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Tim O'Neil said on November 30th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

No.

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Timothy T. said on November 30th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’ve always thought they should remake the original trilogy so that there’s no longer a jarring change between episode 3 and 4. Or else remake the prequels with the same aesthetics and vfx technology as the original trilogy.

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They still haven’t remade BTTF, E.T., Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, or as you mentioned Jaws, so I’m still holding out hope on there still being “untouchable” franchises out there.

Then again all those properties I just mentioned are connected to Steven Spielberg, who (if I remember correctly) doesn’t want any of his films remade and still has considerable sway in Hollywood. If that’s the only reason they aren’t being remade than it would make sense.

P.S. Most of those remakes you mentioned were Horror films. I don’t see that as a sign that all 80′s properties are ripe for the picking, just that Hollywood today is crap at making Horror movies. I think that an original Sci-fi/Action film is more likely to be successful than an original Horror film, making it less necessary to remake Sci-fi/Action classics.

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Here’s the thing: Episode IV was originally going to be a Buck Rogers movie (or Flash Gordon, I forget which), because Lucas was a huge fan of those old sci-fi serials. I think what happened was that he couldn’t secure the rights to Buck (or Flash, or whoever), so he wound up creating Luke Skywalker instead.

So now we have the old sci-fi heroes and Luke Skywalker. That’s why remakes irritate me. It’s easier to remake a popular movie than it is to take a chance on something new. If George Lucas had listened to the naysayers, he would have played it safe and done a remake of something else instead of breaking new ground.

And this is why Star Wars has been around so long. Rather than clinging to Episode IV, they went ahead and took chances and expanded the story. Suddenly Star Wars isn’t just Luke and Han, it’s Lando and Ewoks, too. The prequels and expanded universe stuff go even further, and hopefully this sequel trilogy will go even further beyond than that. Purists whine that Lucasfilm diluted the brand, but the purists don’t have any new ideas, and there’s only so many ways to repackage the first two movies.

I wouldn’t mind seeing an Episode IV remake, if only out of curiosity. But I’d find it very disappointing, because I’d know the work that went into such a project meant taking away money and resources from something brand new. I’d rather see Episode VII give me the next iteration of Star Wars, or some other project introduce the next iconic franchise.

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Heksefatter said on November 30th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

To me, the main argument for a remake of the original trilogy is that then they would remake the prequels, and then we could all pretend that Jar Jar and bratty little Annie never happened.

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Dammit, is nothing sacred?

Hey, how about a Citizen Kane remake while we’re at it! Or Casablanca II: Return to Rick’s Bar. Nobody remembers On the Waterfront anymore, right? Let’s make another one of those. Gone With The Wind! Sure! Why not!

Christ.

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And what’s the deal with that theater troupe doing Hamlet again? Come on, losers, try doing something original.

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@Mike Smith
“…there’s only so many ways to repackage the first two movies.”

Ahem. The first THREE movies.

@Will Wise
The Hamlet example isn’t the same. With Hamlet you at least know they won’t try to drastically change anything about the story. What you’re saying is more like rerelasing Star Wars in theaters, which I’m totally down for.

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Or Casablanca II: Return to Rick’s Bar.

That wasn’t the title of the planned Casablanca sequel at all!

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Actually there have been TWO tv series based on CASABLANCA (one in the 50s, the other in the 70s), so it’s not like they haven’t gone back to THAT well.
As for STAR WARS remakes: I sincerly doubt they’ll happen, for the same reason EON productions isn’t remaking it’s own Bond films (CASINO ROYALE doesn’t count, as THEY didn’t make the earlier version). There’s just no point in doing a REMAKE when you can do a SEQUEL instead- while sequels can be just as uncreative as remakes, they basically accomplish the same goal of keeping the franchise going with a reduced chance of pissing off the fanbase.(As much as people complained about PHANTOM MENACE, can you imagine how Totally Bugfuck INSANE they would have gotten if it had been a straight-up remake of the original?)

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JCHandsom:
The Hamlet example isn’t the same. With Hamlet you at least know they won’t try to drastically change anything about the story. What you’re saying is more like rerelasing Star Wars in theaters, which I’m totally down for.

You’re kidding, right? Just look at the differences in production in the Hamlet movies that have come out in the last 25 years. Only one was uncut from the play, and so even in what scenes are cut you get possible major differences. That’s not counting the numerous ways theatrical groups change it, or the numbers of possible scripts that date from the time it was first produced. Some of the differences make a big difference in what things mean. Entire careers have been made discussing this topic. People do change things about that play all the time.

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Counterpoint: Disney has made sequels to their classic animated films, but never straight-up remade any of them, as far as I can recall. Considering that wouldn’t involve even half as many people who’d take after them with torches and Frankenstein rakes, they will probably do the smart thing and not do that.

