The new movie business is already tough for producers. This is why producers look to hits from years past to make a buck. The problem is that trying to remake movies can make a difficult job even more difficult. This year has proven that. The Jungle Book was a fantastic hit for Disney that did a great job adapting the popular animated film. However, Ghostbusters was a massive flop that hurt the property a lot. It can be tricky as you want to give credit to the original but still try to be something fresh. Doing something like remaking Psycho shot-for-shot in 1998 was just a total waste and too many movies just use the name rather than doing justice to the original movie. It can work out at times but the list of failed remakes is much longer than the successful ones.
That said, Hollywood is still trying. Coming soon is The Magnificent Seven, a new version of the 1960 movie (itself a remake of The Seven Samurai). And despite the failure of Ghostbusters, Hollywood is still trying for remakes with a female-centric cast. There are plenty in the works, many of which are remakes of cult movies that fall under the radar. But others remake truly admired works, making their chances of success more challenging. Some fall apart (such as the attempts to remake the cult 1987 The Monster Squad) yet Hollywood has proven they’re still trying to improve. Here are 15 upcoming movie remakes you may not have known are in the works and how Hollywood loves to recycle itself.
15. The Blob
A classic of 1950s sci-fi movies, a young Steve McQueen played a teenager helping his small town fight an alien creature that ate anything in its path, growing as it did. For the cheesy 1950s, the effects of the Blob itself were pretty good and helped the movie be a hit. In 1988, it was remade on a bigger budget and many feel it’s actually better selling the terror of this unstoppable force just smothering and digesting people. For years, Rob Zombie has talked of a new version, wanting to really push the horror aspects and even the idea of the creature breaking into multiple Blobs to attack the country. It’s now underway with Simon West directing and Samuel L. Jackson attached as a scientist trying to figure the creature’s origins out. Naturally, CGI will be used to push an even more monstrous Blob and show how the creature can be a star in any decade.
14. Jacob’s Ladder
This 1990 movie was one of the first notable roles of Tim Robbins. He played a Vietnam veteran experiencing bizarre hallucinations which led him to a wild journey into his own psyche. The film was hailed for its imaginative style and its gripping view of the psychology of war and the journey between life and death. The movie has attained a cult following since while some are put off by its very dark tone. While it has not received as much press as other movies on this list, production is about to wrap on a new version. Starring Michael Ealy and Nicole Beharie, this new take will reflect the recent wars the U.S. has gotten into and offer a more “heartfelt” tale of brothers trying to heal. Due to be released early next year, this more action oriented take might show even darker sides than the original version did.
13. Murder on the Orient Express
Many consider this Agatha Christie’s masterpiece and one of the finest murder mysteries of all time. It’s a classic story as her Belgian detective Hercules Poirot is riding the famous train when a passenger is found murdered. It turns out that pretty much everyone else on the train had a motive to kill the loathsome man and Poirot must figure out the truth before the train reaches its destination. It has been filmed before, most notably the all-star 1974 version with Albert Finney as Poirot and Ingrid Bergman in an Oscar-winning role. Production is underway for Kenneth Brangh’s new version which he will direct and also play Poirot. Sadly, Angelina Jolie passed on a role, but Charlize Theron is now being approached. The film is set to open in November of 2017 and if the cast is packed right, can do justice to the famed tale.
12. Ocean’s Eight
This has gotten a bit of press but still pretty notable. Ocean’s 11 was a light-hearted 1960 movie starring the “Rat Pack” of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. as buddies using a gang to rob a Las Vegas casino. In 2001, Stephen Soderbergh turned it into a cool and stylish hit with George Clooney and Brad Pitt that spawned two sequels. Now, a new version is coming which cuts down on the number but notable for being an all-female cast. It still has the same plot of a gang robbing a casino but promises a unique spin with their tactics. What’s making it stand out is the top-notch cast: Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Rihanna. Set to open next year, this should prove that no matter the number or the gender, this is an “ocean” moviegoers love to dip into.
