Warner Bros. has unsurprisingly approached J.J. Abrams about reviving Superman on the big screen in some way. Book of Eli filmmaker Albert Hughes is developing a reboot of The Fugitive. A rough count of the 2020 release schedule reveals at least 10 films that can be classified as some sort of a remake.
If Hollywood is intent on reviving old intellectual property for new movies, we might as well try to steer it in the right direction. By that, we mean unearthing more obscure films that haven’t had the chance to quite fulfill their full potential rather than trotting out the same tired old blockbuster franchise time and time again.
Here are three under-the-radar movie remakes we actually want to see.
We’ve previously discussed Sphere‘s potential as a big screen mind-bender if executed properly. Michael Crichton’s 1987 novel follows Norman Johnson, a psychologist tapped by the United States Navy to join a team of scientists assembled to examine a spacecraft of unknown origin discovered at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Sphere begins as a traditional science-fiction tale, more or less, but soon veers into more thrilling territory that explores the nature and power of the human imagination. It was adapted into an underwhelming 1998 feature led by a talented cast that included Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Samuel L. Jackson and Liev Schreiber.
Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson has done great work over his career, but his translation of Crichton’s frightening chamber piece to the screen didn’t work. You can practically see a better version of this movie underneath the stilted dialogue, odd plotting and dated visual effects.
But given a modernized polish, we would love to see Guillermo del Toro—with his carefully attuned horror sensibilities and imaginative creature/set design skills—tackle the material. Cinemas are thirsting for clever, thrill-inducing science-fiction tales that make audiences think and feel. Come on, Hollywood, get it done.
Another theoretical reboot we’ve championed before, The Outsiders is ripe for a retelling. S.E. Hinton’s 1967 coming-of-age novel is a staple of scholastic summer reading lists throughout the country. The book boasts a multi-generational fan base, and while the star-studded 1983 film adaptation is widely enjoyed, it’s not the type of cinematic classic that must be preserved in amber henceforth.
Tom Holland, Timothée Chalamet and John Boyega could lead a modern reimagining about the Greasers, a young gang that is perpetually at odds with their rival gang the Socials. When a brawl ends in the death of a Social, our lead characters are forced to go into hiding.
Booksmart, Mid90s, Love Simon, Eighth Grade, Lady Bird—audiences have been treated to a deluge of high-quality coming of age tales in recent years. In many ways, The Outsiders is the archetype of the modern idea of the genre. The story has heart for days and is guaranteed to make you want to text your best friends that you love them.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Alan Moore’s original 1999 comic series may very well be unadaptable as the truly dreadful 2003 film suggests. But movie-goers could use one more crack at the material just to make sure.
The original comic gathers classic literary characters such as Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll, Professor Moriarty and The Invisible Man for fantastical adventures and climactic struggles. It’s like a pulp series full of familiar faces with dark turns and exciting journeys. In 2015, 20th Century Fox announced a reboot, though the project’s status is unclear following the Disney acquisition.
In our minds, James Wan (Aquaman), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), or Alex Garland (Annihilation) would fit well with the material while providing their own unique spins. Will a remake ever happen? Probably not. But we’d like to see one.