Let’s face it… remakes have become the de facto money maker for Hollywood these past few years and, frankly, they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. But instead of remaking films that are classic to begin with (Gremlins, Carrie, The NeverEnding Story) it’d be great to see remakes that take long forgotten films and rekindle what made them special, much like David Cronenberg’s The Fly or John Carpenter’s The Thing. With that in mind, here are five picks for long-unproduced remakes we’d much rather see!
The Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Original: A classic 50s Universal monster film, the original Creature from the Black Lagoon took advantage of our collective fear of the unknown (both of in a strange, exotic locale and underwater) and gave us the iconic half man, half fish “Gill Man.”
The Remake: Having been attached to a literal Who’s Who of Hollywood, from Stan Winston to John Carpenter and even Guillermo del Toro, the remake has truly been in development hell. Regardless of where the project finally lands, the formula should be simple: Predator meets Jaws set in the Amazon. Boom.
The Original: A modern-day fantasy story, Highlander merged swords & sorcery with samurais (and just a touch of sci-fi) as Connor MacLeod fought against man and time on a quest to avenge the death of his beloved and ultimately claim “The Prize.”
The Remake: Ryan Reynolds has been rumored to take on the role of Conner is the remake and, personally, I’d be down for that. If Reynolds could bring the cocky charisma he had in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, temper it with a bit of Rurouni Kenshin‘s remorsefulness and bring the bloodshed of a Takeshi Miike film – it’d be a guaranteed hit.
The Original: A (mostly) forgotten horror film based on a novel by F. Paul Wilson, The Keep follows a group of Nazi soldiers who inadvertently unleash an ancient demonic force dwelling inside an abandoned Romanian castle.
The Remake: While the original suffers from its share of problems, the main plot is perfect: an old-fashioned monster movie featuring a creepy castle, Jewish mysticism, Nazis and an unholy demon hellbent on delivering a gruesome demise to anyone trapped inside… think Castle Freak meets Terminator. Considering his experience with merging war + supernatural horror in Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro would be perfect as director.
The Original: Based on a comic strip by Alex Raymond, Flash Gordon featured an ordinary man, football star “Flash” Gordon, whisked off to another world (Mongo) where the ruthless Ming the Merciless rules over all with an iron fist.
The Remake: It’s hard to remake such a classic film, but let’s face it… the original is a bit cheesy (albeit fun). A remake could still play with all of the exotic costumes and strange characters, while downplaying the campiness and upping the action. Nicolas Cage would actually make a badass Ming while Chris Hemsoworth would be my choice as the buff, yet charming Flash Gordon.
The Original: Curiosity and the human condition lead a selfish hedonist, Frank, to unleash a cabal of demons (Cenobites) from a mystical puzzle box. Extreme violence and cruel terror unfold as Frank’s family is caught up in the madness and only one “pure” soul stands between the forces of hell and eternal damnation.
The Remake: After Hellraiser II, the original material has been botched so many times now it’d be almost mandatory to revisit the source material (The Hellbound Heart) while keeping in mind what made the film popular with fans (Pinhead). The Evil Dead remake may have been wasted on Fede Alvarez, but he could have a field day with this one. Toss in Hugo Weaving as Pinhead and it’s a done deal.