I was going through my file of links and post ideas, and I realized that there were several movie and TV series that are in the process of being remade or rebooted. Some of them have been remade/rebooted before, but I guess somebody with influence decided there was money to be made from another try. It might be nice, I thought, to bring them together in a post and say a few words about each. I was going to do all six in one post, but other responsibilities ate up a bit more time than usual this week, so I’m splitting them into two posts. So, in no particular order…
Logan’s Run: I may be dating myself here, but I remember watching the original Logan’s Run movie (1976), starring Michael York, and the short-lived TV series (1977), starring Gregory Harrison, that followed. I don’t remember too many details, though something about the original seemed sort of bizarre, even scary, to my young mind. The main thing I remember about the series was the pot-bellied android played by Donald Moffat. They were adapted from the first book (1967) in a trilogy by William F. Nolan, which I never got around to reading, so I’m not sure how closely the screen adaptations kept to the source material, other than that the age for going to “Carousel” was changed from 21 to 30. (If you’re unfamiliar with that term, follow either link for a brief explanation.)
Well, it seems that Warner Brothers has been trying to get a film remake started since before 2000. Various writers, directors, producers, and stars (e.g., Ryan Gosling) have been attached at different times. Last year, a report claimed that they had decided to “completely retool the script to make it work better for a modern audience,” including changing the lead from male to female. This would ostensibly be to capitalize on the popularity of heroes like Katniss of the Hunger Games and Tris from the Divergent series. Frankly, I hate this idea, and I think it disrespects both the source material and potential new audiences.
The most recent news was that Ryan J. Condal, co-creator of “Colony”, has signed on as screenwriter. I haven’t watched “Colony”, yet, so I can’t comment on whether I think Condal is a good choice or not. I think the dystopia-with-a-utopian-veneer in Logan’s Run could definitely work, as it has for the two franchises mentioned above, though I’m not sure if the young-adult audience is the right target. Still, I hope they get the right team together to make it. I also sincerely hope that they go back to having a male lead. In fact, how perfect would it be to cast Logan Lerman?
Lost in Space: Everyone has heard of, it not watched, the popular “Lost in Space” TV show from the 1960s. The Robot (“Warning, warning! Danger, Will Robinson!”) and the villainous & irascible Dr. Smith (“Ooohhh, the pain!) are sci-fi icons. Then, of course, there was the disappointing Lost in Space movie (1998), starring Gary Oldman (as Smith) and several other notable actors and familiar faces. Even cameos by original castmembers didn’t help, and it seemed that fans’ hopes of a lasting reboot had been, er,… lost.
But, a couple months ago, Netflix announced that they had ordered a 10-episode first season of a new “Lost in Space” series. Produced by rights-holder Legendary TV, it is set to debut in 2018. Those involved have been associated in the past with things like Dracula Untold, “Prison Break”, and “Game of Thrones”. As it turns out, executive producer Kevin Burns had been working with Sheila Allen, widow of original series creator Irwin Allen, to develop a remake from 2000 until her death in 2013.
“The current creative team’s reimagining of the series for Netflix is sure to appeal to both fans who fondly remember the original and to create a new generation of enthusiasts around the world.” — Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original content
I hope so. I was never a huge fan of the original show, but I can see the appeal and the potential for another Netflix hit.
The Saint: I wonder how many of my readers remember the original “The Saint” series (1962-69), starring a pre-Bond Roger Moore? Based on novels by Leslie Charteris, it followed the exploits of a notorious, yet suave and charming thief, Simon Templar, who doubled as a British spy. He was a sort of Robin Hood, stealing from rich criminals, while foiling their plans and often getting them tossed in prison. (Not sure how much “giving to the poor” he did, though.) The underappreciated Ian Ogilvy starred in a reboot (“Return of the Saint”) in the late-70s that only lasted one season. Val Kilmer starred in a 1997 “The Saint” film, which was another disappointment. (I didn’t think it was too bad.) A TV movie was shot a couple years ago, starring Adam Rayner as Templar and with Moore & Ogilvy in supporting roles, but it has yet to be aired. (IMDB has it set for sometime this year (2016).) Some are already calling it a “failed pilot”.
Meanwhile, it was announced back in June that Paramount Pictures has secured the rights to the property and has a project underway. The studio is hoping to give Sony, which produces the James Bond films, some competition with a spy film franchise of their own. I say, “More power to ’em!” I think I watched more of the Ogilvy show than the Moore show, but I enjoyed them both. It can get somewhat Bond-ian, but as long as there are enough differences in tone and character to set it apart, I think it could do quite well on the big screen (again). There’s always room for another good spy. Speaking of which…
To be continued…
CORRECTION: Apparently, I misread the report re “The Saint”, as Ian points out in the comment below. That last paragraph should say, “… Paramount Pictures is in talks to secure the rights to the property. The studio is hoping …”.