What do Willow Smith and Beyoncé have in common with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Kenny Wormald? They’re all starring (or in talks to star) in the latest round of remakes of beloved films and TV shows coming down the pike.
On Thursday, news broke that Beyoncé would be starring in a Clint Eastwood-directed remake of the 1976 Barbra Streisand classic “A Star Is Born” (which was a remake of a 1954 movie that remade a 1937 film). In the meantime, Will Smith is reportedly petitioning Sony to remake “Annie” (the 1982 movie and 1977 musical) starring his 10-year-old daughter, Willow, best known for whipping her hair.
In October it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio and best bud Tobey Maguire would be starring in Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” with Carey Mulligan joining as Daisy Buchanan.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have been working on bringing the ’80s Johnny Depp-starring television series “21 Jump Street” to the big screen since 2008, and they might even get Depp to cameo in it in time for the film’s March 16, 2012, release date.
And let’s not forget the long hunt for a Ren McCormack (the character Kevin Bacon made famous in 1984), after Zac Efron and Chace Crawford dropped out of the planned “Footloose” remake that finally landed dancer Kenny Wormald the role of his life.
Then there’s “Arthur,” the Russell Brand-starring remake of the 1981 screwball comedy about a happily drunk millionaire who risks everything for love. The film has tapped everyone from Helen Mirren to Greta Gerwig and Nick Nolte.
Two recently announced remakes are “Lethal Weapon” and “The Wizard of Oz,” which are still in early development and without stars attached. Warner Bros. announced their plans to reboot the Mel Gibson-starring franchise on Thursday and tapped writer Will Beall to pen the script with completely new characters. And director Robert Zemeckis announced back in November that he planned on remaking the 1939 Technicolor classic using the script from the original film, with Warner Bros. hoping Robert Downey Jr. will play Oz.
Just this past year, films from “Clash of the Titans” to “The Karate Kid” to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” were remade for the big screen and were well-received by audiences. “Alice in Wonderland” and “Clash of the Titans” went on to become two of the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2010, while “Piranha 3D” and “The A-Team” also went on to strong successes, proving that there definitely is a market for these kinds of remakes.
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