Of the few unwritten rules that Hollywood has for filmmakers, one of them seems to be that if you stay in the game long enough and make just the right amount of noise with your own work, then sooner or later you just might get the chance to take on a studio project. For some directors, a studio film doesn’t hold any interest. Others however, take to the challenge and successfully deliver something that builds into a highly popular and lucrative franchise.
So far, filmmakers like Jon Favreau and Sam Raimi have taken their careers to new places by making the switch from indie productions to mainstream studio fare. Yet it’s Kevin Smith who despite being a huge comic book genre fan and a highly imaginative filmmaker, still hasn’t made the leap from his own projects to more studio-oriented work. Smith retains a deeply devoted cult following – not to mention much respect from the geek community, but up until now he’s remained firmly embedded in his own View Askewniverse.
Of course, there is the possibility that Kevin Smith’s devotion to his indie roots is mostly due to the fact that to date, no studio project has come along that he’s really interested in doing. Well if that’s the case, Smith has now made it known that he’s interested in hopping aboard the studio train. While recording his podcast Fatman on Batman, Smith admitted to a serious desire to remake Disney’s 1971 musical-fantasy Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Just how serious is this desire? Well, it’s best to let Smith explain for himself:
"Bedknobs and Broomsticks can be remade today. That movie can so f--king work today. In a world where Disney's like, 'Pete's Dragon!' and sh-t like that... Hey! I will f--king s-ck d-ck Disney to make the remake of Bedknobs and Broomsticks."
Bedknobs and Broomsticks was one of the few early Disney films to use live-action actors as well as animation. Its story was based upon two novels by author Mary Norton and tells the tale of the three Rawlins children after their evacuation to the country during the World War II blitz on London. They take up residence with Miss Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury), a strange woman who is learning witchcraft in hopes of helping with the war effort. Soon the children are accompanying Miss Price on fantastical journeys in search of magical artifacts to help her cause.
The thought of Kevin Smith taking on a reboot of this classic film definitely has some very interesting prospects. Smith has long since proven himself very creative and imaginative – exactly what a film like this would need. What’s more, though Disney combined both Norton books to make one film, today those two books could be used individually, to set up a franchise.
At present, it’s important to remember that this is only an idea voiced by Kevin Smith, on his podcast. As such, it is very far from actually being put into motion. But should Disney become intrigued by the prospect, only a handful of directors come to mind that could do such a project justice. For many fans, Kevin Smith is the obvious choice to give this Disney classic the zany, tripped-out new life that it needs.