Universal Still Remaking Videodrome Anyway

The studio that brought us the remakes of THE THING and THE WOLFMAN to turn the New Flesh into New Terrible Trash.

I know that the screenwriter is hardly the only one to blame for a movie turning out poorly, but there's only so many times you can see a writer's name next to underwhelming or downright terrible movies before that benefit of the doubt is eradicated. One such writer is Ehren Kruger, whose IMDb filmography can easily be mistaken for a user list of the lousiest movies they've ever seen. The Transformers sequels (NOT the halfway decent original!), Blood & Chocolate, Reindeer Games, The Ring Two, Scream 3... he also produced Dream House, so I wouldn't be surprised if he had a hand in that one's mentally challenged script.

In 2009 (before Transformers 2 had even been released), it was announced that he would be scripting Videodrome, a largely unnecessary update of David Cronenberg's 1983 classic with James Woods. But things have been quiet since, and most people hoped Universal had come to their senses and realized that were other things they could do with their money, like Bourne-less Bourne sequels. Alas, today Deadline announced that Adam Berg, acclaimed commercial director, would be helming the remake, and unless there's some misreporting going on, Kruger's still attached as a writer.

I don't like to prejudge a film, but Universal hasn't had the best track record in reviving genre properties - look at how The Thing and The Wolfman turned out - and at this point I'd be weary of letting Kruger write down my coffee order, let alone somehow figure out an interesting, new take on what's already a solid film. Yeah, he did OK with The Ring, but there's a big difference between giving a pretty basic ghost story a fresh coat of paint and diving into the big world of things like "ideas" and "social commentary" and coming out with a script that will not only keep us "old" people from bitching too much about yet another remake, and also drawing in a new audience. And sorry, Berg may be a fine commercial director, but how that qualifies him to make his feature debut by remaking one of the genre's most intelligent, idea-driven filmmakers (who had five features under his belt before tackling it) is beyond me.

Of course, it could be worse - it's not like they want to pull a Total Recall and turn it into a techno-driven action thriller without the prosthetic- oh, wait:

"they planned to modernize the concept, infusing it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller."

Long live the new fl- ah, fuck it. That's a Kruger-level joke.

Here's the thing - Videodrome is hardly a household name, and they are clearly steering away from challenging properties in favor of easy sells, so absolutely nothing about this makes any sense to me - if they want to make a "dumb" sci-fi action movie about nanotechnology, why not just make a movie from Michael Crichton's novel "Prey"? Crichton's name on a poster would probably be more of a sell than Cronenberg's, and "Prey" is actually ABOUT nanotechnology, unlike Videodrome. And it's hardly one of his most beloved works, so there's a strong chance of actually improving on the source material.

Whatever. Hopefully this just falls apart, unless Universal wants to be ridiculed even more for dropping At The Mountains Of Madness and Dark Tower in favor of these "ideas".

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