It only took 35 years for us to see Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard on the big screen again.
Ford reprises his role as the gruff replicant hunter in “Blade Runner 2049,” co-starring Ryan Gosling. The film captures that 1982 classic’s look as well as the franchise’s meatier themes about life, death and the robots who lurk between the two.
Yet there are other ’80s era films that could be sequelized, too … but for the right reasons. That means it won’t be a simple nostalgia exercise but the chance to continue a story in some meaningful ways. Here are four examples:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Imagine that Cameron, the sad sack played by Alan Ruck in the 1986 classic, grew up to be a powerful CEO. And, to make things more interesting, Ferris Bueller endures a demoralizing, 9-to-5 cubicle job. Ol’ Ferris also has a crushing mortgage, two kids who don’t respect him and a wife who might be skipping out on him.
Then, Cameron calls his old chum one day and insists they take a work day off together. Suddenly, the old Ferris comes back in ways he thought weren’t possible. Now, that’s a great way to continue the saga while staying true to Ferris’s “seize the day” spirit.
Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee’s best film, by a wide margin, captured the racial tension in one overheated New York neighborhood in 1989.
Fast forward to 2017, and racial strife is spiking once more. Black Lives Matters. A president many dub our “Racist in Chief.” Black football players taking a knee over the National Anthem.
How could we not demand to see what Mookie and co. think of all of this?
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Who doesn’t want to find out what happened to Jeff Spicoli, one of cinema’s most infamous stoners? Did he end up in Colorado running a marijuana shop? Or did he fulfill the low expectations set forth by his crusty old teacher Mr. Hand? We could also revisit Judge Reinhold’s Brad, now a father of two teen girls. How is he dealing with their budding hormones?
Contrasting teen life then (circa 1982) with modern times would offer up both a killer soundtrack and some wry social commentary.
This Tom Hanks comedy doesn’t get the love of his other ’80s hits like “Big” and “Splash.” That’s a shame since it’s a clever slice of suburbia directly rooted in its time and place.
So why not let Hanks move back into the story? This time, he’s about to become a grandfather and his daughter successfully pitches him on returning to his old neighborhood. Now, Papa Peterson must deal with helicopter parents, neighbors hooked on Facebook and other modern afflictions. The satirical potential is off the charts, and Hanks can be the Everyman filter the story deserves.