The art of filmmaking has been around for over a century, and during the early days, adaptions of books was a very common thing. It was also pretty common to remake or even reboot movies (and occasionally franchises, like the monster movies of the 1930s). Of course, the movie scene from back then isn’t quite what it is now, but one thing that’s remained is that Hollywood loves to produce remakes.
But for as many remakes that have been made, there’s plenty that ended up not happening, for better or worse. We’re here to discuss a few films that could do well being redone, as well as others that are better off left alone. While many of these are based on previously existing source material, we’re focusing on movies that got one major film adaption, and either does or does not warrant a second look, based around its history, fan base, and in-progress developments of a potential redo.
So, without further delay, we present to you 5 Movie Remakes That NEED To Happen (And 10 That DEFINITELY Don’t).
15. Needs to happen – Scarface
Originally a novel inspired by the infamous gangster Al Capone, Scarface was later made into a film in 1932, produced by both Howard Hughes and Howard Hawks, with the latter directing. A bit more famously, it was remade in 1983 by Brian De Palma (with a script by Oliver Stone) and starred Al Pacino — not as Al Capone, but Cuban refugee Tony Montana, who takes Miami by storm as he rises and falls as a drug kingpin.
The first remake demonstrated that the Roaring Twenties gangster story could successfully be translated to a new and more contemporary locale, while also telling a rich story about one man’s rise and fall. For years, rumors have persisted that Universal would be making either a sequel or second remake; the remake in particular would be set in Los Angeles and focus on a Mexican immigrant. A new setting and possibly contemporary time period would allow for a film that chronicles a modern immigrant trying to make it in today’s America, one which is different from both 1930s Chicago and 1980s Miami. It’s a story worth telling, basically.
14. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Big Trouble in Little China
Directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Big Trouble in Little China tells the story of Jack Burton, a trucker who gets involved in a strange and mystical underworld where sorcery and magic are very much a real thing. With Burton mainly playing the role of a sidekick (to Dennis Dun’s Wang Chi), the film is a goofy martial arts film that plays with its premise in knowing and clever ways.
The film is such a unique collaboration and product of its time that a remake doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a hard man to stop; he’d recently shown interest in a remake with him in the starring role. To Johnson’s credit, he has said he wanted Carpenter involved, but the director himself doesn’t seem as enthusiastic. So while Johnson may seem interested, the rest of the world would rather the original remain as untouched as possible, comic book spin-offs aside.
13. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Escape from New York
Another Carpenter/Russell collaboration, Escape from New York stands as one of the premiere cult films of the past few decades. Taking place in the futuristic dystopia of 1997, the film has Snake Plissken (Russell) having to infiltrate the island of Manhattan (now the ultimate maximum security prison) to rescue the President within 24 hours. It’s been an influence to the critically acclaimed and adored Metal Gear series, as well as several other films and novels since, including William Gibson’s own cyberpunk novel Neuromancer.
In the past few years, there’s been talk about not only a remake, but a full-on reboot trilogy, a la the recent Planet of the Apes films. Even famous cult director Robert Rodriguez has been rumored to be in line to direct, along with Carpenter serving as executive producer. The biggest issue a remake faces is the abnormally high risk it runs of being nothing more than just another action film, something Escape from New York definitely isn’t. The film also exists as an important product of its time, reflecting the cynicism and paranoia of the early 1980s. At the end of the day, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
12. Needs To Happen – Green Lantern
An infamous example of how adapting a comic book character to the big screen can go horribly wrong, Green Lantern was directed by Martin Campbell of GoldenEye and Casino Royale fame, and it starred Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. The film divided its focus between Hal learning to wield the Power Ring and the evil Parallax’s plan to destroy the Green Lantern Corps (and eat Earth).
Outside of Mark Strong’s promising performance as Sinestro, Green Lantern does so much more wrong than it could ever do good. There’s the questionable casting of Ryan Reynolds, the overuse of CG, the GL costumes being CG (including the domino mask), the inconsistent and bad script, and the laughably boring action. There’s also Dr. Hector Hammond, whose existence and death is so sadly pathetic that it’s actually tragic. With the existence of the DC Extended Universe, Warner Bros. has a new GL movie in the works, one which we’re (almost) sure will be better than whatever this travesty was aiming to be. There’s no way DC screws the pooch on the Green Lantern Corps twice…right?
11. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Commando
As action packed as it is self-aware, Commando is a Schwarzenegger romp full of one liners, hammy acting, and plenty of violence. Directed by Mark L. Lester, with a score by James Horner, the film stands as a fun loving ’80s film that doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever, and is all the better for it.
That’s why a remake makes so very little sense. For starters, the plot to Commando isn’t anything special, and mainly just serves as an excuse for Schwarzenegger to kill people. Related to that, Schwarzenegger’s charisma and machismo are what makes Commando such an enjoyable film in the first place. Supposedly, a remake directed by David Ayer and starring Sam Worthington is (or was) going to happen at some point, with the Suicide Squad helmer looking to make it more realistic. That’s a hard pass on our end.