In 1984, Disney created Touchstone Pictures to handle more “adult” movies than the studio’s usual fare. They hit it out of the park with their first effort starring a young Tom Hanks as a man who falls for a mysterious woman (Daryl Hannah) who’s a mermaid. A box office smash, the movie had a TV sequel with a different cast and would be a popular one on cable. It wasn’t exactly high on the lists of “movies begging to be remade” but it’s going to happen. Brian Grazer announced he would be producing a new version and it was soon confirmed Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell would star. However, the twist is that Tatum is the merman who falls for human Bell. While there are doubters, the idea of a nearly nude and soaking wet Tatum should bring in a lot of female fans and maybe put a fun spin on a literal “fish out of water” story.
Stephen King has spent decades scaring the living crap out of his readers but this may be his most terrifying work. A group of childhood friends return to their small town to realize the “boogeyman” of their youth is still out there. It’s really a creature who feeds on their souls by becoming what they fear the most. It has various forms but the biggest is a horrifying clown called Pennywise. In 1986, ABC made it into a mini-series notable for Tim Curry’s fantastic performance as Pennywise that terrified viewers. There has been talk of a big-screen version for a while with New Line announcing their plans to make it into a two-part movie to do justice to the thick tome. Directed and written by Andres Muschietti, the film will star Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise and the first images of him in character look freaky as hell. Set to hit theaters on September 8, 2017, the film worries some over dragging the story over two films. However, if it’s half as scary as the original was, it can be one hell of a dark ride.
9. The Crow
Based on the cult comic book, the 1994 movie has sadly become better known for the tragedy around it. Brandon Lee was meant to be shot to stardom for his role as a murdered singer who returns as an undead avenger. However, mid-way through filming, Lee was killed in a horrible on-set accident. The film was finished with the footage and a body double with CGI to become a critically acclaimed success. The loss of Lee hung a shadow over it as various sequels and even a TV show that failed to live up to that success. Despite all that, Relativity Media has been trying since 2010 to get a new version off the ground. It’s run into numerous delays and cancellations due to the company having financial issues and rewrites of the script. However, production is finally underway with Corin Hardy directing. Bigger is that Jason Momoa has confirmed he’ll be playing the title role which raises its level of excitement. While there’s been talk of a “cruse” around the property, this new version should allow the Crow to fly high once more.
8. The Toxic Avenger
The epitome of a cult classic, this 1984 movie put Troma Entertainment on the map as the kind of company that will disrupt traditionally filmmaking. A wild send-up of both super-hero movies and horror flicks, it centered on a nerd transformed into a monstrous hero by a tip in toxic waste. The combination of gross-out humor and campy action made it a success at midnight showings to spawn several sequels and push Troma’s success to the next level. After years as a cult fave, the movie is getting new life. Conrad Vernon director and producer of the massive hit Sausage Party, one of the summer’s biggest hits, is bringing this tale back to life. Plus, original creators Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Hertz will be producing to maintain the same level of wild humor and nutty action. This could kick-start Troma for a new generation and show Toxie still has some life to him.
7. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The 1988 hit was a fantastic dark comedy thanks to the immense talent of its two shining stars. Michael Caine‘s character, a suave con artist, found himself competing with Steve Martin‘s character, an uncouth scammer, in a contest to see who can take on an heiress to a major fortune. Its success even inspired a Broadway musical. While talk every now and again of a sequel, neither Caine or Martin were all that interested in reprising their fantastic roles. Instead, it is taking the “female-centric” version with Rebel Wilson in the Martin role of the rough con artist who has a partnership-slash-rivalry with another female swindler to con a tech prodigy. No word yet on who plays the female version of Caine’s sauve con artist character, (Cate Blanchett rumored) but Wilson (who also is attached to a remake of Private Benjamin) looks ready to put the con on well with this film.
