The Ace of Spades crowd is bitching about a remake of Predator allegedly being done by Robert Rodriguez. Now, I don’t think Predator is that good a movie, myself. It gets by (heavily) on Arnold’s charisma, and let’s face it, Schwarzenegger ain’t no Erol Flynn. (I’m even an Arnold fan; I saw all those mediocre action flicks he made in the ‘80s in the theaters, except for Raw Deal.) The best movies–The Terminator series–he was in were ones which didn’t require a lot of acting on his part.
We’re not talking Citizen Kane or The Godfather or even Aliens or Terminator. Predator (coneptually) was done in 1980 in a movie starring Jack Palance, Cameron Mitchell and Martin Landau called Without Warning. (Larry Storch and David Caruso have a small part in it, too!) But the meat of the premise is, of course, a simple variant on Most Dangerous Game, and that movie wasn’t all that original in 1932.
But this leads into bitching about remakes, which I think is unwarranted. Hollywood doesn’t really do many remakes anymore like, say, Gaslight, which was done seven times between 1939 and 1947. Gaslight’s being remade again by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement), but it probably won’t be a strict remake. We don’t have all that much in common with people 60 years ago.
We do get many versions of classics, Shakespeare and Jane Austen (though not last year) and that sort of thing, but I don’t think that counts. Now, about half of the top 20 grossers last year were existing franchises, but I think that’s because, well, half of the top 20 grossers the previous year were existing franchises.