Justin Bieber as Luke Skywalker, would they dare
There was a collective, global sigh yesterday, when it appeared that hell had indeed frozen over and the inevitable had happened. Hollywood was remaking what cannot be remade.
If you hadn’t noticed, they’ve been working up to it for a while.
The Karate Kid (with Kung Fu), Clash of the Titans, A Nightmare on Elm Street, another Robin Hood (with a Robin and Marion surely too old to be climbing trees), more Predators, more Aliens, more Predators AND Aliens, Indy 4, Die Hard 4, Rambo 4, Rocky 6, and even news of Top Gun 2, set to take us back into the exciting world of… drone pilots.
Two guys and a joystick in an office? Not really mind-blowing, but at least there’ll be plenty of time for volleyball.
It’s fair to say that Hollywood is currently enjoying a creative phase where mostly everything that has been made is being rebooted, re-imagined, or remade (is there a difference?), and everything else gets a prequel or sequel.
The well of ideas may be running dry, but at least today’s filmmakers are not without a sense of irony. Remakes can happen within only a year or two of the original, while some sequels are so late there is the very real possibility you conceived a child in the back row of the first movie and they drove you to the cinema for the second.
So what are we to (re)make of the news the Wizard of Oz is to be remade?
To be honest, probably not much. The ‘original’ we all remember wasn’t the ‘original’ at all, but the third movie spin on a novel by L. Frank Baum, and there have been adaptations and spin-offs since. In my opinion, it’s a film without right of complaint when it comes to being redressed in today’s garb and flung to the masses at only fifteen bucks a pop.
Kristen Stewart as an angst-ridden Dorothy? The now obligatory Sam Worthington as a grouchy Toto? It could happen.
At the very least they’re looking for a talented director—Robert Zemeckis. Fans should be happy with that.
But still we ask: is this the beginning of the end? Is this the moment Hollywood realised that the classics were no longer untouchable?
Should we even care?
There are plenty of bigger issues facing us than whether Muse will provide the soundtrack to the Casablanca remake (we can only hope), or if Lady Gaga will indeed sign up to play a hip, modern-day Mary Poppins, teaching children of a London council estate the benefits of safe sex while dressed as a giant condom.
And remember, whatever new tricks Hollywood tries in order to steal our money out from under our noses, our classics aren’t going anywhere. A movie that captured a particular moment, an onscreen chemistry that will never be repeated, whip-sharp dialogue and a thought-provoking plot—these days we have the technology to replay it whenever we want, however we want.
So what if there’s a 21st century version of Charlie Sheen as Charles Foster Kane, spending a rib-splitting Christmas with his dysfunctional relatives the Jonas Brothers and his CGI monkey sidekick, Rosebud? Let the kids enjoy. We’re more than adult enough to simply avoid the movie and happily inform anyone who will listen that the original was better.
The old adage is that there are no new ideas. Hollywood is certainly pushing even that idea to its limits. But I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the all powerful wizard of creativity thinks to grant them a brain, a heart and, above all, courage once again.
Until then, I’ll click my heels three times and hope to hell the all singing, all dancing Zac Effron as Han and Justin Bieber as Luke Skywalker never happens.
They wouldn’t dare…. would they?
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