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Missed Opportunities: Films that deserve another shot


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By Christian Koerber and Justin M. Sawyer

 

Ready for some emotional whiplash? We know we just wrote about how remakes are awful, but they’re also traditional. We’ve been retelling and reimagining stories for as long as we’ve had stories.  Now, on the flip side of the proverbial coin, every once in a while a film comes along that shows enormous promise only to squander it all over the silver screen.

 

The Conqueror

White washing (the practice of casting Caucasian actors in roles intended for people of color) is not a new practice. John Wayne as Genghis Khan was an embarrassment to his career and to his fans.  This Howard Hughes movie will be a great bloody violent remake but this time with an ACTUAL Asian actor, and not filmed on some land that was used to test A-bombs.

The Boy with Green Hair

Another Howard Hughes film from 1947, a story about a young boy whose hair magically turns green and is bullied by his peers and community. The remake should still have the message, but have him as a Texas teenager who is half human, half alien, and fits in with the punk rock culture.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

With Sharknado being so popular (for some reason) why not remake this b-movie classic about living tomatoes with teeth as a Syfy Original. Have our action movie heroes fight these monsters Fruit Ninja style.

Dungeons & Dragons

Imagine taking the characters from the Saturday morning cartoon version turn live-action, and have them enter the D&D world by playing the board game Jumanji style. That will be cool.

Silver Surfer

Marvel’s cosmic wanderer made his first live-action appearance in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but Galactus’ appearance was nothing but a storm cloud. Very disappointing. The Surfer should have his own origin movie in 3D; seeing him surf through the cosmos up close at you, making it thrilling as James Cameron’s Avatar.

Aeon Flux

This little sci-fi film starring Charlize Theron was brimming with potential. We know that you’re sick of bleak sci-fi flicks with shady governments, but, dammit, when they’re done with style there’s nothing better. Have you seen Snowpiercer? Equilibrium? Stylish as hell!

The Spirit

Frank Miller (the creator of the Sin City comics and co-director of the 2005 film adaptation) made his solo directorial debut with this promising superhero noir. What we got was an incomprehensible mess of a film. Samuel L. Gone were the charming adventures of the masked detective the Spirit. Instead we got Samuel L. Jackson in a Nazi uniform for some reason…

It gets worst whe you take into account that the Spirit was created by Miller’s friend and mentor Will Eisner, an industry legend and one of the first creators that treated the comics medium as a legitimate art form. The industry’s highest award, the Eisners, is named for him. This film is the cinematic equivalent of slapping your grand father’s corpse. It deserves another shot.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Back in 2010 M. Night Shyamalan broke the hearts of children and Nickelodeon executives the world over when he produced a stiff, joyless feature length film version of the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon. Featuring beautiful animation and engaging characters the story was practically tailor made for the big screen. Rumors have been circulating that Shyamalan wants to make a sequel. If there’s a just and loving God this will never come to pass.

Frankenstein 

We know, we know. This is a story that has been remade since the earliest days of cinema. But, hear us out. A really faithful adaptation of Mary Shelly’s genre defining novel has never been attempted. The right director could do wonders with this story. Guillermo Del Toro, the director of such visually striking films as Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, has toyed with the idea of a new film for a number of years. Hopefully one day he’ll get the chance to.

The Golden Compass

After the sucess of the Harry Potter films, rival studios were in a mad scramble to find the next gloden snitch. Phillip Pullman’s controversial fantasy series His Dark Materials was opted by New Line. The film was ambitious, but felt slow paced and dull. Inspite of its all star cast, including Nicole Kidman and, then, newly minted Bond Daniel Craig, the film never found an audience. Fortunately BBC is currently producing a mini series based on the first novel.

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