Nowadays, it seems like Hollywood is brimming with remakes and reboots, so much so that moviegoers have come to loathe the term upon hearing it — but they’re not always a bad thing. In fact, some of the greatest movies out there have been remakes, such as Ocean’s Eleven and The Thing (which we think might be the greatest remake of all time).
However, the majority of remakes and reboots in recent years have been all-around disappointing, or have generated enough negative sentiment surrounding their release that they fail to succeed at the box office. That hasn’t stopped us from hoping that a select few movies eventually receive remakes that could possibly be better than the originals. Sometimes, it’s not so difficult to outdo the originals, of course.
Here are 15 Classic – And Not So Classic – Movies That Need To Be Remade ASAP.
15. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
There were high hopes leading up to the release of Stephen Norrington’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 — based on the famed comic book series of the same name by renowned writer Alan Moore — but thanks to unfavorable reviews and a general lack of attention (opening opposite Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), the movie fell into an inescapable abyss. It is, tragically, one of the last on-screen appearance of legendary actor Sean Connery, who played the movie’s principal hero, Allan Quartermain.
Over the years, 20th Century Fox has attempted to adapt the comic book into a TV series, with Michael Green executive producing, but plans ended up falling through. Then there were reports last year of Fox developing a movie reboot, but there hasn’t been any word on the project since then. The fact is, the comic book movie landscape has changed exponentially in Hollywood since the film’s release, and it’s about time we saw a remake of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen on the big screen, one with an experienced director and equally stellar cast.
In 2006, 20th Century Fox released Stefen Fangmeier’s Eragon — based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Paolini — starring Edward Speleers as the eponymous Eragon, as well as a slew of notable actors such as Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, John Malkovich, and Djimon Hounsou. Unfortunately, the movie was critically panned, for it exhibited nothing out of the ordinary heroic fantasy tale. Worst of all, fans of Paolini’s novel weren’t enamored by the adaptation.
Despite being a modest box office success, Eragon had the potential to be much more. However, with fantasy-adventure movies, such as Warcraft, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Alice Through The Looking Glass doing less-than-stellar at the box office, there is an argument to be made that the excitement and wonder surrounding the genre has dissipated. Nevertheless, we believe there is potential for a proper adaptation of the novel, with the possibility for box office glory.
13. The Last Starfighter
Following the overwhelming success of Star Wars in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Hollywood began to splurge on high-concept fantasy, sci-fi, and space opera films — such as Nick Castle’s The Last Starfighter in 1984 — over the course of the next decade. Although the movie did modestly well at the box office, it wasn’t an outstanding hit; however, it did earn cult status in the years since its release — that is why GPA Entertainment has been attempting to break ground on a remake since 2008, with filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Seth Rogen, and Gary Whitta having all expressed interest in the project.
Barring development hindrances, there is much interest in a potential remake of The Last Starfighter. After all, the movie, along with TRON, is largely remembered for being one of the first movies to incorporate computer-generated imagery — but that was in the ’80s. And we all saw how amazing the world of TRON looked with upgraded CGI when Joseph Kosinski’s TRON: Legacy released in 2010. Just imagine with The Last Starfighter would look like now — with even better technology — if the same people worked on a potential remake.
12. Avatar: The Last Airbender
M. Knight Shyamalan began his career with several major hits, such as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, but things took a turn for the worse with releases like The Happening, After Earth, and, of course, Avatar: The Last Airbender — based on the Nickelodeon acclaimed animated series of the same name.
Despite being a commercial success — grossing $320 million worldwide on an estimated $150 million production budget — The Last Airbender was universally panned, by critics and fans alike. Even the series’ creator chooses to ignore the mere existence of the movie. Notwithstanding relatively stunning visuals, Shyamalan’s attempt at adapting the famed TV series was a profound failure, shuttering hopes of completing the planned trilogy.
However, last year, Shyamalan expressed interest in making a sequel after he completes his next film Split, which releases this coming January. Still, we think it would be best if Paramount remakes the movie with a new director, new cast, and new story. Perhaps, then, we could get the Avatar trilogy we always wanted.
11. The Wraith
Recently, there has been a trend of highly successful or inventive independent movies (or, in some cases, YouTube short films) being acquired by studios and remade for a nationwide cinematic release. One of the most recent examples is David F. Sandberg’s horror film Light’s Out, which he made after his short film took off. Perhaps a Hollywood studio should take a look back at an independent movie from the ’80s: Mike Marvin’s action-supernatural film The Wraith.
The movie tells the story of an Arizona teen who was killed and subsequently comes back to life and seeks revenge on the gang of car thieves that killed him. It’s by no means an original story, yet it has the potential to resonate well with a large, modern audience, especially among people who cherish movies like Death Race and Mad Max. Since not many people have seen the original independent movie, a large-scale remake could be made with a minimal production budget.
