While most of us here at Movies.com are opposed to remakes in general, we don’t automatically exclaim that “Hollywood is ruining our childhood!” every time an update is announced. We like to take remakes on a case-by-case basis around here. That’s only fair; some of our favorite films are remakes, after all, including Carpenter’s updating of The Thing and Cronenberg’s reimagining of The Fly.
Those two films resonate because they were not only well-made updates of classic sci-fi fare from the 1950s, but because they took those films and updated them for modern audiences in a meaningful way. So, when news was revealed earlier today that MGM is set to relaunch Richard Matheson’s The Incredible Shrinking Man for modern audiences, we found ourselves officially intrigued by the possibilities.
The Incredible Shrinking Man has all the right ingredients to become one of the better remakes. Like Carpenter and Cronenberg’s films, it’s an updating of a sci-fi film from the '50s. We’ve long said that if Hollywood wants to remake movies, it should remake ones that will genuinely benefit from the advances in technology. Relaunching The Grinch 13 years after the original makes no real sense. Updating a film that’s over 50 years old, however, does. Modern technology will allow for The Incredible Shrinking Man to achieve things that were literally impossible back in 1957. Whoever lands the title role won’t be forced to act on sets filled with silly-looking oversized props. The FX magicians of today will be able to create some pretty amazing effects to really sell the idea of the main character being shrunk by exposure to radiation or nanotech or whatever they come up with. The ability to update the visual look to today’s standards alone makes this update one worth considering.
That’s not the only thing in the plus column, though. The other really good news here is that the 87-year-old Matheson (who gave us the stories that provided the inspiration for films like Duel and I Am Legend) will be involved not only serve as a producer, but also as cowriter with his son Richard Christian Matheson. Both Matheson’s are talented writers – and having the man who gave us the original story working on the update leads us to believe that we’ll get a remake that not only remains true to the original (which was a statement on man’s continually diminishing role in the world around him), but also modernizes it in the process.
Matheson himself has said that he hopes to incorporate nanotechnology and other modern science elements into the updated tale, and adds that “all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.” We like where that is heading.
Of course, if you’re still not entirely sold on the idea, look at it this way: a Matheson-produced remake is a hundred times more desirable than the plan to let Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy turn the property into a comedy. I think we can all agree we dodged a bullet there.
What do you think? Are you interested in updated version of The Incredible Shrinking Man? Do you agree that these older classic films are the ones Hollywood should be remaking? Share your thoughts with me below.
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