10 movies Hollywood shouldn't remake but probably will

Top 10 Andrew Blair 20 Jan 2014 - 06:28

Is nothing sacred? Not in Hollywood it isn't. Here's Andrew's list of 10 movies that shouldn't be remade but probably will be soon...

Let's play devil's advocate. Brief Encounters got remade in the 70s. It's almost as if we like telling the same stories again and again.

To say Hollywood is creatively bereft is a satisfyingly hyperbolic simplification. It simply has no need to work harder. An audience gets the films it deserves, and there is no separate box office revenue for 'watched ironically'. The money drips down into smaller, idiosyncratic projects, so everyone gets to watch the kind of films they like. That's the theory, certainly, so do the ends justify the means?

Let's just assume, for a second, that the Naked Gun remake is an averagely amusing comedy; not terrible by any means but clearly not a patch on the original. Would a new idea from the same cast and crew make the same money? Possibly. Identity Thief ("...another Hollywood comedy content to dance in a field of shit" – Den Of  Geek) took a US gross of $134,455,175 according to IMDb. It's perfectly possible to make dross and earn bucketloads of cash, and indeed do this repeatedly.

So, given this, wouldn't it be lovely if filmmakers stopped trying to lure unwary cinema goers into their remake with the vague hope that it might not be That Bad? Sure, but it won't happen unless audiences stop going to see such films, and there is some allure in a revisit of a much-loved concept, even if we know it's going to punch our childhood right in its big wide eyes.

Remakes are a fact of film for this and many other reasons. Hence, here are ten films which we'd like to be left alone, but almost certainly won't be.

1. Tremors

A great low budget B-movie monster yarn, Tremors wasn't a hit on its original release, but found an audience on VHS. This is precisely the sort of film that gets remade on a bigger budget. You can say it's bringing the original to a wider audience, and the director will almost certainly be quoted as saying, "We really respect the original, those guys did great work, but I think we've come at it with a modern sensibility, updating it for the 21st century."

What this means is, "We've made some CGI enhancements to the monsters and a twist ending that will annoy people, and all the supporting characters are paper-thin redshirt halfwits, apart from the stoner guy who will probably be Oscar nominated in three years' time and deeply regret being involved in this film."

Vague plans to remake Tremors existed in 2009, but nothing has been heard since, hopefully because no one is listening.

2. Groundhog Day

Nothing is sacred, even the most irritating candidate for a remake ever. When this happens, on top of all the anger based on the actual film, the number of crap "Hey look, it's happening again" jokes that will ensue will cause people to try to bite their own eyes out in frustration.

3. Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure

Here's how this one goes down: the proposed sequel enters development hell, costs spiral and Keanu Reeves' box office appeal decreases after 27 Ronin (the cheaper sequel to 47 Ronin). The plans become a reboot featuring cameos from Reeves and Alex Winter, and - because someone thought it was a good idea at the time – Shane Carruth is brought in as a time travel consultant. Reviews are unanimously along the lines of "The world is not ready for Primer with dick and fart jokes".

4. Con Air

Simon West's bravura bout of mangasmic mayhem is like an old, violent friend you like to slip into from time to time. What better way to bring it to a larger audience than knocking all the rough edges off it and making it a delightful 12A family funfest?

The film will star someone deemed the new Channing Tatum, and Bruce Willis will cameo in his now familiar "Five Minutes of Bruce Willis But With Dead Eyes" role.

5. The Breakfast Club

Remaking The Breakfast Club would be pointless, because it isn't as if there hasn't been a good high school comedy since. People keep on making them, and people keep on liking them. While search engine results for 'Breakfast Club remake' suggest that audiences believe a remake to be inevitable – and, potentially, quite good – it's worth noting that every few years there's usually a pretty good teen comedy made, and that these are neither sequels nor remakes: Heathers, American Pie, Mean Girls, 21 Jump Street, Napoleon Dynamite, Superbad...the list goes on.

Given that the genre continues to be a fertile source of stories, why bother remaking an old one?

Well, same reason anyone remakes something – they think they've got an new twist on the story, and the studio knows that even if it's awful they'll at least suck in the morbidly curious.

6. Basic Instinct

Seeing as every other Paul Verhoeven film is getting remade, Basic Instinct is probably going to be next by virtue of it being a surer bet than Showgirls. While it will be difficult to top Basic Instinct 2's Stan Collymore cameo, and despite Brian De Palma's erotic thriller Passion being received about as well as a willy in the mail, the time is probably right for Ewan McGregor to step into Michael Douglas' shoes, having the requisite acting chops, willingness to get his bum out, and that endearing "Not quite American but not quite anything else either" accent that remains uniquely his.