10. Doesn’t Need To Happen – The Crow
Based on the cult comic, The Crow famously starred Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) as a man who is viciously attacked by a gang, leaving him and his fiancé dead. He comes back to life one year later to seek revenge on the attackers, resulting in a war against a major crime boss. The film was well received and a decent box office performer, even with the unfortunate death of Brandon Lee during production. It spawned several intensely forgettable sequels, as well as a television series, and a Rob Zombie directed sequel was even in the works, but ultimately didn’t happen.
Since then, talks of rebooting and remaking the film have been numerous, whether it’s about who’s working on it, who’s acquired the rights, or whether the project is truly dead in the water or not. Considering all the sequels its had, along with it being a well liked film, The Crow really doesn’t need to be remade. People gladly watch the original film and enjoy its ’90s quirks and sensibilities. It’s more likely that contemporary remake would just prove to be wasteful and unpopular, especially since its style has become somewhat less popular in the years since.
Even if Jason Momoa remains attached to star, we remain pretty unenthusiastic about this one.
9. Needs To Happen – The Running Man
Based on the Stephen King novel (under his Richard Bachman pseudonym), The Running Man takes place in a dystopian United States where the biggest game show in the country (the titular Running Man) will allow the main character a chance of earning money. The novel was adapted into a popular-enough Arnold Schwarzenegger film, which saw the main character be a convicted criminal who was forced to enter the competition.
What’s interesting about this film is that the original director, Andrew Davis, was planning to shoot the film as a television show, but he was fired after a week of shooting. Replaced by Paul Michael Glaser, Schwarzenegger believes the change in direction hurt the movie. A remake would not only allow a new director to better adapt King’s original source material, but also make the movie more than just futuristic action sci-fi outing you’ve seen a thousand times before. With the way we consume tech and entertainment today, The Running Man is more ripe than ever for a remake.
8. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Porky’s
A ’80s sex comedy that takes place in the ’50s, Porky’s may have influenced the genre, but it isn’t exactly a critical darling. Featuring a simplistic plot involving teens just wanting to lose their virginity (and peek at girls in the shower), the film has remained popular enough, and was popular enough in its own time to spawn at least two sequels (and one more decades later).
It was in the 2000s that discussion of possibly remaking the film came up, with Howard Stern attaining the rights to do so. Legal troubles have prevented anything from coming to fruition, but that’s probably for the best. A film like Porky’s has no reason to be remade, especially since the time of teen sex comedies seem to have come and gone. Not only that, but these days, the subject matter could be seen to be in very bad taste. If this one ever does get the remake treatment, some heavy retooling would need to be in order.
7. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Police Academy
A well-liked ’80s comedy that spawned an astounding six sequels, Police Academy concerns the story of a town in need of willing recruits for their police force. Any willing recruits. The films “famously” star Steve Guttenberg, among a cast of many, many others, and (somehow) managed to remain popular enough to warrant the production of a half dozen sequels.
However, there hasn’t been a new film in the franchise since 1994, and there doesn’t seem to be too much demand for another one. Regardless, at various points since, different people involved with the franchise have brought up their interest in producing another installment. More recently, a possible follow-up – either with (most) of the original cast or a new crop of actors entirely – has been discussed. However, aside from the old saying “that ship has sailed,” any sort of re-imagining of Police Academy doesn’t seem needed. It and its sequels seem more like products of their time, and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it that way.
6. Needs To Happen – Van Helsing
Originating in the pages of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Van Helsing is a monster hunter who’s best known for hunting and taking down Count Dracula in the various media in which the two have been adapted. The idea of a story just focusing on Van Helsing is an interesting one, and could result in a very exciting and fright-filled movie if done properly. With that said, this was attempted once with 2004’s Van Helsing, and it didn’t exactly set the world on fire.
Starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale, Van Helsing starred a younger titular hero going after Dracula and encountering Frankenstein’s monster along the way, along with werewolves and other vampires. While interesting in concept, Van Helsing didn’t do enough to warrant critical appraisal or a following, thus resulting in Universal musing the idea of rebooting the title years later. With its shared Monster Universe coming into existence, Universal says it’s planning to bring back the Van Helsing character along with his own movie. Either way, a movie focusing solely on the famed hunter warrants another go, hopefully one that focuses less on CG action and monsters and more on a worthwhile story. Whether Channing Tatum is the man for the job, however, remains to be seen.
5. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Bill and Ted
Comprised of two films, the Bill and Ted series has remained a cult favorite among fans of funky sci-fi and Keanu Reeves. The first film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, was a surprise success in its day, and it’s remained the clear favorite and most respected of the two outings, telling the story of the titular space cadets traveling through time to save the future. The second film, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, saw the duo go against the Grim Reaper. It didn’t prove to be as big of a success, but it still has its share of fans.
