In some remake news, Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has tapped Albert Hughes to direct a reboot of The Fugitive. He and brother Allen Hughes have made some good stuff over the years—Menace II Society, the little seen Dead Presidents, and the stylishly cool The Book of Eli. The pair began directing separately after the latter’s success. Recently, Albert helmed 2018’s Alpha. He’s also got a series on the way called The Good Lord Bird, about abolitionist John Brown, and North Hollywood, a crime thriller about the infamous 1997 bank heist.
The 1993 film, directed by Andrew Davis and starring Harrison Ford as the accused with Tommy Lee Jones (in an Oscar-winning role) as the U.S. Marshal on the hunt, was great when it came out, and remains great to this day. Granted, it too was a re-imagining of the 1960s TV series, which ran for four seasons. But this isn’t even the third time the material has been updated. In fact, it’s the fourth.
Back in 2000, CBS attempted a rebooted series starring Tim Daly as Dr. Richard Kimble and Mykelti Williamson as Lt. Philip Gerard. It only lasted a season.
Then, just two months ago, Quibi—the short-form video platform—announced a new series, also called The Fugitive, which will star Kiefer Sutherland as a detective attempting to catch Boyd Holbrook, whose character is wrongfully accused of blowing up a Los Angeles subway train. That iteration seems to be taking aim at hasty (and faulty) social media journalism.
Now, the announcement of this fifth take comes. And if this one does well, don’t be surprised if Warner Bros. has a new franchise on its hands. Rarely does a remake turn out better than an original. Two recent (sort of) exceptions were the westerns, 3:10 to Yuma and True Grit. Those originals had great stories with mediocre executions. How to improve upon them seemed clear when left to the capable minds of James Mangold and the Coen Brothers, respectively. The Fugitive is another animal. The ’93 version boasts a tight story with near flawless execution.
The script will be written by Brian Tucker, who penned Allen Hughes’ 2013 crime thriller, Broken City. That film starred Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. Erik Feig (The Spy Who Dumped Me) will produce.