If in the next year or two you get a strange sense of deja vu when looking at what Warner Brothers Studio is putting into production, don’t be surprised. According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter today, the studio is looking at several of its properties with an eye towards remaking them. Among the films be considered for possible do-overs include the original Lethal Weapon, Sam Peckinpah’s classic western The Wild Bunch, the 1970s Michael Crichton-written and directed science-fiction thriller WestWorld, the comedy Oh God and Tarzan.
It seems as if these long in development projects are getting a possible new lease on life following the departure of longtime studio executive Jessica Goodman. All of these potential remakes were being developed under her aegis, and now that she is gone the studio has divvied them up among other executives to see if there is still life in them. While nothing is firm for any of these titles, and the presumed other projects that went unnamed in the Hollywood Reporter story, agents are already starting to set up meetings to pitch their various clients for them.
It’s well known that studio bean counters like the idea of remaking old, well-known films as part of their marketing job is already done for them. They don’t have to spend money getting an audience familiar with what the film is about. Sometimes that works in their favor, as with the recent remake of The Karate Kid, which pulled almost nine times it’s reported $40 million production budget at the box office. Other times, fans may stay away, as it appears they might have in the case of The A-Team, given its poor box office gross.
Personally, I really don’t want to see any of these films remade as they are perfectly fine as they are. And I think it’s worth pointing out that with the exception of Tarzan, all of these films were original projects created for the movies. It would be nice to see Warners putting this sort of energy and effort into something original.