Nothing gets geek movie audiences anticipating and debating quite the way that remakes do. Beloved properties from every era of film are always brimming with the potential for improvement, utter failure or just a big ol’ “Why did they even bother?”
Reboots have a very uneven track record, but there is one thing nobody can deny. They keep coming and coming. Between franchise licensing and fresh adaptations of old material, it’s fair to ask if Hollywood is running out of ideas! But let’s be fair. Sometimes, remakes beat the pants off of the original product. The '80s horror masterpiece The Thing, for example, is a vast improvement over the '50s version. Then again, the first '60s film of The Planet of the Apes has never been topped by either of its franchise reboots (and the 2001 catastrophe is best forgotten entirely).
Either way, just the chance that viewers might encounter an enhanced redo of a milestone property is enough to have us all constantly asking for more. There’s an awful lot of chatter out there about what is supposedly coming from the remake wish list and what’s not. Some films are deep into development, while others face an on-again-off-again status as scant reports dribble out of studio meetings, giving fans some hope.
Honestly, it’s fair to ask if any of these things should even be touched, especially if the original is true classic. Whatever your opinion is on remakes, cinematic renovations won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, plenty are on the way!
Here are 9 Remakes That Are Currently In Development (And 11 That Are Rumored).
20 Pet Sematary (In Development)
In a world overpacked with every conceivable Stephen King adaptation possible – like The Shining, Carrie, The Green Mile, and The Dark Tower – there are plenty of cinematic hits and misses. Pet Sematary is clearly one of the fan-favorites from the 80s. The Mary Lambert-helmed fright fest balanced just enough scares, mystery and family tragedy to deliver a memorable piece of fairly disturbing horror.
Can that ever be topped? We will soon know. The remake is well underway, with a stellar cast and talented directing team already signed. For those in the know, that insane cat and bathtub scene and creepy little undead kid will be a tough act to follow. Let’s see what this one looks like resurrected.
19 The Orphanage (Rumored)
A secluded orphanage, mischievous ghost kids, and a creepy seance – what’s not to like here? The Spanish horror film The Orphanage was a fan favorite, with the co-producing stamp of Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro. Praised for classical haunting aesthetics and tense build-up, it’s no wonder that American studios would want to make a brand new English-language version. Like what they did with The Grudge and The Ring, successful Japanese horror properties.
As soon as the film came out in 2007, New Line Cinema bought the rights to do just that. Guillermo del Toro even signed on to produce with a 2011 commitment from Amy Adams to play the lead role. While nothing had come of the project since then, rumblings continue to point to another bite at this ghostly apple.
18 The Crow (In Development)
If there was ever a cursed franchise, The Crow might just be the one to measure all others by. The inaugural entry from 1994 was a smash hit. However, the film’s star Brandon Lee suffered a fatal accident on set. Subsequent entries went from underperforming at the box office to straight-to-video movies.
The Crow was a success when it was released in 1994, but it would be interesting to see what a modern take on the movie would look like.
In recent years, the beloved comic book property seemed to finally have dream team set to revive the series. Up and coming horror director, Corin Hardy, was signed to helm the flick along with Game of Thrones favorite Jason Momoa to star in the title role. Unfortunately, both of them abruptly quit in early 2018. Technically, the movie is still in development at the studio, but, the Aquaman star has definitely taken a deep dive away from the project.
17 An American Werewolf In London (Rumored)
When John Landis made his 1981 lycanthrope cult hit An American Werewolf in London, the use of open comedy elements in monster movies wasn’t really a thing yet. Pioneering a sort of “dramedy” approach to the classic tale of a hapless hiker transforming into a man-eating predator, Landis opened the way for what is now a common trope in films like Shaun of the Dead and The Cabin in the Woods.
As of 2016, rumors started that Landis’ son Max – the screenwriter for the Netflix movie Bright – wanted to remake his dad’s classic with his own take. It is yet to be seen if this revival attempt will finally bear any fangs.
16 Arachnophobia (In Development)
If you hate spiders, stop reading this now. If you really hated the original Arachnophobia from 1990 because it accurately depicted your worst arachnid fears realized – seriously, stop reading now because things are about to run around on eight legs again. Top director James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring) has signed on as the producer for a reboot of the creepy crawly horror comedy.
If you have a fear of spiders, we wouldn't recommend watching the Arachnophobia remake when it's released.
Not only that, the project also has Amblin Entertainment on board. With two industry powerhouses weaving this development web, we are sure it will be no time before this remake will be injecting some venom into filmgoers. In the meantime, true arachnophobes might want start stocking up on some Raid right now.
15 Time Bandits (Rumored)
It’s easy to forget just how many amazing works Terry Gilliam is responsible for. From his early days as a member of Monty Python to his seminal dystopian film Brazil, he's even the guy who directed the 12 Monkeys movie.
