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Kelly Asay

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Film Watch: Are These Movie Remakes a Good Idea?

In the last decade or so, we’ve had the chance to see an amazing variety of movie remakes. The remake-mania has grown to such proportions that some voices have started speaking of Hollywood losing every last bit of creativity and capability to push out original ideas, relying on its glorious past alone to make a living. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a few remakes succeed (The Manchurian Candidate, Ocean’s Eleven, Kong: Skull Island) and many of them fail, starting with 1998’s Psycho and ending with this year’s deplorable The Mummy. But the remake machine seems never to stop. For next year and beyond, there are many remakes planned (or maybe just rumored), with massive cult classics among them. The question remains, though, whether it is a good idea or not to remake these movies?

Highlander

Connor MacLeod from the clan MacLeod was born in 1518 in Glenfinnan, Scotland. When we meet him on the silver screen for the first time, he watches a wrestling match at the Madison Square Garden in 1985, and he doesn’t look a year older than 30 (even less when he is shaved clean). He is immortal, one of many, and has the task to fight other immortals and survive to receive the mysterious reward referred to as “The Prize” offered by the powers that be for the only one left. Highlander wasn’t a massive success upon its initial release but became a cult classic soon, without a doubt helped by the amazing operatic rock soundtrack played by one of Britain’s immortal rock bands, Queen. The movie has since spawned several feature-length movies, two TV series, a handful of , animated series, comic books, novels, and even a collectible card game.

A Highlander remake has been announced by Summit Entertainment in 2008. The movie has been in development hell ever since. Some progress on the movie has been reported this January when John Wick director Chad Stahelski revealed that the project is in the “advanced staged” of pre-production. He said that it will be a sort of reimagining of the original movie, and it may even start a trilogy.

Scarface

Few people know that 1983’s classic mobster movie Scarface is itself a remake – writer Oliver Stone and director Brian de Palma built it on top of the 1932 film with the same name, based on real-life mobster Al Capone. This time, the movie tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who fights his way up from nothing to the position of the most powerful drug kingpin in Miami. The movie was criticized for its excessive use of violence, profanity, and graphic drug use, yet it was still a major success, grossing $44 million (around $108 million today) and going down in history as one of the best mob films ever made. The film was nominated for many awards, from the Golden Globes to the Razzies, and is still one of the “must-see” mob movies for lovers of the genre.

A Scarface remake has been in the works for years. Universal first announced a new version of the movie in 2011, a new story taking elements from both the 1932 original and the 1983 remake. The Coen brothers are set to write the script, and David Ayer was set to direct until this summer when he left over a script that’s “too dark”. The studio planned to release the movie next August.

The Crow

Eric Draven was the happiest man in the 1990s Detroit – he played in an up-and-coming rock band and planned to marry the most wonderful woman in the world. But on one dark night, it all came to an end: his fiancé was raped and murdered by a gang of arsonists, and he himself was thrown out the window of their garret and fell to his death. But there is no way for such pain to go un-avenged – Draven returns from the dead on the Devil’s Night (October 30) next year to avenge his and his fiancé’s death and set a few things right in the city. The movie is remembered for its deep emotional content, unique visuals, and the loss of actor Brandon Bruce Lee, who died in a freak accident before the film was completed. It was a box office success, and it has attained a strong cult following.

The movie’s remake spent almost a decade at Relativity Media, changing actors and directors several times. Today, the distribution rights are at Sony Pictures, that plans to release a film faithful to the indie comic created by James O’Barr in 1989. The latest rumors speak of Corin Hardy (The Hallow) to direct and Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Justice League) to star. There’s no word on when the movie can be expected to be released – but it will surely have some really big shoes to fill.

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