Last week, we reported on Warner Brother’s in development Forbidden Planet project as a remake of the classic 1956 movie which starred Leslie Nielson and Anne Francis. However, that might not exactly be the case.
AintItCool has a report today from an unnamed source who states that the project is not so much a remake of the classic film, but more of a “complementary piece” or a continuation. AintItCool’s source also reports that the film’s production design will have the same retro look that the first film sported, including the iconic appearance of Robby the Robot.
When they say “continuation,” I am guessing that this is some form of marketing jargon to avoid announcing that you are making a sequel to a half-century old film. To my recollection, there have only been two attempts at creating a sequel to a film that was decades old. The Color Of Money (1986) didn’t really rely on the audience having seen 1961‘s The Hustler while 1998‘s The Odd Couple II had the advantage of a popular television version keeping the film’s basic premise in the public’s eye. However, outside of the film fans, I don’t think that Forbidden Planet looms large in the average ticket buyer’s consciousness, so hopefully this film will stand on its own in terms of story.
But honestly, I wonder if there is enough material there for a continuation of the original’s story. At its heart, Forbidden Planet is a morality tale, a story with a lesson about the dangers of pride and the ever-presence of our baser natures. Doesn’t the idea of a sequel to a morality play kind of defeat the point of the first story? As we have noted before, the project’s screenwriter, J. Michael Straczynski, is an avowed fan of the original film so I trust that he has a take on the material that will impress.