Time Bandits is an adventure film about a child's wild imagination and it would be interesting to see how it would be adapted into a TV series.
Now Gilliam has his sight set on Time Bandits, which may be one of the more interesting remakes to look at. The metaphysical time-traveling heist fantasy is a brilliant mix of tropes which could be adapted in a million different ways. Gilliam himself has expressed interest in seeing a new version as a TV series. Nothing solid has come from it yet, but fans of the original know that it’s pretty much in the hands of The Supreme Being anyway!
14 Starship Troopers (In Development)
Let’s face it – when Starship Troopers was released in 1997 to very disappointing box office numbers, nobody thought it would be the cult hit it has become. The unlikely cast of Casper Van Dien and Denise Richards didn’t exactly lend itself to garnering huge geek love. However, that’s what happened, now studios are wondering if such space lightening can be captured in the galactic bottle once again.
Columbia Picture picked up the rights and apparently seek to be far more faithful to the original Robert Heinlein book than Paul Verhoeven’s original satirical take on the source material was. In any case, it looks like it may be time to join the mobile infantry and start ending some bugs again!
13 Akira (Rumored)
Manga fans the world over can have reasonable disagreements about the most influential series in the history of the genre. But most would have to agree that Akira is a contender for at least being near the top of the list. The crazy Neo-Tokyo tale about motorcycle gangs and powerful telepathic powers saw an anime version arrive in theaters back in 1988.
The project has been ready for some kind of grand live-action reboot for decades now. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has expressed interest in getting such a remake going. Nothing is set in stone and the New Zealand filmmaker is already busy with a TV series based on his beloved vampire parody What We Do in the Shadows, so for now, this one is stuck in the rumor category.
12 American Psycho (Rumored)
It’s easy to forget these days, but there was a time when Christian Bale was not a household name. Before he shot up to stardom as the lead in Batman Begins, Bale had an earlier role in American Psycho which left a lasting impression on horror fans.
The part slasher, part satire film sparked debate and cultural criticism for its portrayal of an overprivileged psychopath who gets away with more than just murder. Rumors of a remake of the film seem to never go away. There was even a pitch involving gender-swapping the Bale character with a fully-produced short film to prove the concept. As of yet, however, there seem to be no solid studio plans to do anything with the property.
11 The Birds (In Development)
Back in the 60s when Alfred Hitchcock made The Birds, the technical challenges of filmmaking decades before CGI led to some gruesome stories from the set of the movie. Mixing animation with puppets and real birds, the film about nature going mad showed what just might happen to us if flocks of our feathered friends were to dive bomb us.
With all the technological advancements in the film industry, there will be no need to use real birds like Alfred Hitchcock did in The Birds.
This led to one scene where Tippi Hedren was tied to real birds who really attacked her up! With modern effects, bird attacks can look scarier without injuring actors. That’s what Harry Potter producer David Heyman is looking to do with a BBC miniseries version of the story. Let’s see if it makes a squawk!
10 Creature from the Black Lagoon (Rumored)
After the very disappointing performance of the 2017 version of The Mummy, which not even Tom Cruise could save, just about anything from Universal’s “Dark Universe” reboot of its classic monsters era must be said to be a rumor. What was set to be launched as a mega-franchise loaded with A-List talent like Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe, has come to a screeching halt.
However, The Creature from the Black Lagoon remake maybe unnecessary after the release of The Shape of Water, which is pretty much the same thing. Still, horror director Rob Zombie has expressed interest in bringing the project up from the deep. So maybe this fish will swim into theaters again after all.
9 Escape from New York (In Development)
Note to future dystopian filmmakers, make sure events are set 100 years ahead instead of under 20. While the cult classic Escape from New York is a brilliant bit of B-movie adventurism, the idea that the island of Manhattan would be a walled-off prison by 1999 was a bit far-fetched, even in 1981 when the movie came out.
Regardless, this was the film that made Kurt Russel a breakout star. Its mix of punk rock, steampunk and Cold War jitters made for one hell of a ride. Long ready to be remade, it looks like none other than Sin City director Robert Rodriguez has attached himself to helm the feature, so it may be time for Snake Plissken to strap on his eye patch one more time.
8 Heavy Metal (Rumored)
The original pages of the fantasy comics magazine Heavy Metal was fertile ground for comics greats such as Moebius. The 80s animated rock and roll anthology feature adapted of some of the stories from Heavy Metal’s pages has long held cult status. The movie’s combination of the magazine’s ethos with a soundtrack which included Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult songs.
Heavy Metal may be able to find its place among other successful comic book movies, especially with the right person directing the film.
