Forbidden Planet Re-Do To Be a Trilogy?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:19 am,

forbidden planet 05 Forbidden Planet Re Do To Be a Trilogy?

A classic science fiction movie before its time. That’s what I thought of the 1956 film, Forbidden Planet.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a classic film that will always stand the test of time. It had suspense, comedic cast support, a brave space crew, a tortured scientist, the hot but super intelligent young lady and a mysterious monster lurking just out of sight. All woven together masterfully in a screenplay by Cyril Hume, directed by Fred M. Wilcox and translated to us by stars such as Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen (no, he wasn’t the comedic support) and Robby the Robot.

As fellow Screen Rant writer Brian Ketler put it, Forbidden Planet is “Based loosely on ‘The Tempest’ by William Shakespeare and tells the tale of the search for the missing [human] colonists of the planet Altair-4. The rescue team discovers the remains of an ancient alien civilization, along with their still-functional technology.”

When I first heard the whisperings of a remake some months back, I cringed… thinking “how dare they!” Remakes usually end up diluting the originals. But if done right, this could be a brilliant homage. But I’ve yet to be sold on any remake yet.

forbidden planet 00 Forbidden Planet Re Do To Be a Trilogy?

It’s been reported that James Cameron was looking to chat with the man himself behind the remake, J. Michael Straczynski (or “JMS” from here on out), about the project. I hope this doesn’t mean we’ll have some love struck kid standing on the edge of the saucer mouthing “I’m on top of the world!!” (No sound in space. Get it?)

As it stands, what Cameron is looking at is JMS’ stunning idea that the Forbidden Planet mythos get split into a trilogy. A trilogy! JMS has grand plans for this project, that’s for sure – since he’s reportedly a big fan of the original and doesn’t want to taint it.

The only way I think a trilogy would work is to make sure this project gets amazing attention to detail, tapping some serious support and not cutting corners when it comes to creating what I hope would be a masterpiece! Did I mention I’m a big fan of FP?

In his trilogy approach, the first film will be about the Bellerophon. The who? The Bellerophon silly! That’s the first ship that showed up at Altair 4 which first encountered the Krell artifacts and their left over technology. This was the ship that disappeared and who the crew of the C-57D Starcruiser came looking for in the original FP.

That is brilliant. I didn’t even think of that when I first read about this project. The first ship that started it all and drawing it out into a trilogy. That means they don’t have to gloss over details and rush us into a plot in under two hours.

The plans for the trilogy are to:

  1. Address the story of the first ship in the first movie
  2. Focus on the captain of the Bellerophon and his crew as they search for the long dead Krell, while Diana develops into something other-wordly in the second movie
  3. Then present the story we all know and love from the original as the third movie.

By then, we should be ready for it and it won’t feel like a potential rip-off, but a normal development of the story.

forbidden planet 02 Forbidden Planet Re Do To Be a Trilogy?

Of course this whole pipe dream depends on studio financing, but if we as fans show our interest, he just might get his $$. One aspect JMS is looking at is that there may not be a big need for using the same actors across all three movies since we’re dealing with different groups of characters. Some think that might be a snag but yet if you look at shows like Law and Order, cast changes do work as long as the same creative force keeps the premise of the story at heart.

If Straczynski gets his money and his way, his goal with this movie series will change the meaning of the original without us having to deal with the concept of a different take on it. And that is how movies should be “re-made.” It all makes me wonder if he has Ronald D. Moore in on this! No no no… that’s not news… that’s just me conjecturing.

Well, we can now bide our time and wait!

Bruce’s bonus section:
Trivia Quiz:
Of the cast from Forbidden Planet, who appeared in the background of a Doctor Who episode, and which episode was it?

Sources – Story: LatinoReview, Images: IMDB.com

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27 Comments

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  1. Whatever,,, (jms)
    sounds like somebodies milking the rights on the title to save some money on 3 films.

    I mean come on this could be a stand alone original triology by the time the credits roll on the third film…

  2. I like this option a whole lot better than a single 2 hour flick that will glaze over details that we could or would like to see.

    The idea of expounding on the Krell is appealing to a true fan of the movie.

    A mere remake can be rather dull… Like, for example, TDTESS?

    Just sayin’.

  3. Don’t know if I’m wide of the mark here Bruce, but the Doctor Who story Planet Of Evil was based on Forbidden Planet, so the “cast member” in the background would actually be the Id Beast? Another bit of trivia: Prentis Hancock’s in this one – old Paul Morrow from Space:1999!

    Not sure how I feel about a FP remake, whether it’s in capable hands or not. The original is unique, even amongst the SF classics of the ’50s. The effects still cut it half a century on, the “electronic tonalities” still sound amazing, and I think the Krell are still better left unseen. Oh, and Anne Francis still does it for me…

    The inevitable cameo: could Leslie Nielsen get away with playing Dr Morbius, or is he so typecast now that audiences just wouldn’t accept him in any kind of straight role?

