BMD Picks: Our Character Revival Wish List

With John Rambo headed back to theaters, the gang gets together and picks which icons they want back on the big screen.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Sylvester Stallone was going to bring John Rambo back for the Trump era, a move some had issues with (despite it aligning with the character's previous politics) but many of us will still celebrate, nonetheless. Because let's face it: Rambo is an icon - just one of many that we'd love to see revived, cheering along as he mows down the indigenous peoples of wherever on his next slaughter safari. There are just certain cinematic characters we'll follow into oblivion, regardless of whether we agree with the motivations behind their new lease on life. 

But this notion got the BMD gang thinking: what other fictional folks would we love to see return to the silver screen? A few of us put our heads together and came up with a list that may delight you. Take a look, and then toss out your candidate for resurrection in the comments below...

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John Spartan 

Demolition Man is one of the great cult classic action films of the ‘90s. One of the many action films to be released in the post-Jurassic Park madness that was the latter half of 1993, it’s got great performances from Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock, and Wesley Snipes, and it’s a pretty hilarious satire on top of that. Stallone plays John Spartan, a cop nicknamed “Demolition Man” on account of his propensity for causing collateral damage, who’s put in a cryogenic prison for said collateral damage before being thawed out to stop his old arch-nemesis in an overbearing utopian future.

Now, while the California Cryo-Prison was destroyed in the original film’s climactic action sequence, John Spartan and the world he lives in are worthy of a revisit. There are surely other cryo-prisons out there from which to draw villains - how insane would an alt-history mobster/killer teamup be? - and there’s definitely more to be mined from the fictional San Angeles’ futuristic society, given the social changes that have happened in the real world since 1993. Set the sequel shortly after the original, amid an attempt to reform San Angeles - make it political as well as explosive.

Oh yeah. There would definitely be explosions. Possibly some comment on the militarisation of police and the overreach of the American military-industrial complex could be snuck in underneath them, but if you want to come for the explosions, they’ll be there. This is, after all, Demolition Man. I’m waiting for your call, Hollywood. - Andrew Todd

Irwin 'Fletch' Fletcher 

There are two Fletch movies, and half of them aren't very good. Despite having nearly a dozen Fletch novels by Gregory McDonald to adapt, the writers of 1989's Fletch Lives came up with their own underwhelming story, one that primarily served as an excuse to get Chevy Chase into more outlandish disguises. The results weren't great. It's got its fair share of laughs, to be sure, but the weak narrative kept it from becoming a classic like its predecessor. The less than spectacular box office - along with Chevy's own declining audience draw - meant that Fletch Lives might as well have been called Fletch Dies, as there hasn't been any sort of filmed Fletch adventure since. 

But for the past twenty years, there's been an ongoing attempt to resurrect the series, usually in the form of a full-on remake, with folks like Ryan Reynolds and Jason Sudeikis touted as the new star. Kevin Smith was once attached to bring the series back with Chevy in a reduced role (and Jason Lee taking on starring duties), but the other ideas floated around don't seem to need Chevy at all. However, as we've seen in recent years, folks seem to enjoy late-coming sequels that bring on the old cast while introducing new characters to take over their legacy, and I think there's a perfect opportunity to revive the Chevy version of Irwin Fletcher in a film that introduces a new Fletch (via a son or nephew, or even a daughter) that can drop the overblown disguises (not the aliases) and focus on solving mysteries while being pretty damn funny.

Chevy's version of the character was far enough removed from the one in the novels that he could do his thing in a film that brought in a character that was closer to the one McDonald created, satisfying fans of both the movie(s) and the books all at once. I doubt Chevy would mind getting to play one of his favorite characters one last time (maybe he could be running the paper?), and he's already done something similar in 2015's Vacation. The difference, ideally, would be that this revival turns out to be actually worth the effort and continued for several adventures, instead of being a one and done deal. There's a dearth of big screen mysteries these days, and as Game Night (from the Vacation guys!) proved, audiences tend to enjoy a comedy that has a real script behind it instead of an endless series of interchangeable gags and set pieces. Let's get Fletch back on screen - I'll bring the bloody marys, the steak sandwich, and the steak sandwich. - Brian Collins (co-signed by Scott Wampler)

Freddy Krueger 

Think back to 2010. The Platinum Dunes remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street is just around the corner. The excitement is palpable. Now bash your head with a hammer, because we don't need any memories of that garbage fire. Then think back to 1991, 1989, and 1988 and keep bashing away to remove the last three installments of the proper Nightmare series from your brain folds. (Wes Craven's New Nightmare and Freddy vs. Jason – we're cool.) But you need to make sure you stop before you hit 1987 – or if you're a youngun like me, to the tender age you were first exposed to Freddy – because we need to keep the first three Nightmare on Elm Street films preserved as the classics we build Freddy's return off of.

