It’s a remakepalooza out there these days. Warner Bros and Will Smith are digging up graves that were maybe better left alone.

In my line of work you have to try and not get too cynical about remakes or reboots. Sometimes they work. Not often, but sometimes. Even so, it’s easier to take remake talk when the remakes come one at a time; when they fly at you almost a half dozen at a time it’s harder.

Warner Bros is in the process of looting its properties and they’ve picked on Lethal Weapon, Westworld and most troublingly The Wild Bunch as their targets. Lethal Weapon is happening because the ever-threatened Lethal Weapon 5 is as dead as Mel Gibson’s Q rating; remaking the first film seems patently wasteful because the magic of the movie isn’t the story or even the characters but the chemistry of the leads and Shane Black’s script. None of the sequels are even a pimple on the butt of the original and without a major talent infusion I can’t imagine the remake being much better.

Westworld makes some limited sense. The studio’s been trying to remake this one for a long time - I have an early 00s script for the film sitting around my house - and the movie is almost completely conceptual. It seems unlikely that a modern blockbuster would be happy with the scope of the story - the various Worlds are pretty down to Earth - but it isn’t like Westworld is some inviolate classic.

The Wild Bunch, however IS. As a remake this film makes absolutely no sense, not for the least reason that everything about The Wild Bunch has informed decades of filmmaking that a remake would feel like a retread of forty plus years of action cinema. But most of all The Wild Bunch is very much a work of Peckinpah’s vision, and Warner Bros would need to find a filmmaker with as strong a vision, and with as much to say. The Wild Bunch is one of the great films, and remaking it feels like a recipe for disaster.

Meanwhile, Will Smith is considering giving his other child a movie franchise; reports have Smith and his family thinking about remaking/updating Annie with daughter Willow. I only know Willow from that ‘I Whip My Hair’ video, where she’s annoying enough to make you wish for another Children’s Crusade, but then again I poo-pooed the Karate Kid remake and that actually turned out OK. Updating Annie is interesting to me, especially if Jay-Z comes aboard, as has been rumored. Finally the circle will be complete - from Hard Knock Life to Hard Knock Life!

via Variety and the Hollywood Reporter