Hands off, Hollywood: Remakes that Just Shouldn’t Happen

It seems that movie remakes are becoming more and more common, as Hollywood producers entice us back to our seats with a bucket of popcorn. Some remakes glorify their predecessor, while others should never have happened (but then again, their originals generally should not have happened either). From Footloose to Rise of the Planet of the Apes to Carrie, name a genre of film, and a remake or five is on the rise.

One thing all remakes have in common, though, is their ability to spark debate. Someone is almost always going to fight for the original or fight for the remake or fight against both. Very often, the remake cannot come close to the original just because the first one is tied to our heart strings, and we can’t bear to lose that piece of our past. On that note, here is a short list of a few of the many movies that we could not bear to watch Hollywood attempt to “improve” upon with a modern twist or new actors.

Though countless moments make a movie, I have included a couple of the favorites that could never be duplicated, but would leave the movie lacking without them. The originals were simply too good or too classic to mess with, so to Hollywood we now declare, “hands off!” these fan favorites.

The Breakfast Club

This 1985 classic is a must-see for high-schoolers as it covers the timeless teenage stereotypes. The original, starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald (Anthony and Molly also co starred in the classic Sixteen Candles, also a high-school must see), Judd Nelson, and Ally Sheedy, follows the intermingling of these stereotypes while they serve detention and discover that they have much more in common than they ever imagined.

The heart wrenching scene when all the students truly open themselves up was actually ad-libbed in the original, and nothing so intimate to the nature of the characters could be written or created on the spot again in a way that would highlight the characters like this original development.

The only thing that could possibly make this movie better (and by better, I actually mean that it would be interesting to see, but I don’t think it could truly compare) is the original casting of John Cusak as the rebel John Bender (who was actually played by Judd Nelson).

Best line: “But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain and an athlete and a basket case a princess and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

Best Moment: Judd Nelson’s fist punch to “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in the ending credits (which is such a crucial movie moment that it was built into the plot of new teen drama Pitch Perfect).

If we had to recast this movie: Sasha Pieterse as “the princess” since her sassy, slightly rebellious, and very proud attitude could easily transcend from her character in Pretty Little Liars. Johnny Simmons (Perks of Being a Wallflower) or Cam Gigandet (Easy A) could both pull of the “jock” stereotype, if we want to stick to typecasting. Simons’ Perks co-star Ezra Miller could also pull off a variety of quirky stereotypes after perfecting his role in Perks.


The Princess Bride

 When we said “hands off” we were referring specifically to this movie. This is a classic. Don’t touch it, don’t tweak it, don’t even think about any of the above.

No one will be able to pull off saying “as you wish” like Cary Elwes, no one can avenge his father like Mandy Patinkin, no one can giant like André the Giant (I mean honestly, it’s in his name), no one can perform selfish miracles like Billy Crystal, and no one can misunderstand the meaning of “inconceivable” like Wallace Shawn. Not to mention the grandfather- grandson relationship between Peter Falk and Fred Savage is in a word: precious (and not the creepy Lord of the Rings version, but the one associated with panda bears and Disney characters).

Beyond the actors, the writing made this movie, and nothing can reach the perfection of this script without copying it word for word. I mean how many movies can we use in history class to stress not starting land wars in Asia? Not to mention, how many modern movies successfully balance actions, drama, romance, comedy and sword play (and not the chintzy kind found in the remake of The Three Musketeers) ?

If, and that’s a BIG if, I  must change one thing about this movie, I would change the actress of Buttercup, not because she did anything specifically wrong but, more selfishly, because something about her always just bugged me. But that’s part of the experience.

Best line: Don’t even ask because it’s the whole script.

Best moment: How about all of them? (Well, maybe not the sucking out the years of your life part, because that did seem extremely painful and no one likes seeing the hero die, but other than that, basically the whole film.)

Never to be recasted. Ever.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Anyone? Anyone? Do you remember this movie?

Every school has them. That kid you love to hate and hate to love. The wise guy in the corner who gets away with everything. That’s part of what makes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off so good: its relatability.

That and its ability to perfectly break through the fourth wall. As Ferris Bueller ditches school, avoiding his high school principal and parents,  he attempts to give his friend Cameron a day off to relax and enjoy, while casually giving commentary to his viewers (still working on that popcorn).

Best line: “The question isn’t what are we going to do. The question is what aren’t we going to do.” Basically sums up the movie.

Best moment: Ferris singing “Twist and Shout” on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (and my personal favorite: when you realize the rebellious kid in the police department is a super young Charlie Sheen who looks the exact same as today).

Recasting: Steve Martin as the Principal (Jeffery Jones) because his character in The Pink Panther combined with his ability to deal with children in Cheaper by the Dozen would prove to be superior in pathetic attempts to track down Ferris.

This movie would be pretty easy to cast. I could easily see David Henry (the type-A brother from Wizards of Waverly Place) or Logan Lerman (Perks of Being a Wallflower) pulling off the stressed out mess of Alan Ruck’s character Cameron Frye. Emma Stone could easily pull of Ferris’ quirky and jealous sister played by Jennifer Grey, and Mia Sara’s Sloane could be replaced with Lucy Hall (Pretty Little Liars) or Lilly Collins (The Blind Side). But not so easily replaced? Ferris Bueller himself. Matthew Broderick filled a timeless character, yet today’s times see a lack of quirky and easily loved teenage rebels.

Are you still reading? It’s over. Go.