    “Nice id.”

    “Thanks, I just had it stuffed.”

    • do you see an actor like anthony hopkins as dr.morbius?

  4. Big Dentist: nope… not quite but that’s a cool bit!

    Let me present the question the way it should be presented:

    Of the “cast” from Forbidden Planet, who appeared in the background of a Doctor Who episode, and which episode was it?

  5. C’mon then Bruce, put us thronging hordes out of our misery! We’re an angry mob hepped up on goofballs and we won’t take No for an answer…

  6. oh OK… in the 2008 episode titled “Silence in the Library” of Doctor Who, there was a toy or model of Robby the Robot seen in the background.

  7. Aaah, al ist klar…

  8. Of all the past sci-fi film classics I for one consider worthy of being remade for this century, Forbidden Planet I’m optimistic about. A trilogy version is an intriguing idea. Maybe Ian McKellan, considering his luck with trilogies like The Lord Of The Rings and X-Men, should be considered to play Dr. Morbius.

  9. I would love to see a prequel. When I first saw FP in the late 50′s as a child,the ID monster scared me so much that to this day, I sometimes wonder about unseen forces out there & get creeped out in deserted areas at night. It is my favorite movie of all time. I have the DVD & the VHS version. I have seen it so many times that I know the entire dialog word for word. My girlfriend won’t even watch it with me because I can’t resist saying the lines right before they happen,and it drives her nuts. I will be first on line at the theater when the movie comes out.

    • Richard,
      I am you. FP has been my favorite since I was a boy. Born in 1954, so my entire life has been spent wathing it over and over. My number 1 film of all time. have the dvd, vhs and laser disk. Know all the words, all the sounds and it never bores me, ever!

      I have been a programmer/geek/storage expert for IBM, Dell, Compaq and others. All because of the “big machine” dreams within FP. My wife will not watch it with me after she saw it once. Oh, look at Killer Klowns from Outer Space for an scene that is a tribute to FP. Take care.

  10. This movie is a true science ficiton classic
    But I would like to see a couple of changes in the remake.
    They should show the natives of this planet th,e Krell and how
    they developed their technology and destroyed them selves.
    And I would like to see a more diveres chrew with women
    and minorites.

  11. I too am in love with this movie & it is my all-time favorite si-fi movie.
    I’m 54 and I remember first seeing this movie as a kid on a B&W TV.
    A few years later as a young teen, I saw it again on a color tv.
    Now, since many years had past between those 2 viewings, I forgot the ending.
    I thought the ending was brilliant as to the origin of the creature
    when I saw the movie for the 2nd time.
    This is important to my point.
    Then in the 80′s when VHS became popular, I bought this movie and
    since about 10-15 yrs had past it was almost like watching it for the first time.
    I liked the aspect of the suspense as we followed the adventure of this
    crew in trying to find out what was going on and then the reveal and
    payoff at the end when we & Morbius get ‘enlightened’.
    This is key. I would love to see this story & world expanded into a trilogy.
    It could really be awesome if done right.
    Say, like the care Peter Jackson took with the LOTR.
    But, if everything was revealed about the creatures of the ID in the first
    or second movie, I think the last movie may be anti-climactic.
    I loved the ending of the original when we could now put all the pieces together.
    I can compare this to the Planet of the Apes.
    If we saw Conquest of the POTA first, showing how the apes took over,
    then that last scene with Charlton Heston in the original seeing the
    Statue of Liberty is kind of a moot point.
    So the question really is can a trilogy keep the
    suspense going through out? I think there is enough good talent out there
    today to make it happen. Of course it would take time & money but if
    the right people really care enough to make it happen it would be a
    great adventure. Since Star Trek took some ‘heart & soul’ from this movie and
    J.J. Abrams was able to capture some of that and incorporate it into the reboot
    of Star Trek, I think it can be done right.
    What do you think?

  12. I would love to see a remake of FP, but please follow:

    1) Do not let Will Smith anywhere near it. Talk is, that he is doing another one of my favorites, Colossus: The Forbin Project, and its pretty clear how that will go. Oh the shame.

    2) Stay true to the film’s story line, don’t do what they did with the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. They destroyed it.

    3) Robby The Robot must be obviously be updated, that is, mechanical switches are too passe, but don’t turn him into something so ridiculous as they did in the remake of DTESS.

    The trilogy is a great idea!

    • I agree that the original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is such a classic that Robert Wise did. The special effects still stand up well today, even though a lot simpler. The remake lost the original message of the film, but was more interested in its CGI effects. I play the bonus DVD more than the remake.

      A Forbidden Planet remake following a very similar story line could be easily done in three parts, part one the original crew traveling and landing on the planet, part two the demise of the crew and part three basically the original movie script. The graphics could be updated and is a good candidate for 3D effects, but having effects over story does not help 3D movies or a bad story line.

