Thursday, 20 January 2011

Oh God... is there a 'Lethal Weapon' remake in the works?!

The Hollywood Reporter just broke this rather unsettling story. It's all there in the title. Let's give it a moment to sink in.

Okay. So here, as they say, is the skinny:

"Are you ready for a Lethal Weapon reboot? How about a remake of The Wild Bunch?

Those are some of the few high-profile titles now getting a new lease on life at Warner Bros. due to the year-end departure of longtime studio executive Jessica Goodman. During her 13-year tenure, the executive vp oversaw such projects as Watchmen, Training Day and the upcoming Green Lantern. Since her departure, the studio’s top brass has reassigned her portfolio among several other execs.

In the file were long-in-development remakes of The Dirty Dozen and Oh, God, as well as Tarzan -- titles that have been active in recent years but haven’t come together with the right talent to score the elusive green light. Also in the mix are a reboots of the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover franchise Lethal Weapon, as well as remakes of Westworld and The Wild Bunch.

The properties will now get fresh and hungry eyes -- and talent agents are already chatting up the potential projects and listing clients they can pitch for directing or writing gigs."

Hmm... how's about NO?

I don't want to get into yet another diatribe on the incessant remake/reboot/regurgitate trend in Hollywood this past decade or so. There have been a million pissed-off blogs and articles written, none of which has stopped these remakes being made. And honestly, some of the remakes I haven't minded too much. But still - are we really so uncomfortable with the idea of something new? Are we that retrogressive culturally that we have to attempt to directly recreate that which came before, rather than simply taking influence?

Now, in the case of The Wild Bunch and Westworld, I must confess the films don't mean too much to me personally, and I have little doubt they're not too well known with this generation of cinemagoers (however, surely any Westworld remake would only serve to underline its obvious similarities with Michael Crichton's later and somewhat better known film in which a hi-tech holiday resort goes tits up; Jurassic Park.) But come on... remaking Lethal Weapon? What the hell for? Isn't the series still familiar to all? Doesn't everyone still say "I'm too old for this shit?" Isn't its influence still felt in every mismatched action comedy buddy movie, up to and including this year's The Green Hornet?

Sigh... oh well, if it happens, it happens. And who am I kidding, if they do it I'll be there to see it. I like The Hollywood Reporter's suggestion of Jeremy Renner for Riggs; if they get a cast of that caliber, and a writing and directing team to match, I'm sure it'll make for a great action buddy flick. And I have no problem with another action buddy flick in the vein of Lethal Weapon. I'd just prefer it not to be a Lethal Weapon remake...

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