Think of how Freddy was portrayed in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. There was some humor incorporated into his character, but this was before he became farcically punny and turned the word "bitch" into his favorite form of punctuation. He was still menacing and his powers were allowed to manifest in increasingly fantastical ways, building off the dark deaths of the first two Nightmares with creative reflections of the fears of Krueger's victims. This is the Freddy I want to see make a comeback. Make Krueger foreboding, but don't forget that the film itself is supposed to be fun! Make Freddy scary because he's enjoying himself so much, but don't make him a joke unto himself.

But what kind of plot do we drop Freddy into this time around? Honestly, I just really want to see the creative dream logic of Dream Warriors realized with modern special effects. Keep a lot of the practical gore and body modification, but maybe throw in some Doctor Strange spatial manipulation to give the dream realm an extra dimension of trippiness. Hell, we could even bring in some of the melding of the dream realm and reality from The Dream Master, if we wanted to take that movie's concepts and, you know, do something competent with them. (Or maybe not, since you've already hammered Nightmare 4 out of your skull. By the way, how are you doing? Do you need an icepack?) Just give us fun Freddy back, not funny Freddy, and give him some new nightmares to play with. It can't be that hard. - Leigh Monson

The Sanderson Sisters 

It’s been twenty-five years since the last time a virgin lit the Black Flame Candle, and it’s about time someone got on that. It’s not Fall without at least one viewing of Hocus Pocus, but imagine how much better Spooky Time would get if we had not one, but two films featuring the Sanderson Sisters and their delightful antics. There are endless possibilities to play with, and the rumor mill has tossed out the possibility of a sequel more than once, but here we are with only one rendition of “I’ll Put a Spell On You”.

To be clear, they are making a sequel, but it’s only in book form. Novels are great and should be cherished and treated with care, but that Bette Midler goodness needs to be back on the big screen in all of her Queen of Hearts-shaped hair glory. The good news is, said novel sounds like a great precursor for the witches running amok in theaters once more. - Amelia Emberwing

Billie Jean Davy

In 1985, Billie Jean Davy (Helen Slater) was shouting "fair is fair" instead of #TimesUp. One look at the state of the world around us proves she was a hero ahead of her time. 

The Legend of Billie Jean gave us an iconic character worth looking up to. Standing up against the corrupt Mr. Pyatt (Richard Bradford) - who uses his position of power to proposition her - the Texas teen goes on the run, transforming herself into a media icon. With her Joan of Arc makeover and battle against injustice, Billie Jean becomes a symbol of strength and integrity to people around the world. In the '80s, she burned down the empire of a man who dared to disrespect her. One can only imagine the power she'd bring to the fight today. For all the women out there still shouting "fair is fair," Billie Jean is the hero we need on our side. - Emily Sears

Jason Voorhees 

We're probably never going to see another Friday the 13th sequel anytime soon - what with the complex rights issues at play - and that's a crying shame. Jason Voorhees is arguably the greatest icon to ever emerge from the '80s slasher boom; a product of pure exploitation that entered a franchise on its second entry, and only became more memorable with each subsequent installment he appeared in. There's purity to Jason that cannot be denied: a hulking mass of pure murderous rage, haunted and motivated by memories of a crazy mother, before becoming a zombified ki-ki-ki-kill machine, thanks to various sources of resurrecting electricity. Mama’s good boy even survived ill-advised (but nonetheless entertaining) trips to Hell, outer space, and a Platinum Dunes remake (that's sorely underrated by many when it comes to Friday canon). Bringing him back wouldn't require a ton of effort or production budget: just a love of horror at its most primal, and a desire to pile dead teenagers to the Heaven they'll never reach. Re-open Camp Crystal Lake, give the ol' slow poke a machete, and let him rip into some nubile counselors. It's that fucking easy. - Jacob Knight​

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