Film, List, Opinion


The lowdown on five Hollywood remakes that could be coming your way…

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Hollywood isn’t really a place for original concepts anymore – pretty much any big moneymaker is a remake, reboot or a re-imagining of some description. This can come across as anything from greedy to pointless, and it can really make us cinema-goers quite cynical, but that’s a whole other can of worms. The fact is, there are so many remakes being talked about all the time that it’s hard to know which ones will even see the light of day (getting a movie onto the big screen is a very long and complicated process), but here are five remakes which are in development that you might not know about…


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Is it happening?: Good question – the It remake was announced way back in 2009, and it has been a rocky road ever since. The project began life at Warner Bros before being moved over to subsidiary company New Line. Headway seemed to be being made when Cary Fukunaga, the man behind the critically acclaimed first season of True Detective (2014) signed on to direct and the surprising decision to cast young British actor Will Poulter in the iconic role of Pennywise the clown – made famous by Tim Curry – was made. The film was firmly in pre-production, with Fukunaga working on a script alongside Chase Palmer, but was dropped into development hell again when Fukanaga pulled out last year citing studio tampering. Mama (2013) director Andy Muschietti has since been attached to a project, and a new script is reportedly in the works, but it is unclear if or when the film will see the light of day.

Will it be good?: Stephen King adaptions tend to be a bit of a mixed bag – for every The Shining (1980) you’ve got a Bag of Bones (2011) – so this one could go either way. Such a troubled pre-production could have a knock on impact on the final product, and it is hard to predict how it will turn out until the major players are fully confirmed. That said, Poulter has proven his credibility in a range of genres from comedy in We’re the Millers (2013) to drama in The Revenant (2016), so there is no reason that he can’t pull off Pennywise in spite of the inevitable endless comparisons to Curry’s performance.


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Is it happening?: A remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds has been in talks for years, but developments last year suggest that it might finally be happening. Screencrush reported that Michael Bay is set to produce the film via his production company Platinum Dunes, whilst Dutch director Diederick Van Roojen is currently attached to direct. Platinum Dunes will produce the film with Mandalay and Universal. Whilst this seems like real moves towards the film finally getting made, there is still a long way to go – back in 2007 Naomi Watts was in talks to star with Martin Campbell of Casino Royale (2006) fame in the directors chair, but by 2009 the project had stalled.

Will it be good?: Bay’s production company has been behind numerous horror remakes over the years, from The Amityville Horror to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and it would seem that even Hitchcock’s classics aren’t safe. Many horror fans consider The Birds untouchable, and the decision to remake it is one that is unlikely to go down well. Pair this with the fact that it would be being produced by the guy who is responsible for the Transformers franchise and who has a penchant for blowing things up in his movies, and the chances of the remake being any good are decidedly low. On the plus side, Bay isn’t in the directors chair, and Van Roojen may surprise us all by not allowing him to stamp his identity all over the place, but it is probably for the best if this particular remake remains deep in development hell.


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Is it happening?: It certainly looks like it – details are still pretty thin on the ground, but last September The Guardian reported that Elizabeth Banks has signed on to produce and direct a Charlie’s Angels reboot based on the original 1970’s TV series starring Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. Banks is also set to produce the film alongside her husband and production partner Max Handelman, whilst Evan Spiliotopoulos is said to be writing the script, suggesting that the pieces are slowly falling together to make this remake a real possibility.

Will it be good?: There’s every chance it could be. Banks is a hot property in Hollywood right now, making her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 to Box Office success last summer, as well as acting in The Lego Movie (2014) and The Hunger Games franchise (2012-15). The original series was based on three women who face institutional sexism in the police force and go to work for the titular Charlie where their skills are put to better use, a premise that still (depressingly) holds real credence. The  Charlie’s Angels film in 2000 starring Lucy Lui, Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore was successful enough to spawn a sequel in 2003, proving the the concept also has financial potential. Writer Spiliotopoulos is mostly known for penning a vast array of Disney’s DOV sequels, but he also has credits on the upcoming The Huntsman Winter’s War and the live action Beauty and the Beast, so there’s no reason he can’t pull it off.


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Is it happening?: It’s still early days, but it looks like it. The idea for a THIRD remake of the original 1937 film of the same name has been in the pipeline since 2011, when it was reported that Clint Eastwood was set to direct with Beyonce Knowles as the female lead previously played by Janet Ganor, Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand. Negotiations with Beyonce fell through in 2012 and it looked like the project was being put on the back-burner by Warner Bros until last year when it was announced that Bradley Cooper is interested in the project as his directorial debut. As it stands, Cooper has quashed any Beyonce related rumours and looks set to direct, star and co-produce the film.

Will it be good?: It has potential. Cooper is one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men, so whilst it is almost a given that he will be great in front of the camera, it will be interesting to see what he can achieve in the director’s chair. A strong female lead is an absolute must – will he perhaps try to entice his frequent co-star and friend Jennifer Lawrence into the role? Other than that, it’s hard to know at such an early stage with so few details – will the film be a period or contemporary piece? The story – about a woman who becomes famous as her lover’s career flounders – is universal and could be applied to the modern generation in an interesting way given the right script.


