Everything Old Is New Again! Only Suckier!
Two high profile remakes are in the news this morning, so let’s rape us some memories!
First off, remember last week, when I was talking about how Spielberg has a tendency to jump onto projects only to ditch them a few weeks later when something else good comes around? Well, just four days after expressing interest in directing Matt Helm, Spielberg has made an official decision on what his next project will be. No surprise: It’s not Matt Helm. In fact, it’s a remake of Harvey, the 1950 Jimmy Stewart film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play. And it’s also right in that Spielbergian wheelhouse: It’s about a man whose best friend is a 6’3 rabbit named Harvey. People think he’s crazy. They think he’s a drunk. Mental institutionalization is pursued. And it’s hard to know whether Harvey exists or not. But it doesn’t matter; all that matters, in the end, is that Jimmy Stewart believes it and that Harvey makes him happy. It’s got a certain Lars and the Real Girl quality to it. A novelist, Jonathan Tropper (The Book of Joe) has written the adaptation. No one has been cast yet, but if Ron Howard doesn’t steal him away first, this is actually a perfect role for Tom Hanks (and, barring that, the dramatic actor version of Jim Carrey).
In other remake news, Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) is negotiating to direct Jesus Christ Superstar, which was also a 1973 film, but is much better known for its stage version. The idea, with Marc Webb attached, is to update it from hippy to hipster: Jesus would obviously wear a Western shit with snaps, tight jeans, and Robert Pattinson hair.
I love (500) Days of Summer, and I think that Marc Webb is a terrifically talented director (and his music video background helps), and I actually do think that he’s a good fit for the movie. But damn: I loathe the music in Jesus Christ Superstar, and even if they got Hall and Oates to give it that Philly sound and cast JGL as Jesus, I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm. I like dipster hoochbags as much as the next guy, but I can’t abide by Andrew Lloyd Webber.