Waterworld is known for many things: an attraction at Universal Studios, a dystopian movie with Kevin Costner, and being the most expensive film ever made at the time of its release in 1995. Nowadays, every blockbuster movie has a bloated production budget, and despite summer box office takes increasing year-over-year, many of those aforementioned movies fail to recoup their production costs. So they look to home video releases, video games, and various other forms of post-cinema sales and licensing.
Although it was modestly well-received by critics and contained an intriguing, dystopian future so different from the famed Mad Max series, Waterworld wasn’t the critical and commercial success the filmmakers were hoping for. Nevertheless, there has always been interest in a remake of the movie, with Syfy having reportedly made such an attempt in 2012. Perhaps now that Mad Max has returned to the big screen in spectacular fashion, Universal Pictures would consider putting together their own Waterworld reboot.
9. Green Lantern
Warner Bros. has already announced a Green Lantern Corps movie for release in 2020 (same year as the Cyborg movie), but the thing is, with the Justice League movie releasing next year, a Green Lantern movie needs to happen as soon as possible. Green Lantern has not only been a founding member of the Justice League of America (including the revamped New 52 Justice League), but also of the Justice Society of America — that’s saying something.
Sure, Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern movie, starring Ryan Reynolds as the eponymous hero, was a letdown, but that doesn’t mean the studio should hold off on introducing the character into their burgeoning cinematic universe. Despite critic discontent surrounding the DC Extended Universe, Zack Snyder’s Justice League movie is still eagerly anticipated by comic book fans, but knowing that Green Lantern could show up in the flick, before being spun-off into a separate movie, would go a long way in building excitement.
Superhero movies are great: they’re entertaining, full of surprises, and bring beloved characters to life on the big screen. However, occasionally, fans would choose simply to believe certain superhero movies don’t exist — and one of those movies is Mark A.Z. Dippe’s Spawn, based on the comic book character of the same name by Image Comics.
Starring Michael Jai White as the eponymous Spawn aka Al Simmons, Spawn released in 1997 to overwhelmingly negative reviews from film critics, though the movie was a modest success at the box office. A sequel was initially planned but was driven into development hell until Spawn creator Todd McFarlane revealed plans to reboot the series in 2007, following the influential success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
It has been another nine years, and we still don’t have a reboot, although McFarlane has stated that he recently completed a script with production hopefully beginning sometime this year. Whatever the situation is behind-the-scenes, this reboot needs to happen soon. With an increasing interest in black superheroes, especially in movies (e.g. Black Panther, Cyborg), Spawn could benefit from a reboot.
7. The Lion King
After quite a few successful live-action remakes of classic Disney animated movies, such as Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella, Disney has gone knee-deep in developing several more live-action adaptations of both their animated movies (most of which are based on established literary works) and on particular fairy tale characters. So, there’s no reason they can’t add a few more live-action remakes to that list — and the perfect choice would be The Lion King, which is universally considered one of the greatest animated movies of all time.
While we were initially apprehensive about the idea of The Lion King being adapted into live-action, Jon Favreau’s spectacular live-action remake of The Jungle Book changed our minds, so much so that we actually want to see it now — and that is primarily due to the movie’s seamless blend of CGI and live-action. The thing is, unlike with The Jungle Book, The Lion King consists only of animals, so perhaps a live-action remake is unnecessary, barring an upgraded use of CGI.
6. Super Mario Bros.
Over the last decade or so, video games have experienced a renaissance in storytelling, so much so that some narratives (e.g. The Last of Us) rival even the most daring films. But the thing is, most video game stories fail to translate well enough onto the big screen — and this isn’t anything new. Many fans hoped Duncan Jones’ Warcraft — based on the famed video game series of the same name by Blizzard Entertainment — would put an end to the curse of video game movies, but alas, it didn’t, and now that burden has befallen unto Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed.
This trend began a long time ago, and one of the earliest examples of a bad video game movie was Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel’s Super Mario Bros., based on the iconic video game series of the same name. Despite being a critical failure and box office bomb, the movie has since developed a substantial cult following, which has earned the movie several fan-made sequel comics as well as a Blu-ray release. Even though interest in a Nintendo movie has switched to Pokemon (and for good reason), we think there is still potential for a Super Mario Bros. remake, one that could possibly break the trend of bad video game movies — if Assassin’s Creed can’t do it.
5. Fahrenheit 451
When it comes to dystopian futures, the narratives typically involve the burning of books or destruction of historical works, artifacts, and art, in order to eradicate the memory of such works — or, in some cases, an entire culture. While these wicked acts are often representative of political oppression, something inspired by the book burnings by the Nazis during World War II as well as The Great Purge in Russia in the mid-’30s.
