Michael Bay’s production company Platinum Dunes, already working on remakes of Friday The 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street and The Birds, have added another horror classic to their list of cinematic retreads- Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.
Shock Till You Drop is reporting that Platinum Dunes is in negotiations with Paramount Studios to redo the story of a young Manhattan couple (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes in the original) who begin to suspect that their pregnancy might have some distinctly sinister overtones. The original 1968 film, directed by Polanski, was based on Ira Levin’s bestselling 1967 novel. According to the report, Platinum Dunes producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are looking for a screenwriter to handle the scripting chores.
It has been said that Hollywood wouldn’t know an original idea if it bit them on the ass, and I’m guessing that the folks over at Platinum Dunes have a lot of teeth marks on their rumps. I can understand the desire for studios to want to remake a foreign language film, though no matter how successful at the box office certain entries in the recent cycle of J-horror remakes are, their original incarnations have always struck me as the better films. But what is the desire that drives Hollywood to want to cannibalize itself in this way? Is it the allure of a classic film already having a certain name recognition factor with the audience? Is it hubris that makes them think they can do a better job than someone like Polanski or Hitchcock can? Do the studios just have contempt for audience thinking that they aren’t interested in older films? How about remaking some crappy horror films, if you think you could do better. Where are the remakes of Swamp Thing or even Manos: The Hands Of Fate?
So many studio brass seem to have come from a business background, rather than a production background which seems to have had the unfortunate side-effect of them viewing movies simply as product, with decisions made simply based on already proven factors of profitability and an aversion to risk taking. I doubt that those absconded in their back lot ivory towers know that their predecessors, the Warners, Thalbergs, Meyers and Laemmles, all were risk takers and it was those risks that built the industry from the ground up.