I don’t waste my time decrying remakes – aka reboots, re-imaginings or whatever they like to call them these days. I see it as a big waste of time. Remakes make money – end of story. Original concepts are a financial gamble and so, until audiences stop craving the unoriginal, remakes are something that film fans are just gonna have to abide.
But what if the remake in question was never a blockbuster to begin with? What if a studio was planning to remake a cult classic? A film from a young director who grew up to become a respected auteur? Does it make sense to start re-imagining a film like that?
Universal says “Hell Yes!” According to Variety the studio is planning to remake the David Cronenberg classic “Videdrome”. The 1983 sci-fi/horror flick was Cronenberg’s follow-up to “Scanners” and starred the always weird James Woods and Blondie’s Debbie Harry. The plot, about a sleazy TV producer who decides to take a chance on a new programming format: live torture, was crazy-scary for its time. This is Cronenberg we’re talking about.
Universal distributed the original back in 1983 and sparked to the idea of a remake – anything to keep from greenlighting something new. David Cronenberg will have no role in the “Videodrome” redux (he’s too busy trying to do an “Eastern Promises” sequel) but, to their credit, the producers have hired on a writer that is conversant with the Cronenberg milieu (he can do weird and creepy, in other words) and his name is Ehren Kruger.
If you don’t know Kruger from a little script he wrote for Michael Bay – “Revenge of the Fallen” or something like that – then you may recall him from his “Videodrome”-esque hit “The Ring”. I’m not down with messing with anything that David Cronenberg has created but at least they decided not to go with that Justin Marks guy.
The producers claim that the re-booted “Videdrome” will “modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.” OK, so that sounds kind of cool on paper but here’s my advice: check out the original “Videodrome” before those nano-computers have a chance to convince you that “Naked Lunch” would make a great vehicle for Zac Efron…