While a remake (or reboot) could very well happen, it’s unclear what the plan for Bill and Ted is next. A few years back, the different actors (specifically Reeves) mentioned that a third film of some kind was being worked on. The biggest problem with this is that it’s been in development for so long that both Reeves and his co-star Alex Winter aren’t young dudes anymore. Not only that, the original films work well within their time period, but it’s tough to see the humor translating to the present day. Any form of Bill and Ted coming back on the silver screen just doesn’t make enough sense.
4. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Memento
Hey, here’s a weird one! First released in 2000 and directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento stars Guy Pearce as a guy with “a condition” that won’t allow him to form new memories, which means he’s constantly forgetting things that just happened to him. As the film demonstrates, he’s on the hunt for the man who raped and killed his wife, and the film itself is (mostly) shown in reverse chronological order.
What makes this so weird is that a company by the name of AMBI Pictures has acquired the rights to Memento, and they announced in 2015 that they intended to remake the film. Their plan is to make a film that’s faithful to the original, but that doesn’t answer the biggest question this follow-up faces: Why? Never mind that the film is less than two decades old, but AMBI has yet to provide an actual reason as to why they’d want to remake a film that’s so reliant on a mystery most moviegoers already know the answer to. The easy answer is probably to retain the rights, but even so, literally no one is asking for this.
3. Needs To Happen – Dune
Well-known as a classic in science fiction literature, Frank Herbert’s Dune tells the story of interstellar politics and colonization, focusing on the planet Arrakis and its importance to the universe. It spawned several sequels and has remained a popular book series to this day. The original novel has also undergone several attempts at a film adaption, most of which never materialized, and one in particular that remains controversial to this day.
Released in 1984 and starring Kyle MacLachlan, Dune was written and directed by David Lynch, but produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis, along with her father, Dino. Cutting the film down from three hours to just over two, Dune suffered from contrasting ideas behind the scenes and came out to a public that was confused and not at all pleased with the final result. Lynch has since all but disowned the film and refused to make any sort of “director’s cut;” however, the film has gained a bit of a cult following during this time. All that said, Dune is one of the major literary works that fans have wanted to see remade, and that possibility has recently resurfaced, with Denis Villeneuve as its director.
2. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Starship Troopers
Based on the 1959 novel by Robert A. Heinlein, director Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers is both a violent action film about space bugs and a campy satire about fascism. Set in the far future, the film chronicles a few high school friends who graduate and go into the military to stop an alien invasion that is later revealed to not actually be a threat to them. Featuring comic interludes interspersed throughout an overall dark story, Starship Troopers has grown in stature as an unusual blend of “misunderstood film” and “brainless sci-fi action.”
The film spawned a few direct-to-video sequels, two of them live-action, and two of them animated, as well as a short-lived animated show. But as recently as 2016, there’d been news that a remake was currently in development. If it’s anything like the RoboCop remake (also originally a Verhoeven film), it’s seems like a safe bet that another movie would miss the mark and not at all get at the heart of what makes Starship Troopers so beloved. Given the unlikelihood that a follow-up could measure up to the underlying wit of the original, at best, it would be another brainless action movie with almost nothing going for it.
1. Doesn’t Need To Happen – Videodrome
One of director David Cronenberg’s most beloved films, Videodrome stars James Woods, Sonja Smits, and Deborah Harry. Woods plays the president of a television company who’s looking for something new to bring to the airwaves. He comes across a strange frequency on his TV, and soon, his worldview starts to shift and things start to become grotesquely distorted. Featuring mutilation, bizarre imagery, and plenty of gore, Videodrome is a prime example of Cronenberg’s body horror style.
The film has remained popular, and while it’s definitely a product of its time (Beta tapes weren’t even that popular in the early 1980s), its themes regarding television and consumption have remained relevant. Universal (whom originally distributed the film) managed to obtain the rights for a remake, though not much has come of it. A remake of such a well-liked film seems more unnecessary than sacrilegious, seeing as its a cult classic that still completely holds up today.
Honorable “Doesn’t Need To Happen” Mention: Dragon Ball
Who could forget the embarrassing travesty that is 2009’s very own Dragonball Evolution? Making Goku an American high schooler, as well as changing up every major character that’s featured in the beloved Dragonball franchise, the film had a plot hole ridden narrative, lackluster effects, terrible acting, and was an overall train wreck that, at best, is so bad it’s almost enjoyable.
While all of that sounds like a good reason to remake this film into something, the opposite is actually true. If Dragonball Evolution proved anything, it’s that making a live-action movie based on one of the biggest manga and anime franchises of all-time is a bad idea. The technology isn’t there to make a movie worthy of its source material, and the story is almost too ambitious to be properly adapted for the silver screen, at least in live-action. As beloved as this series is, it’s best it stay the way it is, lest another disaster of an adaption comes to once again drive the point home.
What rumored remakes should and shouldn’t happen in your eyes? Let us know in the comments.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!