The big rumor of the week was that Warner Bros. is negotiating with Amblin Entertainment to reboot Gremlins. As usual with this sort of "childhood raping," the Internet went into a near riot. Nobody wants to see a computer-generated Gizmo, apparently, and they certainly don't want to take Howie Mandel away from whatever game show he's hosting to do the voice again. Unless Joe Dante is in charge and it's another sequel as great as New Batch and practical animatronic puppetry is employed, the Gremlins need to stay locked away in the dark somewhere.
Some properties are so iconic they can't really be remade because they've already been ripped off enough to render the idea unnecessary. Why not just produce another copycat or something in the vein of Gremlins? Back then we got Critters, Ghoulies, Munchies, Hobgoblins and others. Simply write another movie with small creatures attacking a small town. Oh, but you think you need the name recognition? Maybe, but you can also borrow (ahem, pay homage to) just enough of a classic without directly copying it, and you can be respected as producing an original work. Just look at Looper, as good a reason why we never need a remake of The Terminator as we've seen in a while. And there are a bazillion films that have proved a remake of Die Hard or Jaws will forever be unnecessary, too.
After hearing about the Gremlins rumor, filmmaker BenDavid Grabinski tweeted that if he "could keep three movies from being remade," he'd choose Gremlins, Back to the Future and Big Trouble in Little China. He asked his followers for their picks and received replies adding such films as Jaws, Ghostbusters, Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Fletch, Die Hard, The Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Taxi Driver and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to the list of sacred untouchables. Obviously his followers are of a certain age.
Anyway, I'm remaking Grabinski's question as today's discussion poll. And I need to note that there are some titles nobody needs to guard, because they'll never, ever be remade. Nobody is remaking E.T. ever, or most of Spielberg's directorial efforts. Most of those given in reply to Grabinski are likewise pretty safe. And nobody is going to redo, as far as I can imagine even would make sense, Edward Scissorhands, Apocalypse Now, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Badlands, Brazil, Rocky, The Big Lebowski, Fight Club or Goodfellas. So don't worry about those.
Here are my three picks, as far as films that might be possible one day: The Fisher King, Duck Soup (you never know) and Blade Runner (they can re-adapt the novel but not redo this exact film). I'd include Time Bandits and The Thin Man, but those -- sigh -- seem to be happening.
What three films would you prevent from ever being remade?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
Join the next discussion on Twitter by following Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) and Movies.com (@Moviesdotcom).