Oh Brother: Warner Bros. to Mark Its 100th Anniversary by Wokeifying Its Old Classics

(AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)

The famed Hollywood studio Warner Bros. is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year, and it certainly has a rich history to showcase. The studio could have coasted through its anniversary year by rolling out some of its classic films, which range from the very beginnings of cinema to today, to new audiences. But some daring young innovative thinker at Warner Bros. decided to do something at once more audacious, more risky, and much more certain to produce ghastly results: Warner is going to mark its hundredth birthday with “a short film series that reimagines the Studio’s iconic films through a diverse and inclusive lens.” Hey, it could be worse. They could have hired Dylan Mulvaney. But you never know: he could show up in one of these woke remakes.

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The Bounding Into Comics site on Thursday pinpointed exactly what is so horrifying about the Warner Bros. plan: “After all, there’s nothing like celebrating your own history by attempting to appease those who unapologetically hate everything about it.” Or as investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield put it, “With diverse versions of the X-Files, the Little Mermaid and King of the Hill on their way, why not enjoy some butchered classics with more exclusively inclusive and diverse (no white people, please) casting?” No white people indeed seem to be the objective. We’re certain to see “people of color” cast in some, if not all, of the key roles, after the manner of Netflix’s new black Cleopatra. But who knows? There are likely to be gay and trans characters in abundance as well.

Bounding Into Comics explains that “the series will see six of the studio’s classic offerings remade with ‘representative casting, storytelling, and narrative’ by a respective up-and-coming filmmaker.” These bright young woke filmmakers were “specifically selected to participate by ‘DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] industry veterans, including WBD’s Senior Vice President of DEI in North America Karen Horne, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures executives, Visual Communications, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Urban World, Sundance Indigenous Lab, Outfest and ReelAbilities Film Fest.” It would be hard to imagine a more grim, angry, self-righteous conglomeration, and the “re-imagined” films that they give us are likely to be as dreadful as one would expect these sanctimonious Leftists to produce.

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Among those selected for woke updating were Calamity Jane, which was originally made in 1953 and starred Doris Day as the beautiful, fearless Wild West heroine. Here’s hoping that Warner Bros. gets someone as straight-shooting and tough as Doris Day was in the original, but in a thoroughly modern way. Lizzo immediately leaps to mind, but if she leaps on a horse, Warner Bros. might be having to answer to PETA.

Then there’s Jack and the Beanstalk. The 1952 Warner Bros. version was a comic version starring Abbott and Costello. I’m as unfamiliar with contemporary pop culture as I can manage to be, and I’m unaware of any old-fashioned comedy duos operating today. Could Warner Bros. get Will Smith and Chris Rock for this?

A Star is Born, which was originally made in 1954 and starred Judy Garland (you know, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz) and James Mason, could be the perfect vehicle for the brightest, hottest star in the firmament today: Dylan Mulvaney. Or maybe Dylan would prefer to be in the new, politically rectified Adventures of Robin Hood; he’d no doubt love to prance around in the tights that Errol Flynn wore in the 1938 original. Even better, he might prefer to be in Rebel Without a Cause, which starred James Dean when Warner Bros. made it back in 1955. Dean was the archetypal brooding, alienated youth, an iconic symbol of America in the 1950s. From James Dean to Dylan Mulvaney is a steep descent, but it would be canny casting on Warner’s part. Leftists would lap it up, and Mulvaney could complete his apotheosis as the symbol of our insane age.

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It could be worse. Warner Bros. produced Casablanca, but it isn’t on the remake list, so we will at least for now be spared the prospect of Rick, who was played by Humphrey Bogart in the original, leaving in the end with Ingrid Bergman’s husband, instead of nobly exhorting her to leave with him herself.

This is just the worst time for anyone in Hollywood to be remaking films from the golden age of cinema. Both movies and America have seen better days, and Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairs & CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy made it absolutely certain that these remakes will be stomach-churning when they announced: “We’re absolutely thrilled to work with WBD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team to expand opportunities for a broader range of talent to realize their dreams at Warner Bros. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this Studio’s 100-year legacy than investing in the next generation of great storytellers, and we look forward to seeing these iconic movies through their eyes.” Literally no one else is, however.

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