Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses rated the most passionate, the most pure. The Princess Bride one left them all behind. Yet despite this inherent truth, some goofball filmmakers think they can out-passion the Rob Reiner comedy masterpiece from 1987. Let’s just say that when the idea of a Princess Bride remake hit Twitter, fans were aghast at the prospect, including no less than Cary Elwes, the Dread Pirate Roberts himself.
News of a prospective Princess Bride reboot arose Wednesday when Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, revealed that he’s fielded more than one offer to remake the beloved classic. Speaking with Variety about the career of legendary producer Norman Lear, who executive produced The Princess Bride, Vinciquerra confirmed “very famous people” have expressed interest in a redo.
“We have so many people coming to us saying, ‘We want to remake this show or that show,’” Vinciquerra said. “Very famous people whose names I won’t use, but they want to redo The Princess Bride.”
It is not a surprise in this age of endless reboots and franchising—and where very few studio tentpoles appear able to open lest they are based on a preexisting intellectual property—that someone would light on the idea of remaking one of the most popular fantasy yarns/romantic comedies produced during the youth of Generation X and millennials. However, just because you can have the idea does not mean it is a good one. This is something Elwes flatly implied when he paraphrased his beloved farm boy hero turned pirate, Wesley. Taking to Twitter, Elwes said, “There is a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one.”
This quip is in keeping with the opinion of others, including Jamie Lee Curtis, who is the wife of Christopher Guest (the actor who played the dastardly Count Rugen in the movie).
“Oh really?” Curtis wrote in response to the news. “Well, I married the six fingered man, obviously why we have stayed together for 35 years, and there is only ONE The Princess Bride and it’s William Goldman’s and [Rob Reiner’s].”
All of this potential outrage at the possibility of a remake is telling. On the off chance this is a trial balloon by a studio executive to see how folks would respond to the news… it’s not well. The Princess Bride was made during a very specific time for both fantasy and comedy in cinema, with creatives at the heights of their talent like Reiner and screenwriter Goldman (who was adapting his own book). In many ways a product of mid-20th century and Jewish New Yorker sensibilities, The Princess Bride’s humor derived from a specific generation—one that treated fantasy as fleeting storybook fancy meant to be light as air as opposed to serious corporate product that is meant to be the foundation for a decade of studio fiscal reports.
To attempt to revisit that, or even worse franchise it, will not go as you wish.