By John H. Foote
With Steven Spielberg’s remake of the Academy Award winning musical West Side Story, several other major remakes have been put into pre-production. Bear in mind the long-awaited remake of Dune, directed by the gifted Denis Villeneuve, delayed in 2020 arrives this fall. Cannot wait for both.
The King and I, which won Yul Brynner an Oscar for Best Actor in 1956, is in talks for a lavish remake. No casting decisions yet but lots to speculate.
The silliest idea I have heard for a remake, and beyond inane, is from New Line, remaking The Wizard of Oz (1939). Dumb move, the film is utter perfection and timeless. Perhaps they will make a film about further adventures in Oz, because a straight remake of this classic is just foolish.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is another I cannot see working but it looks as though the famous Audrey Hepburn film, directed by Blade Edwards, might get a new version.
The only disaster film nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture, The Towering Inferno, sounds like it is coming back to the big screen with a brand spanking new version.
The lamest idea I have heard is a remake of the five time Academy Award winning Terms of Endearment, this time with an all-black cast directed by Lee Daniels. Oprah Winfrey is said to have the role that won the great Shirley MacLaine an Oscar, no word on anyone else. After destroying Beloved (1998) with a performance best called “amateur”, I had hopes Oprah might suck in her ego and never act again. Nope, could not be so lucky. This is a stupid idea … beyond dumb.
Rumours are floating of a big budget remake of The Ten Commandments (1956) , though I would think the terrible Exodus – Gods and Kings (2014) might have scared them off.
Clint Eastwood, 90, has been in talks to direct a remake of Moby Dick (1956) that would no doubt be visual effects heavy. Would he portray Captain Ahab? Either way, I am aboard.
Finally, there are talks of a remake of the superb Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Meryl Streep attached. Jesus, can you imagine her as Martha? Cross your fingers, until a director is attached, keep them crossed.
I do not consider the superhero reboots remakes, at all.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.