Warner Bros. has announced a list of films, all of a certain name value, they intend to reboot/remake/re-imagine/re[insert-word-of-choice-here], The list, per Heat Vision, includes Lethal Weapon, Westworld, Oh God, The Dirty Dozen, Tarzan and The Wild Bunch.
The most likely to be green-lit is the Lethal Weapon reboot. Mel Gibson’s troubles have probably grounded whatever chance there was for a Lethal Weapon 5, so Warner Bros. instead seems committed to relaunching the franchise with a new cast and director. Deadline reports Will Beall has been brought in to write the new Lethal Weapon flick. Beall is most widely known as the author of the acclaimed novel L.A. Rex. He most recently scripted the upcoming period crime film Gangster Squad with Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) on board to direct. Hit the jump for my thoughts on the matter.
Inevitable mock outrage is bound to ensue about the tarnishing of such classics — the lack of creativity in the Hollywood System. (Ten bucks says Len Wiseman attaches himself to one of these remakes.) But in all honesty it’s hard to get all worked up about any of these. Lethal Weapon has ostensibly been remade hundreds of times — every single buddy cop comedy is essentially a riff on the Shane Black/Richard Donner classic. They’ve been threatening to remake Westworld since, well, forever. Oh, God… meh. They already remade The Dirty Dozen in the past year and called it The Expendables.
Of the list the most egregious would probably be a remake of The Wild Bunch. Not just because it is in my humble opinion as close to perfect as a film can be; but because it is super violent, deeply nihilistic and to be frank, downright misogynistic. It is the quintessential Sam Peckinapah film and any attempt to remake it would of-course have to water the course grime of Peckinpah out of it (I say this lovingly, mind you). But even here if such a remake were to ever take place, I couldn’t help but just sort of smile and pat it on the head — the remake that is — much in the same way I view Rob Lurie’s oft delayed Straw Dogs remake.