One thing’s for sure; if you want to bring a classic story back to the screen, you’ve got to change the name. “Mirror Mirror,” “Tangled,” “Frozen,” “Elementary” — the trend certainly points toward giving established properties cooler titles, ones that hint at the source material being adapted from. Hell, even Batman and Superman are now going by their nicknames rather than their more recognizable monikers. So it goes then, that “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” will be known simply as “Huck” when the story next finds its way to theaters.
Paramount has picked up a spec script from newcomer Andy Burg, which is based on Mark Twain’s classic stories featuring the characters of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. They‘re familiar tales and have been adapted more times than we could even attempt to document here. In fact, there’s already an adaptation that’s currently in production with “Super 8” kid Joel Courtney in the role of Tom Sawyer.
Little is known about the story of this new effort, but it seems there are a number of ways in which it is aiming to differentiate itself from previous efforts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Huck” will be a re-imagining of the story in the vein of “Snow White and the Huntsman” — and while we like everything we’ve seen and heard about that film so far, this sounds like shorthand to us for making liberal changes to the text with little concern for the original story. THR goes on to explain that Tom and Huck will be adults in the story and that there are also supernatural elements to the script. This could be inspired, or awful.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” producers Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce the film alongside Matt Lopez, and we can imagine this having a similar scope and budget to the likes of “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “The Lone Ranger.” Whether the story and characters are as well-known a property as those two, particularly internationally, remains to be seen. Perhaps that Joel Courtney version (currently set for a 2013 release) will prove a good barometer for the potential success of “Huck,” and it’s one we presume Paramount will be keeping an eye on as they develop their vehicle.