It seems these days that every picture not released in the last ten years is ripe for a remake, and even some more recent ones, if they had those tricky subtitles or foreign accents — Pajiba reported a few days ago that a US version of last year’s excellent Australian gangster thriler “Animal Kingdom” is already in the works. And it doesn’t look like the trend is going away any time soon: The Hollywood Reporter tonight suggested that, with the departure of Warner Bros. studio exec Jessica Goodman, old projects have come to light that were thought buried.
Veteran executive VP Goodman left the company at the end of last year, and her development portfolio has been shared out among colleagues, which means potential new life for a whole spate of remake, of Warners properties like “Lethal Weapon, “Westworld,” “The Wild Bunch,” “The Dirty Dozen,” and “Tarzan.” Though there’s no word yet on which, if any, of these films will be fast-tracked by the studio, with fresh eyes looking at these stale projects, we bet that at least one will see the light of day soon.
Most of the projects have been in various stages of development in the past: Arnold Schwarzenegger was long-attached to a “Westworld” remake, while David Ayer was attached to re-envision “The Wild Bunch,” in a contemporary version set among Mexican drug cartels. “The Dirty Dozen” was also set for a contemporary re-rub a few years back, with Guy Ritchie considering the director’s chair, while Stephen Sommers was briefly attached to helm “Tarzan” for the studio, and the George Burns comedy “Oh, God” was rumored only last year to be heading for a new version, with Paul Rudd and, predictably, Betty White wanted for the lead roles.
The “Lethal Weapon” news, however, is new, and we can see plenty of people up in arms about the idea — after all, it’s not like there haven’t been plenty of knock offs of the film as it is. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that there’s not much point in getting too angry about the prospect of any of these films: the likelihood is that only one or two of the films mentioned above will make it to production within the next few years. Still, it just goes to show that anything one can think of, Hollywood has tried to remake, even if we never hear of it in the news. — Catherine Scott