We have news on yet more remakes of 80s cult classics. First up, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Summit Entertainment has acquired the rights to remake "Highlander" with a script from "Iron Man" writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. The article points out that "Highlander" is a franchise recognized worldwide, having spawned 4 sequels and three (three? really?) television series. "There can be only one" my ass!
Next up, Variety reports that Sony has won a bidding war over the rights to "Flash Gordon," which will be directed by "Sahara" helmer, Breck Eisner. The article does not mention whether the film will remain faithful to the 1980s classic, but one can only hope it recreates the classic football fight. What is clear is that the soundtracks of both films will be significantly less awesome than the originals.
I'm not going to go on a rant here about how they dare not remake such classics, or whatever. I actually think both stories are solid, but dated and prime for retelling. I just don't how how these remakes could possibly overcome certain aspects of the originals that make them both ridiculous and beloved. Is anyone ever going to think "Flash Gordon" without thinking of the Queen theme? Isn't a huge part of what makes "Highlander" so great the fact that Sean Connery is playing an Egyptian with a Spanish name an a Scottish accent opposite a French guy playing a Scotsman with a French accent? And how exactly is any actor who takes on the role of the Kurgan going to be so good that the audience forgets he is playing a role originated by Clancy Brown?
I guess what I'm saying is that if they are going to make these movies, they don't really have the luxury of just being entertaining to be good enough, they have to be truly great movies in their own right, and they certainly won't be able to just coast on nostalgia. They're going to have to actively avoid nostalgia in order to be any kind of success at all. It's possible. "Flash Gordon" was serious sci fi long before it was a camp classic, and I would actually really love to see it restored to that. I kind of love the old cartoons. I just don't trust that anyone is going to be able to pull it off, especially after Sci Fi Channel television series just crashed and burned.
On the plus side, that "Ladyhawke" remake should happen any day now. I'm telling you, get Viggo and we're golden.