      • The TRILOGY idea is ill-advised. Most people who saw FORBIDDEN PLANET, “back in the day” would tell you this. KEEP the original storyline, because if it gets “expanded” for NO good reason at all, audiences will STAY AWAY in droves…

    • The Trilogy Idea SUCKS!

      ONE movie cannot be expanded over THREE movies, even if it IS for profit.

      Forbidden Planet STARTS and ENDS where it does. Leave it at that!

  13. Hoping very much that they do not remake FP. Every remake of a classic sci-fi movie has been junk. Take a look at the remake of The Day the Earth Sttod still or all the remakes of War of the Worlds.

    Just say NO!!

    • Steve Eagle, you need to back up your opinions with *facts*….

  14. the name of the first ship was The Bellarathone. Maybe a few space rations off for spelling.

  15. Sorry folks, but a remake of FORBIDDEN PLANET was in the works some 17 years ago, by Corlind Motion Pictures. For whatever reason, it was never made.

    But then again, I thought to myself-”If you try and do this without listening to my excellent MAIN TITLE Proposal-it will NEVER get made!”

    Maybe I got my way, BUT, the TRILOGY IDEA is preposterous….

  16. If a remake of FORBIDDEN PLANET were to be done today, there are at least 3 schools of thought on how the soundtrack should be done:

    One: ALL electronic, like the original, except that *we* have toys today that are seemingly light years ahead of what was done back in the 50′s. I think someone like Eric Serra would have a blast with an opportunity like this!

    Two: ALL Orchestral. Something this epic also demands a “grounding factor” so that audiences of today aren’t “freaked out” by the proceedings, so to speak. I wrote a spec treatment of the Main Title Theme for the remake that was announced back in 1996. I had written this treatment, based on my reactions to seeing FORBIDDEN PLANET and wondering what it would sound like with an orchestral treatment, I went to work and finished about 95% of it. The announced remake *never* shot a frame of film.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Arne Barnard Three: If you can’t decide between french fries or onion rings-then get ‘em BOTH! Use the Orchestra for more conventional scenes and then the electronics for more of the “far out” stuff. Or use them BOTH for scenes that demand them (such as the scene when Robby The Robot synthesizes whiskey for the ships cook). You can’t go wrong with an approach like this, because each opportunity presents itself, in kind.
    I just got an idea! For the main titles, I would definitely use an orchestra, as part of the “make-up”, so to speak. BUT, before the orchestra REALLY “kicked in” I would write a short “circuit bent” (IF that is possible!) version of my main melody, as an homage to the original pioneers who made this happen, before launching into the main theme. Yeah, I’ve got only a Casio CT-670 and Casio WK-1350 but they EACH have their own “interesting sounds”!

  17. I too am a child of the 50′s and was awestruck the first time I saw Forbidden Planet. Conversely I have been deeply disappointed with all of the efforts at remakes for other sci-fi classics (i.e., War of the Worlds and The Day the Earth Stood Still). I don’t care what the original source story was, a remake needs to hold true to the original movie! That’s what the fan base is expecting. Not what someone’s new contemporary take on the storyline is (God I cry every time the remake of TDTESS comes on). I think Cameron my be the only Director that could pull it off, let alone a trilogy. I think a trilogy is a great commercial option for this story. Since there are huge segments of movie goers that don’t know the story a knock out first film prequel would hook them (and us), then a really great remake of the original story for the 2nd film (with maybe a new twist) and finally something new like the discovery of a 2nd Krell world on another planet and all that that could entail for the 3rd film. It would be a win win for old and new fans and for the production company. I’m all for it as long as the original movie isn’t butchered.

  18. Any update on whether this remake will get off the ground?

  19. I know I’m late to this conversation , but I just bought the script, concept drawings (Stan Winston Studios) and wardrobe from this ill fated remake and couldn’t be happier that I have these things even though the remake fell through.
    You can see them on yourprops dot com my user name is 8164585

  20. Forbidden planet was one reason I became a scientist (geophysics, computer science). 50′s sci-fi was so-o-o cheesy, and more recent efforts just drown in their CGI effects. FP was about as literate as the genre got in those days, and stands up very well. A trilogy is a great idea, and I’d like to offer my suggestion. Part 1: the discovery of the Quanto-Gravitum drive (see novel) and the first faster-than-light flights (like Star Trek First Contact showed Zefram Cochrane’s flight). Part 2: The flight and loss of the Belerephon, and the bureaucratic infighting over what to do, culminating with the crew recruitment and launch of C-57D. Part 3: The original story, but with a present day stance and frankness regarding Altaira’s relationship with her father, and encounters with the C-57D crew. Retro technology is great, but we have that in the original, and we have a chance to show what our smart phones, intelligent computers, and weapons might become in 250 years. Let’s stimulate the imaginations of the kids who just might grow up to invent this stuff.

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