If they do remake Star Wars, it will have to be after their new trilogy- and that trilogy will have to be a solid critical, financial and fan success; if they can pull that miracle off they’ll have pretty well earned the right to remake Star Wars, or anything else.

But you know, this makes me think: can you imagine the uproar they could generate by doing the “Back in the Disney Vaults for 10 years!” thing with Star Wars on home video? Say, with Blu-Ray releases of the un-screwed-around-with editions?

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kingderella said on December 1st, 2012 at 3:22 am

there are movies that lend themselves to remakes more than others. ‘star wars’ doesnt strike me as one of those, given how simple it is at heart.

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malakim2099 said on December 1st, 2012 at 11:00 am

Yeah, a remake of the original trilogy is a singularly bad idea. Star Wars (and Empire and ROTJ) aren’t tied to a specific ‘era’ like the remakes you’ve mentioned. And frankly, none of the movies you listed with remakes have the fan base of Star Wars as well. Even the Star Trek ‘remake’ by JJ Abrams used the ‘parallel universe’ excuse, so technically it isn’t remaking anything.

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@Devi

I completely forgot about the movie adaptations, so my bad there.

I think my real issue with the comparison is that when someone, i.e. a theatrical group or a movie studio, does something different with Hamlet it works (with some exceptions).

Not so with Hollywood, which has a terrible track record when it comes to remaking or changing classic franchises. I don’t really have a problem with remakes as a concept, I have problem with how terrible Hollywood is at it. I don’t see any reward in the inherent risk.

Now whether or not this is due to movies having to cover bigger costs, plays having been around for longer, or something else is up for discussion.

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I lifted the John Rogers quote for a blog post but give you credit: http://buzzdixon.com/media/john-rogers-showrunner-of-leverage-on-hollywood-executives/

re remaking the original trilogy: Not a bad idea & for the reasons you cite. I’d just say (a) don’t be needlessly faithful to the source material and (b) why not turn Eps. IV-V-VI-up-to-the-point-they-escape-the-sarlca-pit into one film?

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My only problem with a remake of Star Wars for 2012 is that there’s already material that frankly is Star Wars made for the year 2012. It’s a combination of the special editions, the prequels, various EU books, the Clone Wars animated series, and various video games.

(Also, I consider Phantom Menace to be a badly managed sort of remake of Return of the Jedi; certainly the second halves of both movies are very similar with the three way Jedi/land force with aliens/space battle.)

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Could be excellent, could be singularly awful. The only thing I could definitively say about potential Star Wars remakes is that I’d watch them and I can’t say that about the original trilogy any longer, having seen all three so many times I could quote them backwards. In Swahili. And I don’t even *speak* Swahili.

However, if they were given a different treatment, kind of like the WWII Richard III, or the 10 Things I Hate About You Taming of the Shrew, or the Clueless Emma I’d probably eat them up with a spoon.

As long as they didn’t suck like the Mission Impossible II Notorious did.

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@Buzz – In case you wanted to give credit to John Rogers as well …
http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/02/writing-adaptation-pt-2.html

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The continuity nut in me would actually like to see remakes — potentially of all six films — to tighten continuity and remove glaring plot holes.

And see more people of color in major roles (given all the Kurosawa influences, why aren’t the leads Asian?) and give the Wookie a medal to, goddammit!

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Whatever happens will happen, it doesn’t change the original films. If they make a remake and it’s good, cool! If they make a remake and it sucks, then whatever. It won’t make the original disappear.

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ScienceGiant said on December 2nd, 2012 at 11:40 am

I’m a little surprised no one has mentioned Star Trek until now. The parallels seem obvious – popular franchise suffersdiminished returns with sequels. Hollywood’s solution? Reboot franchise!

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Counterpoint – these movies:

‘Dawn of the Dead’, ‘Halloween’, ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘The Fog’, ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Fright Night’, ‘The Hills Have Eyes’, ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘Piranha’, ‘The Punisher’, ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘Red Dawn’, and we’re staring down the barrel of remakes of ‘The Evil Dead’ and ‘Robocop’.

…are all movies whose original version may or may not be particularly well done, but aren’t huge impacts on the psyche of the American public. We have yet to see a real remakes of “Wizard of Oz”, “Gone with the Wind”, “Citizen Kane”, or “Casablanca”. And the reason for that is because they were films with a huge impact on people. Much like the first “Star Wars” movie is. (I could see a remake of Return of the Jedi, which would rank among the movies you listed above in its impact, but there’s no point without the original “Star Wars” also being remade).

The only example of a high-impact movie getting remade is Gus van Sandt’s terrible idea of remaking “Psycho” – which was a shot by shot remake that was pointless.

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However, if they were given a different treatment, kind of like the WWII Richard III, or the 10 Things I Hate About You Taming of the Shrew, or the Clueless Emma I’d probably eat them up with a spoon.

Honestly, I’d rather see Richard III set in the Star Wars universe.