7. Lawrence Of Arabia

If the few forthcoming Biblical epics (Noah, Exodus) do well, attention will be focused on other films that involve sand and buttock-sapping running times. Someone will see Peter O'Toole's face during the Oscars, then someone else will do the maths, and realise that – rather than one film that no one has the patience to watch at Christmas – they can make several shorter films and increase their box office takings.

The original Lawrence Of Arabia was 216 minutes long, which means that there's a trilogy out there with T.E. Lawrence's nickname on it.

Only, because the original had no speaking parts for women, it will now star Jennifer Lawrence.

If I'm honest, I would watch that.

8. Scream

Horror classics get rebooted and remade. The Exorcist is a rare exception, and even that spawned sequels and a prequel. The Thing, The Evil Dead, Nightmare On Elm Street, The Hitcher, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, The Amityville Horror and The Omen have been remade to little critical acclaim but decent box office returns. Scream is considered a modern classic, and as such will almost certainly get remade quite badly at some point. Expect it sometime after the Poltergeist remake, expect to leave the cinema feeling like you've been slowly filled up with cement.

9. Alien

The year is 2018. With Ridley Scott executive producing, fans' fears were not remotely assuaged. Technically, the film was Prometheus 3, but the script – written and directed by debutant Chobe Renton – was set on another ship contemporaneously with the events of the 1979 original. The ensuing three hours was a decent, well-made but ultimately hollow experience marred by unconvincing characters, huge plot holes, and dialogue such as "The only way to survive is to not die for ages".

10. Psycho

Platinum Dunes acquire the rights to Psycho when an executive accidentally backs his right nut on a game of Bejewelled Blitz, and then has to hastily backtrack. Michael Bay's churnmongers then announce their intention to do a remake of the 1998 Gus von Sant film, and everyone in the world simultaneously decides to cover all their facial sensory organs in Tipp-Ex.

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Fun list, and the idea of any of these films being remade makes me cringe! I imagine the replies will mostly be everyone shuddering at the thought of their childhood favourites being remade, so I might as well start it off!

Unfortunately, I can easily see Hollywood remaking Back To The Future - teen pop idol of the day gets sent back in time to stop something probably less incestuous than in the original, and the final act is them singing one of their 'hits' to a confused 90's high school prom. This of course spawns a new franchise of at least 5 or 6 films, all basically identical to the first!

Back to the Future is one of those that I think would really struggle being remade. One of the biggest things was the difference in society between 1955 and 1985, there is very little difference between family life in 85 and 2015 it's more technology and it would struggle with that.

Oh, I certainly agree that it would struggle being remade, and your point is valid concerning family life, but when has that ever stopped Hollywood :)

Er... Den of Geek, what the hell are you doing?

Don't give Hollywood any ideas of what to remake next!

I must add, Psycho has already been remade.

Yes, and wasn't it pointless? More or less a shot-for-shot remake, the only major differences being it's in colour and has different actors. Why would you watch that when you can watch the original? At least with the original you're not subjected to the vision of Vince Vaughn doing the five knuckle shuffle *shudders*

I had managed to wipe that scene from my memory until now, so thanks very much for that vision Ridley! *shudders*.

Sorry, my bad. Maybe this kitten will help purge the image from your mind

I appreciate the effort, however the damage has already been done.

So perhaps starring Justin Bieber? *shudders*

Dear god, it's worse than we ever could have imagined! At that point maybe Ludacris as Doc Brown, haha.

They did mention that.

Back To The Future. If anyone every goes near that...

This list is very depressing, and it's just speculation!

I think I could actually get on board with a Scream remake, if done correctly. That series has always been a satire on the genre, so to see a reboot knowingly nod to it's origins and rip the piss out of itself, it could work quite well. But as I said, if done correctly.

"like an old, violent friend you like to slip into from time to time"

If they ever remake Jaws (my favourite film of all time) with a CGI shark and lots of explosions, I will personally locate the person(s) responsible and sh*t on their face.

They can remake the Star Wars prequels with my blessing, though. How can THEY get any worse?

Do people really see The Breakfast Club as a teen comedy?!

there's already been one Lawrence of Arabia film since (which will probably happen the next anniversary/biography) A Dangerous Man, think it was Ralph Fiennes.

and was the movie 21 jump street really a new teen comedy?

