The reports are in – a remake of the hit sci-fi/comedy Short Circuit… is ALIVE!
On a more serious note: a Short Circuit remake has actually been in the works since 2009, back when Paul Blart: Mall Cop helmer Steve Carr was attached to the project – with Dan Milano (Greg the Bunny, Robot Chicken) handling scripting duties.
According to Deadline, Dimension Films is currently working out the details of a deal with director Tim Hill (Alvin and the Chipmunks) to call the shots on the new Short Circuit. Hill is also up to supervise a new draft of the screenplay, though there’s no word yet on who his collaborator will be.
For those unfamiliar with the original: Short Circuit is a 1986 family-friendly flick that revolves around a sentient robot known as Strategic Artificially Intelligent Nuclear Transport (or S.A.I.N.T.) Number 5 – one of several highly-advanced pieces of machinery that the U.S. military plans to use for combat. However, as the result of a lightning-induced power surge, S.A.I.N.T. Number 5 inexplicably becomes a conscious entity who renames himself Johnny 5 (after listening to the song “Who’s Johnny”) and sets out to explore the everyday world. Suffice it to say, comical mayhem ensues thereafter.
The similarities between Johnny 5’s design and that of WALL·E (see above) have long prompted accusations that Pixar’s creation is essentially a ripoff of Short Circuit‘s robot lead. However, despite some similarities in appearance, Johnny 5 actually feels more like the sort of character who would show-up in your average non-Disney/Pixar kid flick nowadays – given his colorful personality and tendency to make pop culture references, as well as memorably odd puns and insults (“Hey, laser lips! Your mother was a snowblower!”).
While most remakes/reboots of 1980s titles appear to be going the “more serious and gritty” route (see: Fright Night, Footloose, etc.), it’s safe to say that Short Circuit will likely be the exception. Hill has a long history of delivering candy-colored, safe-for-all ages pics, including the first Chipmunks movie, Hop, Muppets From Space, and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties – not to mention, his longtime position as a staff writer for the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants.
Based on that resume, though, you probably already have a strong inclination as to whether or not a Short Circuit remake from Hill sounds like your (or your kids’) thing. Nonetheless, we shall keep you posted on the status of the project, as more information is released.