Romancing the Stone has it all: dangerous South American jungle adventures with an Indiana Jones-style anti-hero (Michael Douglas' Jack T. Colton), a memorable romance between the hero and lovely writer Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner), Danny DeVito as a bumbling criminal named Ralph - not to mention, it was the film that jump-started director Robert Zemeckis' career.
So, naturally, 20th Century Fox is planning to remake it for a whole new generation.
A Romancing the Stone remake has actually been in the cards since about 2007, but there's been little to no progress on the project. Moviehole has learned that Fox studio heads and producer Emma Watts are now on the prowl for a director who can offer a "fresh, exciting take" on the tale.
In recent months, other remakes of famous '80s titles (Short Circuit, Dirty Dancing, WarGames, etc.) have managed to snag fairly experienced directors. However, the plan with Romancing the Stone is to bring a relative newcomer onboard:
"... someone newish to the moviemaking scene, though that someone will naturally encompass a unique set of skills that goes beyond ‘point and shoot’ capabilities."
That is why one-time rumored candidate Robert Luketic is reportedly out of the picture to helm this particular remake. The starlet of Luketic's Killers and The Ugly Truth (Katherine Heigl) is still being eyed for the Joan Wilder role, while Taylor Kitsch (the upcoming John Carter and Battleship) is on the wish list to portray the Jack T. Colton character. Gerard Butler is reportedly also being considered for the part of Colton.
While pretty much everybody seems to agree that the sparks failed to fly between Butler and Heigl in The Ugly Truth, the minds behind the Romancing the Stone remake appear to feel otherwise. Go figure.
At first it seems like the recent under-performance of '80s remakes Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian would give studio heads reason to pause before they move ahead with Romancing the Stone. However, the latter film was much more lucrative than either of those aforementioned films - enough so that it led to a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, being released just a year later; not to mention, there were ongoing plans for a third installment all the way up until about 1997. So it is arguably a different situation.
Romancing the Stone does boast a nice blend of genre elements (action, adventure, romance, comedy), but the cast was arguably a big part of why it all worked so well. Hence why it's difficult to be anything but skeptical about an "updated' version being able to recapture the magic of the original.
Nonetheless, we will keep you posted on the status of the Romancing the Stone remake.