Remake fever

Test your knowledge of Hollywood recycling


With the new version of a Nightmare on Elm Street, starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger and directed by music-video veteran Samuel Bayer, hitting theaters this week, we took a look at the film industry’s penchant for remakes. Can you tell which projects listed below are actually in development, and which ones we just made up?

1. The Monster Squad The producing team behind Nightmare creates a new version of this cult horror-comedy, about a team of kids taking on a bunch of old-school monsters. Adults who grew up with the original are sure to be on the lookout for such classic lines as “Wolfman’s got nards!”

2. American Graffiti The ’80s are the new ’60s, so George Lucas’ iconic nostalgia-fest about teen life in 1962 gets an update for the 21st century by moving two decades ahead. The original celebrated old-time customs like cruising and sock hops; the new Graffiti highlights breakdancing and arcade games.

3. Splash The mermaid in the new version of the Tom Hanks/Daryl Hannah romantic comedy is a mix of live-action and motion-capture, allowing filmmakers to shoot dynamic love scenes underwater. Original director Ron Howard will be on board as a producer, but he’s handing directing duties over to Eric Brevig, the man behind the 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth.

4. True Grit The Coen brothers have claimed that their version of the John Wayne classic is more an adaptation of the source novel than a remake of the film, but people are much likelier to remember Wayne’s Oscar-winning performance than Charles Portis’ book. Either way, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin star in the new version, due out in December.

5. Spider-Man Sure, Sam Raimi’s version of Spider-Man came out less than a decade ago, and his Spider-Man 3 is only three years old. But that won’t stop Sony from restarting this franchise and retelling the superhero’s origin story with a new cast and director. The Spider-Man update is said to be a younger, fresher take on the material, because the 2002 version is just so dated.

6. Gymkata Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas tried to jump-start a career as an action star with the notoriously awful 1985 original, and now the genders will be flipped for the remake starring Olympic champion Nastia Liukin, with a hopped-up modern sensibility and increased sex appeal. Can Liukin make gymnastics plus martial arts cool? Find out next summer—in 3D!

7. Police Academy It’s been 16 years since the last Police Academy movie, in which the inept cops went to Moscow, but series creator Paul Maslansky has remained vigilant, and recently signed a deal for a remake, for which he hopes to recruit a new generation of gimmicky, unfunny comedic “talents.”

8. Taxi Driver Provocative Danish director Lars von Trier (Dogville, Antichrist) has signed on to update Martin Scorsese’s classic drama of urban rage. Given von Trier’s well-known aversion to travel, the new movie will have to re-create New York City in Europe, and will likely feature an international cast.

Answers: 1. Real 2. Fake 3. Fake 4. Real 5. Real 6. Fake 7. Real 8. Fake


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story