I found out today that the guys who worked on Deadpool want to remake the 1980s classic Clue, only starring Ryan Reynolds. Now, I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased. I LOVE Clue. It features one of the greatest ensemble casts of the era: Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Leslie Ann Warren, and Christopher Lloyd. Those are HUGE 80s stars. Another thing I’ll admit to is that, in the grand scheme of the Hollywood machine, Clue is not a “good” movie, in the way that critics define “good”. But in my totally subjective opinion, it’s subtle and hilarious in ways that may be lost on certain audiences. Some people might even find it boring. And that’s fine.
And I’m not dissing Ryan Reynolds, I’m really not. I’ve liked him since Van Wilder. He’s kinda cute in the boy next door way, and he’s funny. I just don’t wanna see him in a remake of a movie that I adore. I don’t wanna see a remake of Clue at all, no matter who stars in it. It won’t have the same charm, the same appeal, that the 80s version did.
Here’s what I do want: I want Hollywood to get over it already. I want them take a chance on something new and brilliant, rather than taking movies that were new and brilliant 20-60 years ago and updating them when there’s absolutely no need. I want them to leave the classics alone and make NEW classics.
I don’t mind sequels, if they’re well made. But doing a sequel to capitalize on a trend is bullshit. There are other ways to make money. Like Pirates of the Caribbean. I won’t lie and say I didn’t like the sequels, because I did. But they could’ve done the one movie, the first one, and left it at that, and it would’ve been just as amazing. Or Star Wars. Fans were happy with just the original trilogy. Or one of a zillion other franchises that have gone on for years.
Since Disney got on their live-action remake kick, the only one I’ve seen is The Jungle Book, and that was more for the visuals than the actual story. So I can’t comment on the quality of the remakes. But exploiting a built-in audience (aka fans of the originals) feels not only like cheating, but also like a major jyp. It’s like robbing people of a chance to see something they’ve never seen before. Instead of giving new voices a chance to rise and show the world what they’ve got, they’re giving audiences the same cud to chew.
I hate the idea of rehashing the same thing over and over and basically having nine hundred versions of the same movie as our only source of entertainment. It kills me that Hollywood is supposed to be this phenomenal place where all the best movies are coming from, and indie cinema and foreign cinema are doing all the brilliant things. With not even a tenth of the big Hollywood budgets. Some films born on Kickstarter, some shot by students of the art and distributed on YouTube with nothing more than a cell phone and the hope of a mention on somebody’s Facebook page.
The ideas, the storytellers, are out there, and it’s time to stop ignoring them. It’s time to expand beyond the regurgitated garbage Hollywood puts out every day and do something amazing with cinema again.
When the art of filmmaking was brand spanking new, there was spectacle. There was fantasy. There was brilliance and beauty and a reason to shell out your hard earned cash. Look at the old Georges Méliès films. I’m not saying we can’t do “better” in terms of sets and props and special effects, but better is an extremely subjective word, and they used what they had to create. To breathe life into a story.
And sure, they wanted to get paid for their stories, and that’s super, but it wasn’t all about money and having the biggest stars and stunning effects. It was art. It was entertainment. It was magic. And that’s what we need today.
And that’s my humble opinion.