Clearly, Hollywood has a serious case of nostalgia-itis. Currently, studios are tapping into 1980s and '90s properties like Labyrinth, Predator, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to hook new audiences and stir up/intrigue older fans of the franchises. Big budget remakes of fantasy and sci-fi fare are especially popular right now, with cult favorites like Highlander and Gremlins being merely the tip of the iceberg of such projects now in some stage of development.
Prolific producer Brian Glazer (Empire, The Dark Tower) sat down with CNBC (watch the interview above) to discuss the evolution of Hollywood during the streaming-friendly Information Age. Glazer then announced his intention to begin casting on a remake of Splash in the foreseeable future. Specifically, he was asked about who he had in mind for the Tom Hanks role. Glazer played coy, replying “I can’t say anything about it.” When pressed, however, the producer did admit that “there’s going to be a movie star involved.”
In Glazer’s book, A Curious Mind he discussed how his original concept for Splash was called ‘Wet’, based on the mermaid’s point of view. When asked about his intentions to return to the prior premise, he states:
“Yes. And that’s what…we’re going to do a version of that. But I can’t tell you the twist.”
The original Splash told the tail (pun intended) of a mermaid named Madison (Daryl Hannah) who twice rescues Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks). Sprouting legs, Madison tracks him down in New York City, where the unlikely pair fell in love. But there’s a catch. If she gets wet, she’ll regrow her fins. The film became a surprise hit, raking in $90 million at the box office. It was also a breakout role for Hannah, and gave rising star Hanks’ career a major boost. In addition, Splash separated now-famous filmmaker Ron Howard from his child-star roots as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. The original also gave fun roles to comedy legends like John Candy, Shecky Greene, and Eugene Levy.
Glazer’s move to remake his own film may come as a bit of a surprise, one which won’t necessarily please devotees of the original picture. However, he’s never been shy about playing around with his own franchises (see 24, 24: Legacy). At the same time, many film fanatics have criticized Hollywood for their seeming obsession with rebooting and remaking fan favorites like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Ghostbusters. Grazer may have a spate of engaging films and television shows to his name, but a move to remake Splash probably sounds like a cash-grab to fans of the 1984 film.
As the original producer and co-writer, though, Glazer’s concept is understandably close to his heart. The studio did alter his original vision for the film, which would’ve featured more of the mermaid’s take on the story (as detailed in his book). Despite its status as a chipped classic, the original Splash does have a dated feel to it. With the right casting, a solid special effects budget (perhaps mo-cap), and whatever interesting “twist” Glazer has in mind, a remake of the original could successfully retell the tale in a respectful manner to the original property and brings new fans into the franchise.
We’ll keep you updated on any additional Splash remake news.