Can we really call something a remake if it’s the eighth time the story is being turned into a movie? That’s what I wondered when I saw that “Brewster’s Millions” is headed for the big screen once again. Based on George Barr McCutcheon’s 1902 novel, the tale of a man who must blow $1 million in order to inherit another $7 million was first adapted to film in 1914 (one of Cecil B. DeMille’s first works as a director). And then it was remade in 1921 (starring Fatty Arbuckle), 1926 (with a female lead), 1936, 1945, 1961 (retitled “Three on a Spree”) and, most famously, 1985 (see below). Unofficial Indian adaptations of the story were made in 1988 and 1997, as well.
The story is certainly a good one to revisit with the world in a recession, because it’s pretty much the greatest economic fantasy of all time. Yet at the same time, the idea of watching someone spend millions in a short period of time with the rule that no assets can be acquired may be a tad upsetting to audiences with empty wallets. It is interesting that the last remake was made in the middle of a very affluent decade. I’m also curious to see what the new amounts for the inheritance are. The 1985 version, which starred Richard Pryor as the inheritor and John Candy as his best friend, raised the figures to $30 million and $300 million.
This new adaptation will be written by Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan, who are hot in Hollywood right now thanks to their spec script “Comic Con.” Sounding like a cross between “Fanboys” and “Empire Records,” that project is the story of a bunch of geeks who plan a heist during Comic-Con in order to keep their local comic shop from being taken over by a corporate chain.
Are you looking forward to another “Brewster’s Millions,” or do you think the hilarious Pryor/Candy version can’t be topped? And what about this “Comic Con” movie? Do we really need another “Fanboys”?