Or any sci-fi production of Richard III. I’m not picky about this.

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Brian Smith said on December 2nd, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I’m glad Thok mentioned the special editions, because the re-releases of “Star Wars” and “Return of the Jedi,” especially, are already remakes in a way. New scenes? New music? New characters? New dialogue? Basic story structure intact? Yep.

If we want to chuck “Basic story structure intact,” can I make a pitch here for Dark Horse’s “Star Wars: Infinities: A New Hope”? “The Death Star doesn’t blow up at the end” would make a pretty lousy “Star Wars” and a plodding “Empire Strikes Back,” but that series proved it would make a spectacular “Return of the Jedi.”

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John Seavey is in favour of more Star Wars? Quickly, alert the media!

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auf_weiderzen said on December 2nd, 2012 at 10:31 pm

No.

You pronounced that wrong. It’s lower, from the diaphragm, “NNNNnnnnooooooooo!!!!”

Otherwise, I need to concur with RAC, Disney doesn’t remake, they sequel. The only exception I can is Frankenweenie, but that only a short to begin with, not a feature-length film. As far as milking a dead horse goes (yes I meant that), Land Before Time is up to 13 sequels; I’m hard pressed to think anything outside of horror or porn that even goes that high.

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Bryan Rasmussen said on December 3rd, 2012 at 4:39 am

So who would play what roles.

I’m hoping Shia LaBeouf to play Han Solo for the lulz.

And just think about what I said for a second because you know that’s what its gonna be.

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Entity447B said on December 3rd, 2012 at 5:54 am

Dredd wasn’t a remake of Judge Dredd, though.

The older film was about Dredd’s conflict with another of.. wait, where are you going?

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I’m hard pressed to think anything outside of horror or porn that even goes that high.

The Air Bud franchise (which is actually Disney) has 13 movies as well, although there are apparently 3 different franchises in that line of movies (from what I can tell from the occasional commercial, dogs are the only thing Air Bud and Santa Paws 2 have in common.) All but the original were direct to TV.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on December 3rd, 2012 at 8:32 am

I’m hard pressed to think anything outside of horror or porn that even goes that high.

Daniel Craig is signed up for Bond 24 and 25.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on December 3rd, 2012 at 8:33 am

Dredd wasn’t a remake of Judge Dredd, though.

That’s right, it was a remake of The Raid: Redemption.

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1. Disney doesn’t need to remake their classic cartoons. They get the same results from re-releasing them (“Now with new digitial re-mastering!”), for each successive generation. Also, a big part of those films are the marriage of the performance of the voice actors to the singular art of the hand-drawn illustrations.

2. The Wizard of Oz has more re-releases, re-makes, and spin-offs that you might believe. http://oz.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Oz_Movies The same goes for most of the other movies listed in the “Is no film sacred?!” comments above.
3.Citizen Kane is one of the few that doesn’t have a really good example that I can think of (Citizen Jane doesn’t count). However, it’s also a movie that really didn’t translate well until around 1980 (a corporate magnate really didn’t make much sense as a supremely powerful figure who only wanted to recapture the innocence of his childhood until then). Frankly, I think it’s time to make a remake of the movie for the modern world (done well).
4. “Gone With the Wind” doesn’t really have a remake, but that’s because all the recent scholarship on the Civil War has pretty much eviscerated most of the central conceits of the film. Any remake of the film would almost certainly loose so much of the original movie that it would be nearly unrecognizable.

Basically, there’s no good reason to consider ANY film to be off-limits for someone to review, re-imagine, re-interpret and recreate. Films should be remade or reinterpreted as long as their stories are relevant and interesting to new audiences. Also, comparing the originals to the remakes provides a link to our common culture across generations. Watching, for example, 10 Things I Hate About You, and comparing it to the Taming of the Shrew (and maybe even Kiss Me Kate) shows the continuity and evolution of our culture across generations (and, potentially, ethnicities – I’m sure there’s a Bollywood version of the story to watch also). If it was good enough for Shakespeare, then it ought to be good enough for Hollywood.

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I am sure someday we will see a remake. But I think we have sometime before that happens because right now the focus is on creating new stuff out of Star Wars franchise.

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auf_weiderzen said on December 3rd, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Sisyphus

Basically, there’s no good reason to consider ANY film to be off-limits for someone to review, re-imagine, re-interpret and recreate

I’d go all the way, especially because of Star Wars’ particularly zealous fanbase.

The Bible has had several adaptations, re-imaginings, etc. what with “The Picture Bible,” “The Action Bible,” and various movie adaptations.

I *nothing* really is sacred….

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Walter Kovacs said on December 4th, 2012 at 2:08 am

Actually, I agree with a remake, but on the condition they release the original (i.e. not special edition) versions on BluRay. If you want to remake it, just remake it, don’t go back and keep picking at it.

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