The Golden Age of Hollywood

Upcoming remakes of SciFi films, classics and otherwise..

Here is a list of upcoming remakes of the Science Fiction films many of us might have grown up with.
'The Creature From the Black Lagoon' Breck Eisner ("Sahara") will direct the retelling of an Amazon River expedition that crosses paths with a prehistoric amphibian humanoid. It's written by Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit"), whose father, Arthur A. Ross, wrote the 1954 film.
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'Dune' Actor and director Peter Berg ("Hancock," "The Kingdom") has stepped up to wrestle with an adaptation of the late Frank Herbert's grand intergalactic novel. The plan is to have it in theaters in 2010, the 45th anniversary of the best-selling science-fiction novel title ever. David Lynch brought the story of cosmic spice wars to the screen in 1984.

'Fahrenheit 451' It has been 56 years since the publication of Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel about Guy Montag, a state-employed book burner. François Truffaut brought the story to life in 1966. Writer-director Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") is on the job now with a planned 2010 release even though his announced star, Tom Hanks, has dropped out.

'Flash Gordon' After the "Black Lagoon," Eisner plans to revive Alex Raymond's classic space hero. Created as a comic rival to Buck Rogers, Flash is celebrating his 75th anniversary, but it's not clear his retro appeal holds. Sci Fi canceled its "Flash Gordon" series last year.

'Forbidden Planet' Producer Joel Silver ("The Matrix" films) is behind a revival of this 1956 classic that gave a sci-fi twist to Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and introduced the world to Robbie the Robot - a machine man who would show up in pop culture for decades. Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski ("Changeling") is on board.

'Frankenstein' Mary Shelley's classic tale of science gone awry has given Hollywood shambling visions of cemetery horror for decades. Now Guillermo del Toro says that after he finishes the two-film version of "The Hobbit" he will turn his attention to the gothic morality tale and that actor Doug Jones (Abe Sapien in "Hellboy") might play the patchwork man.

'Ghostbusters' There's talk of making a third installment in the hugely successful sci-fi comedy franchise. Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, writers for "The Office," are at work on the script for Columbia Pictures, and Bill Murray has said he's open to the idea.

'The Illustrated Man' Another Bradbury work planned for a 2010 release (the year the author will turn 90) is this project from Zack Snyder ("300"). "The Illustrated Man" was a 1951 book of 18 short stories that were linked by the appearance of a bum who is covered into tattoos from the future that move and represent the characters in the tales. The 1969 film starred Rod Steiger.

'Logan's Run' A few years ago, Bryan Singer ("X-Men") was all set to reimagine the 1976 movie about a society in which everyone submits to state-ordered execution parlors upon turning 30 or gets hunted down. Singer dropped out to make "Superman Returns," and newcomer Joseph Kosinski is looking at it.

'Robocop' MGM announced in March that a remake of "Robocop" would be in theaters in 2010. Darren Aronofsky ("The Wrestler") is directing the remake of Paul Verhoeven's bloody movie about a Detroit cop who is gunned down but then put back on patrol as a cyborg with a troubled soul.

'The Terminator' Filmmaker McG plans to revive the killer robot franchise with a new sequel in the summer starring Christian Bale as John Connor. He wants to do a full trilogy - so a certain governor may get to live up to that long-ago promise: "I'll be back."

'Westworld' Michael Crichton directed the 1973 thriller about a theme park where rich visitors can live out fantasies like engaging in Old West gunfights, thanks to the park's androids, such as a cowboy memorably portrayed by Yul Brynner. Crichton had worked recently on a script for a remake but his death in November may mark the end of the reboot plans.

'When Worlds Collide' Steven Spielberg is one of the producers, and Stephen Sommers ("The Mummy," "Van Helsing") is directing. Like the original 1951 film produced by George Pal, this "Worlds," due in theaters next year, is about the mad scramble to build a spaceship to save humanity before Earth is destroyed by a rogue planet entering its orbit. The problem comes when there aren't enough seats for everybody.

Are all these remakes really necessary. Isn't there anybody in Hollywood with an original idea anymore? What do you think?

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I once sent a letter into the Oklahoma City paper about remakes and Hollywood's lack of originality. They actually called me at work, keeping me on the phone for half an hour, and were shocked I was 30 years younger than I was.
I didn't know Gary Ross was related to Arthur A Ross,the Creature writer.Seabiscuit was a terrific "one of a kind" film..but..needs be El Gillman the same way?..I still chuckle when I think how this is going to look...I'm getting real itchy tho to see the new WOLFMAN....why do we have to wait till november??..JAEEYZUZZ..that'll give them enough time to ruin it...."give'em enough rope".."time and money does NOT a good movie make!"..and I can't believe another FRANKENSTEIN??...I hope they get it right this time..
Hi Dave...It would be one thing if more of the remakes tended to improve upon the original, or at least do it with a little different slant, but in a quality way. But, picking up an old script and going over it with red pen is cheaper than writing a new one. It's sad when fun old films are just re-hashed into cheap entertainment because they just won't bother to do it right or come up with something original...
Sadly it seems there is a lack of originality in Hollywood. The audience appears now to be in the main teenage boys and girls with short attention spans that is why so many sci-fi remakes are the order of the day with glossy special effects building up what in many cases are B movie concepts into overblown As. Any charm the originals had is sucked away in the process. I can't think of a modern remake say in the last 20 years that matched a 50s or 60s original when you get obsessed by special effects you tend to forget a good story and what made it watchable in the first place.

I suppose you can do new versions of action heroes that don't rely on effects like Robin Hood or Zorro and nobody complains about new versions of classic literature but beyond that Hollywood should come up with new ideas. If they must plunder the past why not dramatise its history : next year is the 100th anniversary of the first major films made in Hollywood why not celebrate that landmark ?
Hollywood's been making remakes since the silent era, so this is no surprise. I guess I don't really mind remakes of sci-fi literature like 'Fahrenheit 451' and "Dune.' It's also about time we dusted of 'Frankenstein' for another go around by a different generation. What bothers me is the trends of making television show and comic books into movies -- ENOUGH ALREADY!
I'm struggling to think of any silents which were remakes and weren't literary adaptations. The other thing about the silent era is it was the first era of film and the medium was still developing so you have improved versions which were features instead of the two or three reel condensations early on. Yes there were successful remakes in the classic era such as The Maltese Falcon (1941) and the Ben Hur (1959) though the films were very different in tone from their earlier versions, some were talkie when the originals were silent.

What is wrong now IMO is that Hollywood throws money at stories which were the B movie fodder of the past, you get 3 hours of King Kong or an overblown War of the Worlds as two recent examples.

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