So, predictably, every Hollywood studio must be wondering how they can grab some of this business.
Here are seven movies that Hollywood ought to consider rebooting.
#7. Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) – Based on a satirical novel by Kurt Vonnegut, a time-traveling Billy Pilgrim relives the horrors of World War II. Kurt Vonnegut was one of America’s most creative, entertaining and thought-provoking fiction writers. A new generation of Americans ought to be introduced to him. “Slaughterhouse-Five,” based on Vonnegut’s real-life experiences in the war, is one of his seminal works. Vonnegut actually liked the movie treatment. “I drool and cackle every time I watch that film,” he wrote, “because it is so harmonious with what I felt when I wrote the book.” Okay. The movie also won a bunch of art critics awards. But honestly, it is an unwatchable mess. It deserves a do-over.
#6. Forbidden Planet (1956) – This amazing, ground-breaking sci-fi classic is without question one of the greatest space operas of all time. A rescue team dispatched to a distant planet finds leftover technology from an extinct alien race running amok. Most of what happens after they get there is a rip-off from Shakespeare. How cool is that? In addition to pioneering film technology and a novel electronic musical score, this movie is massively entertaining. It was also the inspiration for the original Star Trek TV series. Why remake perfection? You’ll never get millennials to watch an old movie on Netflix.
#5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – An unquestioned science-fiction film epic. The plot involves a deep-space mission to investigate weird transmissions from one of Jupiter’s moons. The original screenplay came from director Stanley Kubrick and the great American science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke — it was based on part one of Clarke’s short stories. Clarke wrote a novel and three sequels to accompany the release of the film. Here’s the problem: the movie is a little boring — and most people left the theater scratching their heads at perhaps the most ambiguous film ending in celluloid history. What about taking all the books and movies and merging them together into one modern engaging saga?
#4. Barbarella (1968) – The president of Earth dispatches Barbarella to find Doctor Durand, the inventor of a terrible weapon that might be used against the universe. It is easy to forget the plot, which is mostly an excuse for weird ways to have space sex. The film utterly bombed at the box office, though it did help launch Jane Fonda’s movie career (another big disappointment). The character Barbarella is based on a 1960s comic book series penned by Jean-Claude Forest. His character and his comics deserve a much better movie.
#3. The Martian Chronicles (1980) – Before The Martian (2015) there was this TV mini-series based on an imaginative collection of stories by one of America’s finest science-fiction writers, Ray Bradbury. By today’s standard, the whole project looks pretty cheesy. Bradbury’s stories deserve a new imaging in a new setting.
#2. Plan Nine from Outer Space (1959) – Yes, this is the worst movie ever made. It’s based on a screenplay by the director Ed Wood— the world’s most untalented artist — who just threw this one in as a dare. Hollywood should remake the film with the exact same story and dialogue. Seriously, it would be a hoot. For Ed Wood “fans,” there’s also Tim Burton’s entertaining biopic of Wood (1994) and Mystery Science Theater’s hilarious take on Wood’s worst movie.
#1. The Crawling Eye (1958) – Jimmy Sangster was a workhorse writer and director of British horror and science-fiction films back in the day. He wrote a screenplay about what happens when a mysterious alien race shows up for a ski holiday in the Alps. This wonderful gem of sci-fi is all but forgotten. It deserves another shot with modern special affects and updated characters and dialogue. But please, don’t add a subplot about global warming.
What did I miss? Seriously, the Hollywood suits want to know. I am sure they are lining up to cash in now.