We asked some of our writers to select a movie that would be ripe for a remake. Here are the results...
You can't move for movie remakes at the moment, and for the most part, the subjects of this creativity-neutral craze are never particularly inspired. So buck up your ideas Hollywood, and take a glance at some LWLies pitches for perfect remakes...
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring Harrison Ford, Clive Owen, Stephen Graham, Tom Hardy, Damian Lewis, Yorgos Lanthimos, Berenice Bejo
Tagline: 'A thrilling all-star adventure!'
The pitch: Forget The Expendables 2: Roid Rage Revenge, The Guns of Navarone is the original star-spangled actioner in which a team of A-list Brit commandos is dispatched to a Greek island to take down a German gun emplacement and pave the way for the Allied invasion. We're going straight down the line: Nic Refn brings the icy violence of Valhalla Rising and über cool of Drive; Owen, Graham, Hardy and Lewis are a convincingly hard-bitten bunch; and we're talking full career reversal for Harrison Ford in the Gregory Peck role. Yorgos Lanthimos can break out Jean Dujardin-style, with Dujardin's Artist co-star Berenice Bejo possessing the right mix of earthy beauty and feisty verve to pass for a fiery Greek villager. We'll need at least $150m to do it right: on location, minimal CG, old-school all the way. Let's get Tony Gilroy working on a script and keep Michael Mann on back up in case Refn has scheduling difficulties.
Directed by John Lasseter
Starring The voices of Seth Green, Ian McKellen, Zooey Deschanel, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rowan Atkinson
Tagline: 'Always bet on blue!'
The pitch: Full disclosure: I haven’t actually seen Derek Jarman’s original 1993 film, but – from what I understand from the various précis I've seen – it sounds like one hell of a jumping off point for a great CG feature. Meet Blue. Of all the colours at Spectrum HQ – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Puce, …Imagino, …Velvet? – Blue (Seth Green) is considered a bit of a misfit, always getting into scrapes, monkey shines and elaborately conceived car chases. All the other guys just get on with boring stuff like reflecting respective wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (yawn!). When he is thrown out of heaven for doing something rad that God – or whoever – doesn’t like, he’s cast down to Earth in order to learn the error of his ways in an inner-city Detroit kindergarten full of beatific, well-scrubbed crack-toddlers of every creed and… ‘colour’.
Note: I've just learned that rights to ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky have lately reverted to Jeff Lynne, who, it transpires, is currently converting his seed barn into a state-of-the-art home studio, so licensing the song for the trailer/soundtrack looks like a very viable option.
Directed by Olivier Assayas
Starring Tom Cruise, John C Reilly, Olivia Munn, Catherine Keener, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Steve Buscemi
Tagline: 'Once you change your life, you can never go back...'
The pitch: John Frankenheimer's classic tale of a midlife crisis having dire consequences is ripe for an update in today's youth and image-obsessed times. Would you change your whole life if you had the chance? Can a shinier surface cure the malaise at a man's heart? Seconds is a film with a prescient and unsettling premise, and a remake can revitalise those ideas, which are still as pertinent as ever.
Seconds will offer Tom Cruise one of his most challenging roles as the handsome, successful man who finds himself trapped in an ever-deepening nightmare, while John C Reilly will be perfect for frustrated sad-sack Arthur Hamilton, who dreams of having his life transformed in the film's opening hour. Olivier Assayas will direct, to bring the same provocative intelligence and disturbing imagery that he brought to Demonlover. Cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth, score by Jonny Greenwood, screenplay by Paul Schrader, Oscars all round.
Directed by Gaspar Noé
Starring Will Smith, Jonathan Lipnicki, Adam Woodyatt, Donald Fagen, Phillipe Nahon, Pam St. Clement, Phil Collins, Philip Bailey
Tagline: 'Parenting is a trip!'