Audiences love seeing the weird sci-fi tales come to life. Heavy Metal publisher Kevin Eastman (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is trying to get a new film version going. It may be all talk right now, but fans are hoping this fantasy becomes a reality soon.
7 Highlander (In Development)
Everybody’s favorite Scottish magical and immortal swordsman may be collecting heads again soon! The 80s film Highlander has already spawned a mighty stable of sequels in movie theaters, TV and animated works over the last few decades. But none of them ever quite captured the power and impact of the original film.
Lion’s Gate is hoping that the long-awaited full-blown reboot will have better luck. Eyeing a release date of 2019, the script is reportedly ready to go along with a director attached. A successful relaunch of the franchise has geeks everywhere ready for the Quickening. Note to the filmmakers, please find a way to get Clancy Brown back in there somehow. Best. Villain. Ever.
6 Weird Science (Rumored)
Science fiction is not the genre which the late beloved film director John Hughes is best remembered for. The creator of The Breakfast Club and Home Alone is more commonly associated with coming-of-age comedies. But for the 1985 feature, Weird Science, Hughes decided to do some genre-mashing to concoct his hilarious tale of brainy wiz kids inventing “the perfect women” like some wannabe mad scientists.
Rumors of a remake have been around since at least 2013, but nothing has materialized as of yet. It may be that in the “woke” 21st century, the idea of two teenagers building a super-hot lady servant won’t really fly or be as funny as it was in the 80s.
5 WarGames (In Development)
In the 1983 film WarGames, a computer meant to simulate nuclear war almost ends up causing one. The artificial intelligence behind the close call gains a new insight after this near miss: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” The same can be said of many film reboots, too! But the haunting warning doesn't seem to phase MGM, who is getting ready to release a more modern take on the story as an "interactive series" involving a bunch of internet hackers this time.
Another thing that has changed about the movie, the Cold War is over. Audiences in the 80s were always worried about the Soviet Union hitting us with nukes. Will contemporary audiences feel that fear as well? We’ll see when this project launches.
4 Videodrome (Rumored)
Thank you, David Cronenberg, for all the madness over the years. While the director may be best known for horror classics like The Fly remake with Jeff Goldblum, Scanners and Dead Ringers, the more esoteric Videodrome was among his more terrifying and controversial films. Set in the days before the internet, this mind-bending paranoid fantasy about a secret TV channel which causes hallucinations is primed to be gloriously reworked for the digital age.
A Videodrome remake may not find success unless they re-vamp the premise to fit the digital age.
Unfortunately, rumors of just such a remake which were going around back in 2012 seem to have ebbed off at this point. Or maybe it isn’t needed. With horror films like Hostel and The Devil’s Rejects, Videodrome might be a little dated.
3 The Black Hole (Rumored)
As far as rumored remakes for Disney properties go, none of them might be nearly as robust as the speculation on an updated version of The Black Hole. The 1979 film was the studio’s attempt to do “serious” sci-fi in the wake of the success of Star Wars. Unfortunately, the film's box office earnings spin into their own black hole.
While the underperforming movie was bland and goofy, the underlying concept of a supervillain moving between dimensions through one of the greatest natural phenomena of outer space keeps holding popular interest. Recent speculation has held that a remake pitch came up too dark for Disney execs, but that could change. After all, the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi weren’t exactly light and uplifting!
2 Logan’s Run (In Development)
One of the most beloved geek properties from the 70s happens to be one, which wasn’t made with the best possible production value. Don’t get us wrong: the 1976 version of Logan’s Run is awesome. The whole premise of a future where you get everything you could want for free, but pay for the privilege by having your life ended at age 30. How can the plot not be compelling?
The revelations of the final two acts of the movie are like The Twilight Zone meets Star Trek in many ways. But a lot of the sets and props looked pretty cheesy. Laser weapons, robots and even the overall set came off as cheap and unconvincing. Hopefully, the properly budgeted film currently under production at Warner Bros will help us reach Sanctuary.
1 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Rumored)
Long before the Disneyland ride The Pirates of the Caribbean became a multibillion-dollar film franchise, the Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was brought to the screen by Disney in 1954. The underwater fantasy tale of Captain Nemo and his miraculous submarine the Nautilus featured fights with giant sea squids, hidden treasures, and intrigue.
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea would be an interesting movie to make its return to the big screen, especially with Disney's success with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
While the movie was a big hit with kids back in the day, the limitations of special effects in that era make for fake looking tentacles and obvious submarine-toys-in-a-pool tank moments. A CGI facelift makes this a prime property to bring up from the deep. Bryan Singer was supposed to get on board this boat, but between working on other stuff and accusations of personal misconduct, the project has gone from development to back on the rumor mill.
What movie do you want to see remade? Tell us in the comments below!