Fans of beloved films of the past have become increasingly forced to accept the fact that – in the age of remakes and franchise reboots – nothing is sacred. It’s true that some characters (James Bond, Batman, etc.) are bound to live on forever in an endless cycle of reimaginings as new filmmakers bring their own vision to life, and some films feel so old-fashioned that an attempt to modernize and bring the story to a new generation makes sense (i.e. the recent Carrie remake).
Yet, in other cases, a film's appeal is based on the fact that it encapsulates the time of its release so perfectly that it becomes beloved largely because of its nostalgic properties. This particular group of films is far trickier to resurrect for today’s viewers, but in the case of one 1980s favorite, we’re going to see a remake anyway.
According to The Wrap, Rob Cohen – whose previous credits include the original The Fast and the Furious and xXx – will direct MGM’s upcoming remake of Road House, the 1989 action film that starred Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch and Sam Elliott. Michael Stokes will write the script for the new film.
The original Road House centered on a bouncer named James Dalton (Swayze) who is hired to lead security at a violent bar in Missouri. Its initial release was met with mixed reviews and modest success at the box office, but the film has since developed cult status. It’s unknown at this early stage what changes the remake will make to the original premise.
However, it’s hard to argue that – if the Road House remake hopes to emulate the over-the-top fun of the original – Cohen is a solid choice. After all, it is this very same tone that has helped the Fast and Furious franchise thrive, and while Cohen hasn’t touched the series since the first film, he did help to set its tone and style, which director Justin Lin honed and refreshed in subsequent entries. He’s also rebounding from the critical and financial failure of last year’s Alex Cross and could use a return to the world of action films.
Road House is also far from the only new take on a project that once starred Swayze. Remakes of Dirty Dancing (and opposed to the 2004 pseudo-sequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights) and Point Break are reportedly still in the works, as is a television series based on the Oscar-winning film Ghost. Still, the prospect of a Road House remake faces a similar challenge as last year’s Red Dawn (also, incidentally, a remake of a film starring Swayze).
Both Road House and Red Dawn are so indicative of the era in which they were conceived that they risk feeling out of place in 2013. Audiences may enjoy taking a nostalgic trip back to the testosterone-driven action films of the 1980s (as the success of The Expendables testifies), but a Road House remake risks feeling dated (as was the case with the Red Dawn remake) and a baseless attempt to cash in on a film that many fans still hold dear. Without the right approach, Road House may fail to connect with new viewers and alienate longtime fans, ending up on the wrong side of the thin line between an awesomely bad movie and just a bad movie altogether. Here’s hoping Cohen can steer clear of the latter.
Do you think a Road House remake can work, and is Cohen the right man for the job? Sound off in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all the latest updates on the Road House remake.
Source: The Wrap