Revenge of the remakes

Hollywood’s longest-standing trend continues unabated

Hollywood is remake-crazy. This is news to no one and it’s hardly a recent development — film studios have been rehashing their successes for about as long as film has existed occasionally even making a new classic in the process. Recent weeks have seen some particularly dubious-sounding schemes though. Here are some of the more egregious nostalgia-baiters.

• Short Circuit : Though the remake itself has been in discussion for at least a year (possibly spurred by the fact that Wall-E kinda-sorta looks like Short Circuit’s Johnny 5) this military-robot buddy comedy made news recently for scrapping original writers S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock in favour of Robot Chicken’s Dan Milano. Supposedly the studio wanted to give the film more of an “edge.”

• T.J. Hooker: Don’t feel too bad for Wilson and Maddock though. They’ve bounced right back with plans for an update of the William Shatner cop classic T.J. Hooker. Which is good because Hollywood hasn’t updated a campy ’70s cop show in almost five years now.

In case you’re curious about Wilson and Maddock’s pedigree they’re the creative team behind the original Short Circuit and the Tremors series and the all-but-forgotten Bill Cosby flick Ghost Dad . The last time they adapted a TV series for the big screen it led to people actually paying to watch Wild Wild West so probably best to be a bit skeptical about this one.

• Baywatch : Newcomer Jeremy Garelick will be writing and directing Baywatch a broad comic update of the series that perfected the art of running in slow motion on the beach. This won’t be the first feature-length take on Baywach — the straight-to-video Baywatch: Forbidden Paradise has that honour — but it will be the first to screen in theatres when it comes out in 2012.

• Asteroids : OK this is an adaptation not a remake but it’s too good not to mention. There have been other movies based on plotless properties — heck Ridley Scott is attached to direct a movie based on Monopoly a fact that still sounds like a joke every time I hear it. Still a non-scrolling wire-frame based computer game from the ’80s that consisted of a triangle shooting dots at crude drawings of rocks doesn’t scream cinema gold. Yet the license somehow prompted a bidding war between three major studios.