Not that we needed any further proof that Hollywood was out of ideas, but today The Hollywood Reporter brings us word that plans have been set in motion for new versions of Arthur and Romancing the Stone. The two films join The Karate Kid and Darren Aronofsky’s Robocop reboot in the stable of 80s remakes that we can expect to see hit theaters during the next few years. We can only imagine this means a new License to Drive, starring two of the Jonas Brothers, is in our very near future.
As of now, the Romancing the Stone remake is still in its infancy, with only Eagle Eye screenwriter Daniel McDermott on board (do with that information what you will). Meanwhile, Warner Brothers is looking at the new Arthur as a vehicle for British comedian Russell Brand. We’re not really fans of either of the original movies, so the idea that they are getting remade doesn’t make us clench our fists into balls of anger. In fact, we barely remember Arthur at all. (Do you realize that the original Arthur got four Oscar nominations when it was released in 1981?! Us neither! Ahh, the crazy 80s!) What bothers us is that the ideas presented in Arthur aren’t even that original to begin with. It seems like it could have been just as easy to write a whole new (and original) story about a rascally drunken buffoon trying to win love and his family’s inheritance without calling it a remake. Is the 27-year-old Arthur brand name that important to the audience Warner Brothers will market the Russell Brand version to? The same can be said for Romancing the Stone, a charming and kinda violent diversion that works in its own fish-out-of-water way. However since Romancing the Stone is a pastiche of Indiana Jones, The African Queen and Howard Hawks’ comedies, why not just come up with another variation on that theme? This is Hollywood after all; it’s not like every single idea hasn’t been done fifty times over already.
We guess what makes us most upset is just the sheer laziness that gets exhibited time and time again by major studios. And now that they are cannibalizing their old library for ideas as generic as Canadian prescription drugs, it might be time for an industry wide intervention. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to Christopher Cross’ theme from Arthur…
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