Hey Den of Geek, I think it only fair you balance this by now doing a list of films that WERE remade and we all loved and enjoyed...

Were those originals not just as sacred?

Now that would make an interesting article; '10 Films Hollywood SHOULD Remake'

Definitely not Jaws though, that would be a crime.

I would pay good money to see ID sent back to the Jurassic period by "mistake" and then torn to shreds by volceraptors as soon as they arrived.

I can't remember who it was, but someone once said, if you're going to remake a movie, take something that wasn't very good to begin with and make it better or take something that isn't that well known. There are only three movie remakes that come to mind, where the remake was equal to, if not better than, the original. The Fly, by David Lynch, John Carpenter's The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland. They may be others, but I struggle to think of them.

Look at Tarantino; an encyclopedic knowledge of film and cinema which inspires him to create original pieces of entertainment (or blatantly rip off, depending on your point of view). I love all the movies on this list, and yet it does seem inevitable that Hollywood will decide to remake them (and ultimately mess them up).

Sometimes bigger budget doesn't actually mean better movie.

The first and second one, definitely. The third and fourth were awful though. However Cabin in the Woods did a very good job of similarly satirising the "good looking teens in a remote location being stalked/killed by some supernatural creature they inadvertently raised" genre of horror

I'd love to see another "Tremors". Indeed, it has one of my favorite scenes of all time - when a Grabber attacks the home of gun nuts Burt and Heather Gummer. The clique would have had the Second Amendment Fanatics murdered horribly, despite their weapons. In this film, our heroes simply kept shooting until the monster was killed. Burt then leans over the body of the monster and screams "picked the wrong rec-room to break into, didn't cha?"

I'll join you on that Dirk!

The total recall remake was total bollocks. This tells me people who are remaking these are just idiots who completely misunderstand the originals. People in suits think they are going to coin in by taking an cool film and thinking people will watch the remake ? Still don't get it. Why not just make new cool films instead ?

I thought the fourth film more than made up for the third. And if the ending hadn't been changed, I'm sure it would have been close to perfect. (I've got a theory as to the originally planned ending, although no way to prove it...)

I'd add The Wizard of Oz and Ben Hur to that list. And some people say The Departed also.
Also, just between you and me, I preferred the American version of The Grudge.

The Fly was Cronenberg, not Lynch. My two favorite Davids though!

Did I stumble onto WhatCulture by mistake? This was just a list of 10 films with a bit of conjecture thrown in. Come on DoG, you're better than this.

But you got a good idea for the remake at hand:
going back to 1985 will be for teens now what the difference between 1985 and 1955 has been for teens then.
Seriously think about it: a smartphone/Internet/I Pod teenie going back to analogue 1985 to save his parents' marriage.
For us "elderly" they could shoehorn in some references to the Original by showing an 1985 as it was in the Original.
It writes itself. Casting would be the hardest part, I guess...

Haha, 'the only way to survive is to not die for ages', you can imagine it can't you!

"when has that ever stopped Hollywood"
When has ANYTHING ever stopped Hollywood?

oops. sorry. my bad! :)

I've never had a problem with remakes and will always be baffled why some people do (other than trying to look all too-cool-for-school by bemoaning the remake of a movie they probably haven't even seen the original version of). At the end of the day, if it's a good remake, you've got a decent film out of it - and if it's awful, it doesn't detract from the original whatsoever so frankly, who cares?

My favourite movie of all time is Back to the Future, which someone already mentioned here as one of those "must not be remade movies" But I'd certainly watch it (if it was done well). Actually, I think it's one of few movies where a remake could have some potential, given the nature of the story.. A Marty from now going back 30 years - to the very decade that spawned the original movie.

Plus, if they ended up remaking the whole trilogy, it'd give Mattel another 30 years to produce a proper Hoverboard.

Why would a CGI shark be any worse than unconvincing rubber one? Jaws wasn't movie about the shark, it was a movie about the people. As long as the casting was right, there's no reason why another Jaws couldn't work.

A remake of Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure couldn't be any worse than the tiresome original surely?

They already remade Jaws. It's called Deep Blue Sea.

They've already remade Jaws. It's called Deep Blue Sea.

the horror...

interesting, yes, for example there is less difference visually between now and 85 than 85 - 55. maybe not though, the memory plays tricks

They did a type of remake with Deep Blue Sea which was a fairly decent film. Anyone who touches tremors so should be warned. Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon cannot be replaced in that film.

i hear they are going to ruin scarface by remaking it. hopefully it is a huge flop.

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