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Five Movies Ripe For a Remake

Dune is at the top of our list of movies we’d like to see get the remake treatment. Dune is at the top of our list of movies we’d like to see get the remake treatment.

Remakes have become a Hollywood mainstay. We previously discussed some movie remakes that really missed the mark, but not all remakes are failures. Sometimes a remake can improve on the original by bringing new special effects and updated graphics, sticking more closely to the source material like a book or graphic novel, or employing better acting or directing. This got us thinking-- which movies are ripe for remake? We think we have come up with some excellent candidates.

1.) Dune

Based on the sci-fi series by Frank Herbert, Dune has seen several incarnations, none of which do justice to the source material. The 1984 film directed by David Lynch --typically known for his creativity and tendency to push boundaries in films like Blue Velvet or Eraserhead and television's Twin Peaks-- was both a critical and commercial flop.

Lynch blames the failure of the film on the producers, who demanded excessive editing and constrained both the length of the film and Lynch's creative freedom, which, if you know David Lynch, is tantamount to a death sentence for the film. As a result, 1984's Dune felt stunted, confusing and, despite the excellent screen talent like Kyle McLaughlin, Virginia Madsen and Sting, was essentially a disorganized mess that only vaguely resembled the plot of the book series.

Soon to follow was a three-part Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy, ugh) Channel event, two-parts of which were their highest-rated programming ever. However, a made-for-TV movie is not a feature film, and because they came from the studio that brought us such gems as Dinocroc vs Supergator, we think that there must be room for improvement.

We would like to see Dune remade in the style and production quality of the Lord of the Rings series --multiple epics directed by a top-notch filmmaker with enough creative freedom to express their vision, where the entire story can be fleshed out. Dune is a fantastic sci-fi tale of greed, power, rivalry, drugs, love, and redemption-- all the good stuff.

2.) Spawn

Todd McFarlane's comic series Spawn was made into a mediocre feature film in 1997 and an above average animated series on HBO shortly thereafter. Another animated series is in the works, blessedly involving creator Todd McFarlane, which bodes well for its quality.

The 1997 movie was the first feature film to star an African-American superhero, and could have been an important contribution to the realm of superhero cinema. However, bad production and zero involvement from McFarlane led to a critical and commercial failure. We would like to see a new live-action film to accompany McFarlane's new animated endeavor.

Spawn is a story of dark vs. light, forgiveness vs. revenge, and could be both a critical and box-office smash if it sticks to the material and tone of the graphic novels. There has been a deluge of superhero movies lately, but Spawn really has something new to offer audiences; and since no one saw the 1997 film, it will be new to a lot of viewers. Or, Hollywood can just do another Hulk remake and hope for the best.

3.) Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut's famous novel about a man who has become "unstuck in time" has already been produced into a feature film that was actually pretty decent, but we feel that there is room for a modern take on this classic. 1972's Slaughterhouse Five was considered a critical success but failed to resonate with a commercial audience. The main character, appropriately named Billy Pilgrim, bounces from one time period to another, experiencing a wide variety of historical events. His time-travelling pilgrimage makes for an exciting tale that explores themes like free will and human nature. We think that a remake of Slaughterhouse Five could be a cinematic event, especially with a high profile and versatile actor like Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role.

Recently, rumors have circulated of a remake with director Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) at the helm, but the project seems dead. We think it should come back to life; Del Toro is known for his work with fantasy and war themes, so Slaughterhouse Five was practically written for him, and with all the pointless movie revivals happening --Footloose, we're looking at you-- it would be a shame not to see this one.

4.) Fahrenheit 451

The 1966 film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel about a future where reading is illegal received criticism for lacking the strength and conviction of the book, and not being the poignant film it could have been. Ironically, it was fairly indicative of what American culture was destined to become; Bradbury claims that, rather than censorship, Fahrenheit 451 is a story about the impact that television has had on popular culture and information gathering. In today's technology-driven world, where news so often consists of sound bites and factoids, this story is even more relevant and appropriate than ever.

5.) Westworld

If you have never seen or heard of Westworld, you are not alone. Most people missed this 1973 science fiction thriller, written and directed by popular fiction author Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) and set in a future where androids fulfill our every wish and desire. At a fictional theme park, visitors can experience the Wild West, Medieval Europe or Ancient Rome, where androids give the illusion that visitors are in charge of everything.

Of course, everything goes awry when the androids --led by Yul Brynner (The King and I, The Magnificent Seven) as a gun-slinging Old-West dueler who is programmed to always lose his duels with park guests-- start disobeying their programming and go rogue, causing a massive catastrophe and a survival situation for the main characters. Think Jurassic Park with robots.

A remake of Westworld would be excellent; not only will the story be new to the majority of people, but advances in cinema technology will allow filmmakers to create the movie they could not in 1973. We'd love to see original director and screenwriter Michael Crichton involved with the new project as a creative consultant, and epic director Steven Spielberg could really deliver “Jurassic Park with robots,” but we would be interested in seeing a quirkier filmmaker in the director's chair as well.

Follow Us:

What's with all these great movies getting remade? Check out our list of the Top 5 Worst Remakes.

Who’s your favorite “old guy” in pro sports? Find out if he made our list of Top 10 “Old” Athletes.

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The Spawn cartoon was pretty good for its time, but we want to see Todd McFarlane's anti-hero get the big screen treatment done right.
Last modified on Thursday, 12 July 2012 16:53

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