6. Charlie’s Angels
One of the few good TV show to movie adaptations, 2000’s version of the series was a huge hit thanks to the casting of Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. However, the 2003 sequel was a letdown that soured any plans in Hollywood for more from this franchise. A failed attempt at a new TV version in 2011 lasted only weeks and thus the property appeared dead. However, Elizabeth Banks is now set to direct a new version, which naturally has folks excited. Given her success with Pitch Perfect and other roles, Banks is a great choice to adapt the campy, but loveable, tale of three gorgeous cops turned private eyes and bring a modern sensibility to things. It’s still in pre-production but Quantico star Priyanka Chopra has already been open about wanting a part and others are with her. Looks like the Angels are going to take off again.
5. The Little Mermaid
This was probably inevitable. Disney has seen huge success adapting many of their beloved animated movies for live action. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast is coming next year. So it makes sense to tackle a live-action version of the 1989 hit that kick-started their “Second Golden Age of Animation.” Expect the classic story of mermaid Ariel becoming human to win the prince while fighting the evil Ursula. What’s notable is that while previous “animated to live action” versions skipped the songs, this one will have Alan Menken once more providing the score and music. He’ll be joined by Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda to bring about some brand-new songs alongside classics like “Under the Sea.” No word yet on casting although many are pressing for Meryl Streep as Ursula. Disney should be careful as another mermaid movie is coming in 2017, this one based more on the darker fairy tale. Which means families will soon enjoy a couple of unique trips for underwater fantasy.
The original 1932 gangster movie was okay but it’s the 1983 version that’s more famous. Brian DePalma brought a brutal look at the life of a gang leader while Al Pacino had one of his most famous roles as the insane Tony Montana (“Say hello to my little friend!”) While its release in 1983 was so-so, it’s become a major cultural hit ever since, complete with a video game. Pacino played a role so iconic that trying to remake it seems insane. But there have been attempts by Universal over the years with a “son of Tony” idea in 2001. That idea faltered, but Universal has gotten more on track with an idea that changes the character from Cuban to a Mexican immigrant rising high. It seems be getting more of a push with Antoine Fuqua in talks to direct and thus fans can expect another bloody crime epic to come.
This 1985 adaptation of the classic board game wasn’t a success, despite the gimmick of three crazy alternate endings. They were all included on the home video release which is where the film finally found a beloved audience. It’s been regarded in high terms for its stars (Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn and others), its whip-smart dialogue and its hilarious takes on a murder mystery. To remake it seems daunting, but Fox is out to try. This new version will spread it out from the classic mansion to a globe-trotting mystery that still uses various twists and the color-coded character names. While many worry about undoing such a cult classic, this could be a bigger success at the box office than the original. That’s as long as the filmmakers have a good “clue” as to what the fans want.
2. Big Trouble in Little China
30 years after it was a box office flop, John Carpenter’s wild action romp is more popular than ever. It’s even seen the release of special anniversary books as fans adore Kurt Russell as Jack Burton, the truck driver dragged into a clash with ancient Chinese gods and kung-fu antics. Many fans have wanted a sequel to more of these misadventures, but it just hasn’t happened. However, 20th Century Fox seems intent on a remake with Dwayne Johnson in the Burton role. There’s been delays but Johnson insists it’s still a priority and wants to do justice to the part. Some are a bit worried about Johnson as the hero. After all, they aspect of the original is that Burton is actually the goofy sidekick who thinks he’s the hero. Some fans worry that the remake might lose that but with Johnson’s skill at action and comedy, this could work to honor the original with a new spin.
1. The Jungle Book
No, this is not a misprint. Despite how Disney just saw massive success with their recent adaptation of this classic, Warner Brothers is going ahead with their own version. Whereas the Disney one was based on their animated film, this new one is said to be closer to the original work by Rudyard Kipling. It actually had the working title of “Origins,” indicating it shows events leading to Mowgli’s entry in the forest with Matthew Rhys and Fredia Pinto as his parents. Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut as well as doing motion capture to play Baloo. Likewise, the rest of his cast does the same with Christian Bale as Bagheera, Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan and Cate Blanchett as Kaa. While impressive, the fact Disney got there first has naturally raised concerns about how well this can do and many think Warner Brothers is going to have to do a hell of a job to equal that first book.