Well, it’s a day ending in “y,” which means it’s time for Criminal Complex’s resident “typical internet fucktard” to vigorously blow his horn every which way over your face about film remakes. Film announcements are a lot like possums – cute to look at, but likely to disappear up your arse before anything more comes to fruition [A common Australian expression – Ed].
For every project that is announced as “in development,” a child is needlessly murdered to feed hungry production staff and to satisfy Edgar Wright’s contractual obligations.
Today we look at a number of film remakes that have been announced and are in various states of development, and calculate the odds as to whether they’ll actually get made using Science.
Kolchak the Nightstalker
We’ve previously talked about Kolchak here at the Complex . It’s one of an increasing number of projects that Edgar Wright has signed up to because he was once told that one of the projects out there was filled with leprechaun gold, and now no one has the heart to tell him otherwise, because the little guy is so excited, and isn’t it sometimes more important just to believe in something, guys, even if it is something like magic? Isn’t that the real miracle here? The answer is “no.” Featuring Johnny Depp in the role that will allow him to wear cool hats (considering this, Pirates, the Thompson films, Lone Ranger, etc, it’s apparent that he will only take on roles that let him wear cool hats), and screenplay by D.V. DeCincentis (Grosse Pointe Blank), Kolchak has a decent enough pedigree that I’m actually not upset about this one, and in fact, think it sounds like it could be pretty groovy.
So, for that reason, I’ll assume it’ll never happen, also adding into the equation the fact that director Edgar Wright has so many films in development that I could devote an entire list to just him. From the sounds of the press releases, it sounds like Kolchak is possibly at the bottom of Wright’s list, and Wright is a notoriously slow worker. This film seems like the one that’ll slip from his schedule, and wouldn’t really be a top priority for anyone to make if the talent don’t believe in it.
Odds Kolchak will be remade: 20 to 1
The Thin Man
Another Johnny Depp remake vehicle, Depp has been talking up his Thin Man remake since 2010. The Thin Man is based on a Dashiell Hammett detective novel, but is arguably better known for the film series it spawned with William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles (“The Only Married Sleuth Team”). Depp would presumably play the Nick role, which would allow him to feed his insatiable need for hats.
Warners ramped up production on this one earlier this year, with Rob Marshall (Pirates 4, Chicago) slated to direct, and even began drafting potential co-stars for the role of Nora. But after the disappointing takings of Dark Shadows, the studio started getting cold feet (also, apparently due to the $100 million plus budget) .
Whatever the reason, this one is looking like less and less of a priority, and while I am susceptible of the wily charms of Johnny Depp, I am much less so to the dubious charms of “gropy” Rob Marshall [Not a real insinuation, haha… Please don’t sue us – Ed.].
Odds The Thin Man will be remade: 10 to 1
The remake of the 2005 South Korean crime flick, Oldboy, has attracted a fair amount of controversy, which is understandable considering it is, in this Complex writer’s opinion, one of the best films of the last 20 years.
The original is one of those films that is best seen blind with no information going in, which my violence-sensitive highschool partner learned the hard way, breaking up with me shortly after the screening. Still, I’m pretty sure I gave them the best filmgoing experience of their now-therapy-riddled life.
After a few false starts – with Fast Five director Justin Lin attached at one point, before he dropped out, then Will Smith and Steven Spielberg – it’s now fallen to director Spike Lee to start gearing up to film the remake. With this new iteration, they have locked in a few principle actors, including Josh Brolin, Sharlito Colby and Liz Olsen.
Quite the array of talent behind this one, but, like the RoboCop remake I keep cursing, it seems like this is a waste of excellent talent.
The production staff keep comparing the remake to the Infernal Affairs remake, The Departed, which is a smart move, considering that remake turned out pretty fucken good.
This one seems like it’s likely to actually happen, as all their ducks are lined up. However, it’s seemed close several times in the past, so who knows, really.
Odds OldBoy will be remade: 5 to 1
After Mel Gibson scuttled plans for a Shane Black written Lethal Weapon 5 by being Mel Gibson (although he would likely claim it’s due to the international Zionist conspiracy, as they just hate buddy cop films, presumably… it’s hard to keep up with crazy), Warner decided “Fuck it, remake it and call Ashton Kutcher or someone – there’s a bunch more coke to do.”
The studio hashired Will Beall, initially known for writing Castle. I don’t watch Castle, so I’ve got no idea if I should be excited. The only person I know who watches it is my Mum, and when I asked her, she just went into a Nathan Fillion induced fugue.
Beall seems to be the go-to guy for the studio these days, penning the “eh” looking Gangster Squad, and the upcoming Justice League that Warners is planning on fucking up badly.
This remake is one that’ll probably end up happening one day, whether it’s this version or not. The property just seems to be too valuable to let alone. Having said that, it also seems incredibly ill-advised – the original buddy-cop actioner was a breath of fresh air and was so dependent on the chemistry of its stars. The film has been copied so many times at this stage that a remake just seems irrelevant from the get-go.
Which means that yeah, it’ll probably fucken happen…
Odds Lethal Weapon will be remade: 2 to 1
One of the other controversial remakes circling the theatrical drain is the Scarface remake. When we talk about Scarface, most think automatically of the 1983 Brian De Palma flick, which itself was a remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks film. The Hawks film was fine, but nothing particularly special in terms of that guy’s output. And, although I mightn’t make any friends here, I felt the same way with the De Palma flick. It was a bunch of good scenes held together by a pretty average-boring movie, and sure, Al Pacino was pretty cool in it, but doesn’t touch his earlier milestones by any means. To put it in Cameron terms, it was the Avatar to his Aliens. Basically… Scarface isn’t particularly good.
Having said that, I’m not particularly thrilled about the idea of it being remade, basically because – why not just make something new? David Ayer (Training Day), who’s been tasked with this remake, has said he plans to follow the tropes of the originals, but modernise it. I have to ask, though, why? Why not just make a flick about an emerging alien drug lord in modern times? Then again, I already know the answer to my own question, and it’s the reason I get so shitty about this stuff – because it’s just a cynical exercise in brand-awareness, that has nothing to do with creativity, or if there’s anything worth saying, and everything to do with whether money can be made without much effort/having to make something worthwhile.
What Ayer is talking about is being hired to basically write something that adheres to some tropes, but is essentially an original property – it’s a lose-lose situation – anyone who likes the original(s) is only going to judge this in comparison, and anyone who doesn’t like them won’t see the films. Sure, it’ll still earn a healthy return, but it just gets up my arse, like a cheeky possum.
Odds Scarface will be remade: 1 to 1
And there you have it. As long as there is money to be made off these remakes, the odds will always come out even that Hollywood will keep cranking ’em out. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, but after all, I am (and remain) your “typical internet fucktard.”