We got news of two potential remakes/reboots/re-imaginings/I-don’t-know-what over the last couple of weeks. I wouldn’t normally comment, but these are two franchises that I love, and enough people have asked my opinion, so let’s do this quickly.
First is Ghostbusters. But let’s start with this:
I really don’t get the attitude that the “Ghostbusters” franchise is going to be ruined by this. The “My Little Pony” comment is on the money; but I’ve never understood the fandom for that either.
I don’t know Paul Feig’s work as a director, though none of his films have appealed to me enough to want to watch them. I only know Melissa McCarthy from ‘Gilmore Girls’ which ended eight years ago. I only know Kristen Wiig from How To Train Your Dragon. And I’ve never heard of Leslie Jones or Kate McKinnon prior to now.
If you don’t find this director or any of these women funny, that’s certainly a valid reason not to go see the film. You can’t tell a person what they find funny, after all.
I’ve heard a couple of critics say that McCarthy shouldn’t be cast in this because she plays the same character over and over again.
Yeah. Cos Bill Murray never did that…
I am sure there will be plenty of valid reasons to not see this film, but having four women cast in the lead roles is not one of them. I like the idea of four women in STEM fields characters fronting a “Ghostbusters” film. But I don’t like the idea of this being a remake or a reboot, which is what this apparently is. Have this as a continuation of the original film, with four new Ghostbusters buying a franchise in another city to start up their own ghostbusting business, and getting in over their heads with some new dark supernatural power rising. The reason for risk to the city or the world shouldn’t be that these four Ghostbusters are women; it should be that it’s their first month on the job and something old and powerful has started tearing up downtown, and these four are an unknown quantity.
I’ll be following this one with interest, if only to see what the new tech looks like…
The second remake/reboot/re-imagining/I-don’t-know-what is for another ’80s icon; Indiana Jones.
The last Indy film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was seven years ago, and not well received. I’m one of the few Indy fans who likes it, but it’s a deeply flawed film. The original hope there seems to have been at least one more Indiana Jones film with Harrison Ford, then continuing the stories with Shia Labeouf as “Mutt” Williams. Again, I’m in the minority in saying I’d watch those films though I had one caveat: make a grown up Short Round the Competitor, à la Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
But that’s not going to happen. Crystal Skull wasn’t enough of a hit to warrant a continuation, and even so, due to the downtime Harrison Ford is just too old to put the hat on for even one last time. Then, in late 2012 Disney acquired Lucasfilm and it’s film properties, including “Indiana Jones”, though distribution rights were still tied up with Paramount. That has finally been negotiated as well, so it makes sense that Disney would want to do something with the property.
Then, a few months back, this image hit the Internet, from an original source I couldn’t track down:
It’s not the best bit of photo manipulation, but it certainly got the people thinking about the idea of Chris Pratt as Indiana Jones.
And then the news hit in the last two weeks that Disney were considering making a new Indiana Jones film, with Chris Pratt taking over the role.
Now, how this all originally started and played out to this point I don’t know, but I think Pratt is a fine choice for the role. He’s on a well deserved career upswing right now and seems like the right kind of star to take on the character. However, I don’t think the hard think is casting a new Indiana Jones.
The first three Indiana Jones films are the perfect fusion of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas & Harrison Ford making a project work. I think that getting the right Writer and Director team to make this project is what will make or break it.
But this is exciting news to me. Due to Indy’s pulp sensibilities, you don’t have to touch the first four films via either remake or reboot, just make something that slots in with the timeline around the other films. Indy had a long career and a lot of adventures, and this is one of those times a studio should really fight the urge to compress the universe or show us the origin of a character, which we’ve already seen anyway.
A new Indy film would also allow some of the cultural insensitivity of previous Indy films to be rectified, and that’s not a bad thing.
Again, this is another project I’ll definitely be watching with interest. It’ll be fascinating to see Indy become like his progenitor James Bond and become viable with a different actor in the role. Though I must admit, I am weirded out by the idea that we’ll be getting a new actor playing Han Solo as well coupled with a new, separate Indy actor in the coming years.
Be seeing you…