The pitch: Cos Billby (Smith) is a devoted Baltimore workaholic and widower, struggling to look after his unruly kids. But one day his crazy life is put into perspective when (in a virtuoso 57 minute take) he is savagely battered to death with a fire extinguisher in an alleyway by a group of meth-addled S&M enthusiasts (Jonathan Lipnicki and, in his Hollywood debut, Adam Woodyatt).
But Billby (now a ghost) isn’t about to let that stop him. He uses this golden opportunity to float above the mean streets of Baltimore for the next four and a half hours of thrilling screen time, righting wrongs and reconnecting with his kids alongside best buddy and portly funster, Butcher Bruce (Philippe Nahon). Where will our hero’s travels take him? Will Billby make it back into the land of the living?
Visionary director Noe directs this heartwarming family comedy with the flair you’d expect: it’s touching in all the right places!
Directed by Brian De Palma
Tagline: 'He sees you when you’re sleeping…'
The Pitch: Joseph Losey’s masterful, little-seen 1951 noir is hardly crying out for a remake as much as it is the attention a restoration and re-release would provide, but if there’s any filmmaker perfectly suited to engaging viewer complicity in a re-tooling of The Prowler’s perverse plays on voyeurism and the cinematic experience, it’s Brian de Palma.
One of the seediest and most twisted noirs of the period, its brilliantly handled switches between subjective and objective viewpoints and hysterically amplified melodrama have always been De Palma’s bread and butter, with Losey’s film as it stands ripe for a terrific double-bill with the likes of Body Double, Dressed to Kill or Obsession, particularly given its excellent work with sound.
With the investigating cop (Van Heflin) proving more dangerously unhinged than the peeping tom he’s supposed to be in pursuit of, it would have made a great role for Keitel a few years back, but now has Michael Shannon’s name all over it. The Evelyn Keyes role would be perfect for an A-lister willing to go all out in letting De Palma put her through the wringer.
Directed by Lars von Trier
Starring Michael Fassbender, Andrea Riseborough, Christoph Waltz, Jude Law
Tagline: 'Heaven Can Wait.'
The pitch: Minimalist neo-period drama in which suave British RAF pilot Peter Carter (Fassbender) falls in love with American radio operator June (Riseborough) after surviving a plane crash that should have killed him. Christoph Waltz to channel Gene Wilder/the Cheshire Cat as Conductor 71, Peter's negligent guide to the afterlife, who convinces Peter to accompany him to the 'Other World' on the condition that he be allowed to appeal his 'death'.
Doctor Reeves, who diagnoses Peter with having a serious brain injury after he tells June about his 'visions', is fundamentally a good guy, but we'll need to spice things up a bit for today's 140-character attention span audience, so maybe have him seduce June or something. In any case, we like Jude Law for the part. Overall keep it dreamy but edgy – think Breaking the Waves meets A Woman Under the Influence via Eyes Wide Shut. Alexandre Desplat will do nicely for the score.
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring Sean Penn, Daniel Day Lewis, Benicio del Toro
Tagline 'Welcome to Mexico!'
The pitch: Retooled from a happy-go-lucky wise-cracking caper into a dour and depressing state-of-the-nation address, ¡Three Amigos! gets nasty with what new director Iñárritu will describe as an "odyssey of pain". Dusty, Lefty and Ned are all fired as extras on a cheapjack spaghetti western for arriving on set while deep, deep down in the k-hole. With only a case of expired Jim Beam and an incomplete deck of playing cards to their name, they decide to seek their fortune down Mexico way.
They eventually arrive in Durango and quickly discover that there are no English language film shoots occurring in the area. They acquire a donkey and paint it to look like a zebra, using it to pose for tourist photos. Dusty hangs himself. Someone mentions that a superhero movie is being filmed in a nearby desert, so in a druggy torpor, Lefty and Ned wander off in search of the production. They neglect to bring any water with them, and after four days walking, Lefty falls into a coma and is eaten by buzzards. Ned trudges on and manages to locate the set, but when he notices that Brett Ratner is directing the film, he turns around and wanders back into the desert. Fin.