A remake of the cult classic horror thriller Jacob's Ladder is back on track. Starring Tim Robbins in the title role, Jacob's Ladder made only a minor dent at the box office when it was released in 1990. But thanks to the film's haunting imagery, deep subject matter and unique twist, it developed a strong enough following - apparently enough in this case for producers to keep pursuing a remake.
Written by Ghost Oscar-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin and released a mere five months after the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore became a blockbuster hit, Jacob's Ladder was directed by Adrian Lyne, in his first turn at the helm since the 1987 smash Fatal Attraction. The film follows Jacob Singer (Robbins), a Vietnam veteran already reeling from the loss of his young son (Macaulay Culkin), who tries to discover the reasoning behind his flashbacks and horrific visions of demons. Elizabeth Pena also starred as Jacob's girlfriend, while Danny Aiello played Jacob's chiropractor who comes up with perhaps the most profound meaning behind the veteran's tormented existence.
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Now, nearly 30 years after the original film, financier LD Entertainment is getting behind a remake of Jacob's Ladder. According to THR, scribe Jeff Buhler (who adapted Clive Barker's The Midnight Meat Train), is building upon an earlier draft of a script written by When a Stranger Calls (2006) screenwriter Jake Wade Hall. The production has not yet hired a director.
THR says that the film won't be a straight-up remake of Jacob's Ladder. Rather, producers are looking to make it more of a homage to the 1990 version with a contemporary spin with "new situations and characters but still maintain a story that examines issues and poses existential questions."
Plans for a remake of Jacob's Ladder go back at least five years, when Buhler came aboard the project to rewrite Hall's script. The project seemed to gain steam in 2016 when Michael Ealy (Barbershop) joined the film, but there hasn't been any new developments on the remake until now. The new report didn't mention Ealy or any cast members for that matter, so it appears that casting for the new Jacob's Ladder will start from scratch, which isn't too surprising given how contracts in Hollywood work.
While some fans pine for remakes, it will be interesting to see how fans of the original Jacob's Ladder will react to news of the remake should plans move forward. Perhaps the fact that the remake of Jacob's Ladder has started and stalled twice in the past five years is an indication that the idea of redoing the film should just be left alone. Quite simply, some classics are better left untouched.