Disney is still ploughing through its back catalogue – which is pretty massive thanks to its acquisition of Fox – for viable remakes and reboots. After deciding to cherry-pick 1990’s Christmas classic Home Alone for the Disney+ reboot treatment late last year, and announcing that Jojo Rabbit’s Archie Yates, Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and comedian Rob Delaney would star in it, the machine didn’t stop for objections.
Chris Columbus, who helmed the original Home Alone, definitely has some though.
“Nobody got in touch with me about it, and it’s a waste of time as far as I’m concerned,” he told Insider. “What’s the point? I’m a firm believer that you don’t remake films that have had the longevity of Home Alone. You’re not going to create lightning in a bottle again. It’s just not going to happen. So why do it? It’s like doing a paint-by-numbers version of a Disney animated film — a live-action version of that. What’s the point? It’s been done. Do your own thing. Even if you fail miserably, at least you have come up with something original.”
Columbus, who is doing the rounds promoting his upcoming Netflix sequel, The Christmas Chronicles 2, seemingly admits he might be part of the problem when it comes to treading old ground.
“I can even be accused of it myself, with Home Alone 2,” he said. “That movie is basically a remake of the first Home Alone. Does it need to exist? Yes, because some of those stunts make me laugh really hard, but I just don’t believe it should be done.”
The director was also drawn on Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’s most infamous cameo, that of America’s outgoing President, Donald Trump. Columbus said he bullied his way into some screen time on the movie, even though they’d already paid him for permission to film at his Plaza Hotel.
“Like most locations in New York City, you just pay a fee and you are allowed to shoot in that location,” he explained. “We approached The Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned at the time, because we wanted to shoot in the lobby. We couldn’t rebuild The Plaza on a soundstage.”
Columbus noted that Trump had okayed the shoot, but they ended up having to shoehorn him into the sequel anyway. “Trump said, ‘The only way you can use the Plaza is if I’m in the movie.’ So we agreed to put him in the movie, and when we screened it for the first time the oddest thing happened: People cheered when Trump showed up on-screen. So I said to my editor, ‘Leave him in the movie. It’s a moment for the audience.’ But he did bully his way into the movie.”
The director has kinda become a king of seasonal movie fare over the decades, which he embraces.
“It does make me feel really great to flip around the channels this time of year and Home Alone is playing on one channel and Harry Potter is playing on another, and Christmas Chronicles is on Netflix. It’s a strange but good feeling.”