critics, and even the studio where he made it were pretty offended by the movie, and heads rolled because of it. But by the time we get into the 2010s everyone will have forgotten about the brouhaha and a new director will be ready to offend the world all over again.
The trick will be to make it so that there’s still a twist at the end. We all know the narrator (“Jack”) is also Tyler Durden. So the story needs a little something extra to shock us at the end. Perhaps the tables are turned: Jack is really a psychosis of Tyler, and when Jack shoots himself Tyler is the one left standing. And they can’t do the demolition of buildings all over again – been there, done that. This time Tyler and his Project Mayhem soldiers will blow up the moon, or reverse the Earth’s polarity, or something similarly extreme on a macro level.
For the next few months reports will flood the media of young men banding together and forming bare-knuckle boxing clubs and taking pot shots at the moon with their rifles. These fads will disappear when Obama announces in the middle of his third term that anti-gravitational hoverboards have become a reality and are going to be issued to all households with two or more fifteen-year-old boys.
Release date: 2019