Movie Maniac

April 7, 2013

When it comes to Hollywood remakes, nothing is sacred

I think the new “Evil Dead” (which opened Friday) is the scariest movie ever — not because of the horror or the gore, but because it’s further proof that Hollywood is going to remake everything.

I think the new “Evil Dead” (which opened Friday) is the scariest movie ever — not because of the horror or the gore, but because it’s further proof that Hollywood is going to remake everything .

Apparently nothing is sacred, either. Take a look at some of the remakes that are in the works:

•  “Carrie” — Sissy Spacek received her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of bloody and abused teen Carrie White in the 1976 original. Pretty big shoes to fill, but this remake does have some inspired casting: Chloe Grace Moretz will play Carrie and has shown remarkable range for someone her age, between comedy (“Kick-Ass”) and moody horror (“Let Me In”). She’s a great choice, as is Julianne Moore as her loony mama. I’m actually looking forward to this. (Will be released Oct. 18.)
•  “Oldboy” — Chan-wook Park’s original built a fiercely loyal fan base after it came out in 2003. The American version is (surprisingly) directed by Spike Lee, and stars Josh Brolin as the advertising executive who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years. Handle this carefully, Lee. Millions of fanboys are scrutinizing your every move. (October 2013)
•  “Annie” — Young best actress Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) is set to star as the titular tyke, in a nice bit of colorblind casting. Wonder if she’ll have red hair? (2014)
•  “Robocop” — The campy 1987 sci-fi original edged into satire just a bit, and the new cast (including Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman) could easily pull that off if they go that route. Joel Kinnaman (TV’s “The Killing”) dons the cyborg armor this time as the fatally wounded cop turned killing machine. (2014)
•  “Point Break” — This has been in the works for a few years now, so it’s unknown if it will actually see the light of day (and won’t if fans of the original have their say). No director or stars are yet attached.
•  “Dirty Dancing” — Speaking of Patrick Swayze movies, yes, the 1987 hit is indeed getting a remake. It was originally going to be released this year, but has been pushed back to 2014 due to casting delays (it’s rumored that Lea Michele of “Glee” and “Dancing With the Stars” winner Derek Hough are among those being considered to star).
•  “The Birds” — I know, I know — blasphemy! As Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 original is one of my favorite movies of all time, I joined many others in voicing my disdain over this remake. Originally, Naomi Watts was attached to star in the Tippi Hedren role. But that was a couple of years ago, before then-attached director Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) left the project.
•  “Escape From New York” — It’s hard to imagine someone else donning the eye patch of Kurt Russell’s iconic Snake Plissken from the 1981 original, but the New York Daily News reported last month that either Tom Hardy or Jason Statham might be cast. Original director John Carpenter is producing the remake.
•  “Logan’s Run” — The futuristic sci-fi thriller about a dystopian society where citizens are killed after they reach a certain age has also been in development limbo for years. Several directors have been attached, most recently Nicolas Winding Refn (“Drive”). His “Drive” star, Ryan Gosling, was also attached but bowed out last October, changing the film’s status to unknown, once again. This is a film that I think deserves a remake, with today’s special effects technology.

And that’s just the surface. Other titles rumored to be remade are “My Fair Lady” (with Carey Mulligan), “The Seven Samurai,” “Death Wish” and “American Psycho” — even though that film came out as recently as 2000. Shouldn’t we wait at least 20 years?

Or better yet, come up with new ideas?

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