Legendary author Ray Bradbury was inspired by these stories, and out of fear of similar book burnings occurring in the United States during the mid-’50s, Bradbury wrote the iconic novel Fahrenheit 451, which tells the story of firemen burning books in an undisclosed location in the United States at an unspecified time in the future, but one fireman chooses to read instead and consequently becomes a fugitive.
The novel was adapted by François Truffaut in 1966, but there is no denying that the movie looks sorely outdated today, notwithstanding the drastic change in global politics since its release. There is arguably no better choice of movie primed for a remake than Fahrenheit 451, which is why HBO has commissioned 99 Homes director Ramin Bahrani to adapt the novel for the premium network. However we believe a story like this should not be confined to one network on television, but rather created for the big screen for the entire world to see.
4. Logan’s Run
Not all the movies on this list were busts; some were, in fact, box office hits, while others scored well with critics. Michael Anderson’s Logan’s Run — based on the novel of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson — was both a critical and commercial success, grossing almost triple its production budget while also being nominated for two Academy Awards. Then, why would anyone want to remake a movie that was remarkably well received? Because Logan’s Run was based on a novel, and when it comes to novels, there can be countless adaptations.
In the mid-’90s, Warner Bros. attempted to put a remake in production, but things weren’t quite working out, with various writers, directors, and cast members having been attached to the project over the past two decades. Filmmakers such as Skip Woods, Bryan Singer, Christopher McQuarrie, Joseph Kosinski, Carl Erik Rinsch, and Alex Garland were all connected to the movie at some point since 2000, with Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling coming the closest to getting this movie made, following the release of their spectacular film Drive.
Unfortunately, they both have since dropped the project. However, things are starting to look up, with Kevin Levine, creator of famed video game series BioShock, recently being hired to write a script for the remake featuring a female lead. But, at this point, can Warner Bros. just make the movie already, or officially cancel it? We’re a little tired of waiting, and the original was great — but seeing an updated version with a spectacular writer, director, and cast, and one that closely resembles the novel, could do wonders at the box office.
Every so often, a movie will be stuck in development hell, with multiple producers, directors, and writers attempting to bring a story to the big screen, but for various reasons, they just can’t seem to make it work. One such movie was David Lynch’s Dune, based on the novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. There were multiple attempts by producers such as Arthur P. Jacobs, Jean-Paul Gibon, and Dino De Laurentiis over the course of a decade — but it wasn’t until the film’s rights were about to expire that De Laurentiis commissioned Lynch to direct the film.
Unfortunately, with Lynch being denied final cut privileges and forced to cut several scenes in order to meet a shorter runtime, Dune ended up being a critical and commercial failure, though that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. As with several other David Lynch projects, Dune has developed a significant cult following over the years, which convinced Paramount to attempt a remake in 2009. Regrettably, that project also went into development hell and was ultimately canceled in 2011. Perhaps third time’s the charm?
2. The Breakfast Club
It may be considered blasphemous to recommend remaking a John Hughes movie, especially one as beloved as The Breakfast Club, but there are arguments that could be made to support such a notion. It is one of the greatest coming-of-age stories ever told, and despite being released in the 1980s, the movie resonates with audiences till today. However, most of those people are getting older and older, with younger generations opting not to watch a film from the ’80s, which is why we believe it’s time for a remake.
There have been countless attempts at making movies similar to The Breakfast Club; however, most of those movies have failed to capture the wonder of the film. Perhaps if a modern remake were to happen, younger generations will be able to realize the phenomenon of John Hughes’ films. We don’t know if a Breakfast Club remake would define the new generation as it did the ’80s — but it’s worth a shot!
Timecop is another example of a movie based on an established work — in this case, the Time Cop comic book story of the same name by Dark Horse Comics — that can be attempted numerous times. However, the movie that comic book fans got in 1994, with Peter Hyams directing and Jean-Claude Van Damme starring, is considered one of the most underrated movies of all time. But the question is, how many people have actually seen the movie? And for those that have seen it, would they recognize that it is based off a comic book?
If the landscape in Hollywood has made anything clear, it’s that there can be infinite adaptations of comic book characters and stories on the big screen (e.g. Spider-Man). So why should Timecop be any different? Dredd earned a well-received reboot in 2012, so perhaps it’s time Timecop received a similar reboot, one with updated visuals and new action star. Although Universal has commissioned a reboot with Mark Shmuger producing, we haven’t heard anything concrete on the project since 2010. Hopefully this reboot doesn’t get stuck in development hell like many other movies on this list.