There’s no particularly good reason to remake Logan’s Run. William F. Nolan’s novel is about a future society where youth rules, and where people are only allowed to live to 21. It was published in 1967, right in the middle of the biggest youth movement in American history. The film version came out in 1976, a little late, but it changed the maximum age to 30, which reflected the youth movement’s ‘never trust anyone over 30’ mantra. The film and the book were both about contemporary concepts of youth, and about the feeling that young people had that the world was theirs, and that adults were their enemies. But it was also a cautionary story about that mindset - neither book nor movie celebrate the Carousel, the process through which the older members of society are removed.
But today the idea of turning 30 isn’t that big a deal. There’s no youth movement of people in their 2os, and there really isn’t even a youth movement of people in their teens. But there is a dominant youth culture - and it’s the tweens. We live in a world where kids in the eleven to sixteen age group have their own music, their own TV shows and their own fashion. The tweens, lame as they are, are the only youth culture going today.
So why not reflect that in the new Logan’s Run? Why stick with an already outdated concept of youth culture and have another movie where people aged 30 die? That won’t resonate with anyone anymore. It certainly won’t resonate with adults - part of the success of Logan’s Run is the way it exploited intergenerational fears. But if the film were to be about the tween generation, to focus on that odd, unknowable, fickle, technologically advanced and taste-deprived cohort of young people, it could have meaning.
Almost any grown up without kids who looks at the massive industry of Justin Bieber and iCarly and High School Musical knows the twinge of confusion and sort of fear that comes from seeing an unknowable generation rising up behind them. And who is the ultimate face of that generation but Justin Bieber -as we’re going to find out at the movies this weekend, when his 3D concert documentary opens?
Exploit THAT for the new Logan’s Run. Make the film about something current, not about generational anxieties of forty years ago.