It has been announced that FOX have ‘unlocked’ the rights for the, you would have previously imagined untouchable West Side Story, after it was touted that Steven Spielberg (surprising, right?) was interested in directing a possible remake. The 1961 smash hit film, an adaptation of the Broadway show of the same name that debuted in 1957, won 10 Oscars – including Best Picture.
Now when Mr. Spielberg comes knocking at your door you can not blame production companies for spontaneously combusting through over-excitement at the thought of all that dosh they could make, but really, does the world need a new version of West Side Story? After all, it is a classic; a critically acclaimed film that swept the Oscars in 1962 – a story of drama, romance, and great music that has stolen the hearts of millions over the years.
Rebooting a franchise or remaking a film seems to be very popular at the moment. Batman, Superman, Spider-man, The Planet of the Apes and RoboCop: they have all been given a new lease of life in recent years. From a studio’s perspective, it is a safe bet – a sure thing – with regards to making a whole lot of dosh. Filmmakers will argue that they believe they can put a ‘fresh spin’ on things, which in some cases, like Nolan with Batman and Webb with Spider-man, they certainly have done – for good, or bad.
With the technological advancements that have swept the filmmaking world over the past decade or two, it allows directors to do so much more than their counterparts could 20-30 years ago – opening up the door to a world of remakes. If you know you could make it better because of that, then that is decent justification, right?
But when it comes to films like West Side Story, a film so well thought of, and where the story is reliant on its characters rather than any flashy special effects or hi-tech gizmos, can you justify, or propose reasoning for why a new version is needed? (Other than being a cash-cow, of course.)
So, I have two questions for you: Are there any films that you would love to see made again? What are the worst remakes/reboots you have seen?
My vote: 2012’s Red Dawn. Chris Hemsworth – what were you thinking?
Let me know your thoughts about the idea of reboots and remakes. Tweet me at @FilmTrance, or leave a comment below.