It seems like we are constantly hearing about another classic or beloved film getting the remake treatment, which puts fans in an awkward position. While it might be nice to see some favorite stories retold, it can be painful to see them done poorly. So many remakes fail to live up to the originals, which is probably why people have such a negative reaction to hearing about another remake.
It could be that part of the problem with Hollywood's obsession with remakes is that they are redoing the wrong movies. Some movies are just too perfect to even attempt to retell. There is no way of improving on them so why even try? Perhaps the smarter course of action is to find those movies that had a lot of potential but failed for one reason or another. Here are some bad movies that actually should be remade.
Hancock received a lot of attention upon its release in 2005 for being megastar Will Smith's first foray into the ever-popular superhero genre. The original story had Smith star as an amnesiac and alcoholic superhuman who was more likely to cause damage than to save the day.
The potential for a darker, more character driven superhero movie was abandoned for a typical effects-driven action film. However, now seems like the perfect time to revisit the concept as superhero movies are bigger than ever. Seeing a serious drama about a hero struggling with addiction could be a fresh take for the genre.
9 National Treasure
The idea of Nicholas Cage looking for treasure hidden by America's founding fathers sounds like SNL sketch. Cage had made a reputation for himself that made it hard to take him seriously and the high-concept didn't help. In the end, National Treasure ended up being a fairly bland adventure picture.
Removing the distracting elements of Cage, the idea of history-based treasure hunts has the potential of an Indiana Jones-type franchise. If the film were to be remade by someone like Brad Bird, it could be a high-energy adventure that has a lot of fun with America's history.
8 Demolition Man
Demolition Man was about a serial killer brought out of cryogenic sleep in a future where crime is a thing of the past and the cop who must be brought back to stop him. While there are signs that this was meant to be a satire, the film was transformed into a serviceable Sylvester Stallone-Wesley Snipes action movie.
The idea of a modern criminal and cop entering a world without crime is a concept ripe for satire and commentary. If a remake were to lean into that aspect of the film, it could really be something special. Given Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You) a chance to update the film and we're bound to get an interesting movie.
7 Phase IV
There's something so fun about 'when animals attack' movies. Almost every conceivable predator has been used, including ants in this 1974 sci-fi thriller. Phase IV is the only directorial effort from Saul Bass, the man famous for designing some of Hitchcock's most famous opening title sequences. The film has its fans but it is ultimately quite shallow.
It would be a waste to not do something interesting with a mind-tripping movie about killer ants, it just needs the right filmmaker to do it justice. Korean director Bong Joon-ho would be the perfect person to take on the weirdness of the movie while injecting some much-needed humor.
6 Reign Of Fire
Reign of Fire was the kind of movie that unless you could suspend your disbelief, you were not going to have a good time. The movie imagined a world in which hibernating dragons awoke in modern times and reduced the world to a charred wasteland. With a premise like that, it's perhaps no surprise the film turned out to be just a corny action movie.
However, dragons are very much in fashion thanks to Game of Thrones, and there's a lot of fun to be had with the idea of humans and dragons coexisting in modern times. Matt Shakman, the director of the excellent 'Loot Train Attack' episode of Game of Thrones could be the perfect person for the job.
Jumper was an action-adventure movie about a young man with the ability to teleport anywhere in the world and the secret society that hunted him. With a simple plot like that, there were a number of paths the film could have taken. Unfortunately, the filmmakers decided to focus too heavily on the mythology and skipped the fun. It didn't help that it was populated by uninteresting characters.
A remake could work much better by focusing on a younger group of 'jumpers'. Seeing what kids would do with this ability could make for a much lighter and energetic adventure, especially with someone like Joe Cornish (The Kid Who Would Be King) helming the project.
4 The Cannonball Run
Loosely based on real-life events, The Cannonball Run detailed a cross country outlaw race with a cast of famous faces as the colorful racers. In reality, the star-studded line up which included Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis Jr, Roger Moore, and Jackie Chan was as interesting as it got.
For a remake, they could once again cast big names as the racers but have them play exaggerated versions of themselves, poking fun at their own image. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg had fun with a similar idea in This is the End and could certainly pull it off again.
3 League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is one of those ideas so brilliantly crazy it's a wonder no one thought of it before. The movie is basically the Avengers for classic literary characters including Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll, and Captain Nemo. The inventive idea comes from comic book icon Alan Moore. Unfortunately, his twisted and bizarre tale was adapted into a forgettable action film.
A remake would easily surpass the original by simply following Moore's take more closely. Sticking to the ensemble fun rather than putting one character front and center would be more effective. With a director like Patty Jenkins, it could be a real winner.
Timecop was a promising sci-fi adventure movie about a law enforcement agency that polices time travel. Again, it is another high-concept set-up that is filled with amazing possibilities. But the film inexplicably stays in modern times, choosing to tell a fairly generic action revenge story and allow Jean-Claude Van Damme to show-off his impressive splits.
The story would have been much more interesting had it used the time travel element to full effect. Imagine an action film in which a cop pursues criminals throughout history, meeting different historical figures and becoming involved in famous events. Sounds like the perfect big scale adventure for the Russo Brothers.
Waterworld has the dubious reputation of being one of the biggest Hollywood flops of all-time. It was certainly an ambitious film, telling a big-budget adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world when nearly all land has been covered by sea water. It sounds like the perfect setting for an insane, high-octane action film but the cartoonish and silly tone squandered the whole thing.
This seems like a very easy and obvious remake. Do away with the silliness and embrace the awesome core idea -- Mad Max on the water. Get George Miller himself involved and you have a sure-fire winner.