After Charlie's Angels, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Brady Bunch (and Starsky & Hutch, and S.W.A.T., and Bewitched, and Mission Impossible), the tide pool of '70s television shows to remake is finally drying up. There are still a few floating somewhere in development, but Hollywood is ready for the next fad, and it looks like MGM is set to lead the way. They're remaking Valley Girl, the 1983 movie that brought us Nicolas Cage and "He's like tripendicular, ya know?" (Thanks.) And Red Dawn. And RoboCop.
This is already showing dangerous signs of becoming a trend. There are rumors of a Weird Science remake. They're redoing Footloose with Zac Efron, and Raven-Symone's signed up for a new Adventures in Babysitting. Dimension just bought the rights to remake Short Circuit -- SHORT CIRCUIT! -- and a new My Tutor is coming, too. Just when we need it most.
It's hardly worth arguing whether any of these actually should be remade, though I'd say the answer is almost always no. But I have to admit there are exceptions. MGM just announced that Darren Aronofsky's directing the RoboCop remake, which makes the whole prospect a lot more interesting.
Why are so many people willing to risk millions on an old idea, but nothing on a new one? Come on, it's not even like Adventures in Babysitting did that well the first time around. Laziness? Lack of ideas? I wouldn't rule it out, but it's probably just marketing. Recycling an old TV show or movie means instant name recognition, and maybe (they're hoping) people will go just because they remember the old one, no matter how vaguely. Remakes are like the incumbents of the movie biz.
But in the land of DVD, these movies aren't just fond old memories, they're sitting there on the shelf. I can watch Valley Girl right now if I feel like it. (Yes, I own Valley Girl.) Even the high school kids who've fetishized the '80s have seen the originals, and they probably don't want to see Bill and Ted or Ducky Dale replaced by the cast of The OC either.
Here's at least one sign of sanity: they've already cancelled the Revenge of the Nerds remake starring Kristin Cavallari (remember, she was on Laguna Beach before there was The Hills?). Maybe this time around the studios will show some restraint, and only do remakes that are also good movies. Otherwise, there's no way this is going to work. Then again, I've been wrong before. Five words: Miami Vice starring Colin Farrell. I didn't think people would pay money for Mariah Carey ringtones, either.