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Is it happening?: It certainly is. Sony announced plans last year to remake 1996 cult classic The Craft with Leigh Janiak writing and directing. Doug Wick, one of the producers of the original, is on board to co-produce alongside Lucy Fisher, and whilst a cast has yet to be announced the ball seems to be well and truly rolling on the project.

Will it be good?: Again, information is still hard to come by at this stage, but all the indicators point towards the film being in safe hands with Janiak, who is a rising star in the horror genre after her directorial debut Honeymoon in 2014. The female centric original was a supernatural teen film with endless cult appeal, and it seems only right that a rising female director take the helm on the remake. On the downside, it is only ten years since the original came out, and there are a lot of questions about the need for a remake so quickly, if at all.

What remakes are you worried or excited about? Let me know in the comments section:


Film, List


Waynes-World-product-plac-001Movies are a tough business, no doubt about it, and they sure do cost a pretty penny. This means that in order for a lot of movies to get made, they might have to accept payment from companies and brands in return for incorporating a product into the finished film. It’s just one of those things, and most of the time filmmakers manage to incorporate product placement without drawing too much attention away from whats going on – some even manage to use it to their favour to create laughs (Wayne’s World, for example). However, that’s not always the case, and more and more films are being accused of laziness in this area – Jurassic World this Summer felt at times like an extended ad break. I have compiled a list of five hilarious instances of product placement:

Honourable mention…


10This one is an honourable mention due to the fact that FedEx didn’t actually pay for the extended appearance in Robert Zemeckis Castaway. The film, starring Tom Hanks, follows the story of a time-obsessed FedEx delivery man who fights for survival on a desert island after a delivery fight for, you guessed it, FedEx crashes. The company logo features pretty heavily throughout and the service is essential to the plot, leading many to deduce that FedEx must have paid a huge sum for such extensive product placement. However, this was not actually the case – Zemeckis has publicly stated that it was he that approached FedEx rather than the other way around, believing that an authentic logo was essential to the overall realism of the film. Interestingly enough, FedEx were in fact initially dubious about the film due to the fact that it featured one of their planes crashing.


Pepsi-Product-Placement-in-San-Andreas-2015-MovieSan Andreas is hilarious in a lot of ways, very few of them intentional, but the product placement is without a doubt one of the highlights amongst the madness. The film is a disaster movie which appears to exist only to allow director Brad Peyton to live out all his childhood fantasies and let Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson flex those gigantic muscles – there are explosions, earthquakes and tsunamis galore, so just where they would manage to fit in an advert for Pepsi was always going to be problematic. Yet manage it they do, with Paul Giamatti’s Dr. Lawrence Hayes taking a nice long sip of Diet Pepsi before going about finding out about that pesky earthquake, as you do. Even more hilariously, this is not the only example of blatant product placement in the film – there is also an excellent shot near the beginning where we see dozens of Apple logos light up on students macbook in a crowded lecture hall – the height of subtlety.


03-pepsi-bisPepsi seem to love placing their product into films where it makes little sense, with Coca-Cola’s main rival also showing up in zombie thriller World War Z back in 2013. It seems that any character in a film that is going to be required to deal with some form of disaster just has to have a few glugs of Pepsi goodness before they can continue on their way – even if you’re Brad Pitt. It’s hilarious in the same way that San Andreas is in that it is just flat out ridiculous and only succeeds in totally bringing you out of the film for a couple of minutes as you try to get your head around how weird it all is.


the_lego_movie_2014-wideThis one manages to be both hilarious and clever, surprising everyone in the process. The Lego Movie became one of 2014’s biggest success stories – based on the building block toys, directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord managed to make a film that was inventive, wacky and above all else, entertaining with a heartfelt message. This is no mean feat for a kids film, but its all the more impressive when you consider that the film is really just one long advert for Lego, with sales reportedly going up by 11% in the wake of the films release and a sequel in the pipeline. Now that’s product placement done right.


8-zombieland-quotesProduct placement works best when it is either natural to the surroundings or incorporated into the plot in a way that doesn’t feel overly intrusive, usually in the form of a joke or gag. Zombieland pulls this off perfectly, with Woody Harrelson’s character “Tallahassee” being obsessed with Twinkies. The character is on a quest to find them, and that moment when he gloriously fulfils his dream probably had all of America hankering for the sweet yellow treat. The joke is funny, but also feels organic to the overall tone of the film and is a great example of how to pull off product placement without compromising the finished film.

Side Note: Zombieland also nailed cameos – Bill Murray, anyone?


transformers_product_placementMichael Bay isn’t a director known for his sophistication, so it can hardly be a surprise that the guy appears to be a pretty big fan of the old product placement. How else is he going to fund the increasingly ludicrous explosion extravaganzas he calls films? There was X-Box in The Island, Burger King in Transformers, but Michael Bay was officially awarded for his contribution to the big business that is product placement earlier this year. The Bandcameo product placement awards (yes, it’s a real thing) deemed Transformers: Age of Extinction the film with the most product placements in the past year, with a staggering 55 separate brands being featured throughout. 55. The film ran for a ridiculously bloated 165 minutes, but how they still managed to fit FIFTY-FIVE different brands in a film about robots and Mark Wahlberg is a mystery. It’s hilarious because if you didn’t laugh you would probably weep at the fact that this guy continues to make films and that they continue to make millions.

What are your favourite moments of hilarious product placement? Let me know in the comments section!