It seems like every week brings news of another remake or reboot. Hollywood also seems to have given up on plundering older films in favor of giving a new coat of paint to films less than twenty years old. While something like the Batman franchise needed to be reset because it had gone as far as it could go in its original incarnation, other remakes just seem unnecessary.
Take the news that Warner Bros. intends to remake the 1992 Kevin Costner film The Bodyguard and ask yourself: is it really essential?
The Bodyguard was originally written by Lawrence Kasdan as a starring vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in the 1970s. It never made it to the screen, but Kasdan dusted off the script for his friend Kevin Costner, who retooled it for himself and Whitney Houston. The story follows a bodyguard (the best in the business, obviously) who has to protect an international diva from a crazed fan. Naturally, they fall in love and the bodyguard wonders if he can do his job now that he is “too close.” He did though, and a million hearts across the world went aflutter; a million cash registers went ‘kerching’ and the film became a massive hit in 1992, grossing a smidgen under $411 million at the worldwide box office (almost $122 million of that was domestic).
The soundtrack to The Bodyguard has also shifted over 44 million units since the film was released, with its major hit single being a cover version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”. While the film isn’t the greatest piece of high art committed to celluloid, it is still solid entertainment in a “Sunday afternoon” sort of way.
When the numbers are taken into account it would appear that a remake of The Bodyguard makes sound financial sense for Warner Bros. Deadline is reporting that the film will be “updated” to the 21st Century, where an Iraq veteran takes on bodyguard duties for a singer, but realizes that modern technology like Twitter, celebrity websites and Google Maps make it all-too-easy for a stalker to follow a star.
Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer are set to script the remake (with Dan Lin and Mark Bauch producing), although it remains to be seen if it will carry the title The Bodyguard, or if it will be named something else – The Protector? The key to the film is casting. Back in 1992, Costner was one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, with his three previous movies being Dances With Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and JFK (check out the Oscar nominations and box office for those movies). Houston was also a huge recording artist and together they made a mini-phenomenon, with even Costner’s haircut getting a tremendous amount of press coverage!
Today, there are a dozen young female stars that could slip into Houston sequins: Beyonce (although she may be too busy with Clint Eastwood’s A Star Is Born), Rihanna, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera or even Lady Gaga, to name but a few. However, finding a lead actor could be slightly more difficult. Hollywood doesn’t really offer up many “manly men” anymore, so who could would be a solid replacement for Costner? Jason Statham might be too gruff for a romantic lead, Shia LaBeouf might be too nerdy and someone like Channing Tatum might be too busy with G.I. Joe. I’m sure there’s always Sam Worthington.
The film could also potentially be a franchise starter. Costner apparently mulled the idea of making a sequel starring Princess Diana (!) and any sequels to the remake could see the lead protecting a variety of stars in subsequent movies. With a script on the way, it seems like Warner Bros. is keen on bringing this to the screen, and the amount of money the studio could make with cross promotion would help the studio’s bottom line now that the Harry Potter franchise has run its course.
Personally, I’d like to see this as a sequel of sorts, with Costner’s Frank Farmer (the character in the original) mentoring a younger, less experienced bodyguard. Costner could be on the comeback trail with his role in Superman: Man of Steel, so it might make good business sense to those at Warner Bros. Costner’s Company Men co-star Ben Affleck would also be a good fit for the titular Bodyguard, and the role could solidify his newly restored leading man credentials. Both actors have a solid relationship with Warner Bros., both would also make a good fit for directing (see The Town or Open Range for proof) and Costner not only produced the original film, but reports at the time had the actor take an active role in the editing process.
As always, you can be sure to keep up to date with any developments on The Bodyguard here at Screen Rant.