Saturday, June 8, 2013

Top Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movies That Need To Be Remade

By Ken Parker

While I would prefer new original movies, I do admit that remakes can sometimes be just as entertaining.  There are a fair amount of them in the works right now but I have selected some that I feel, if done well, could be excellent products.  Some of these were made so long ago that a remake would just allow new effects and ideas to flourish while others would just appeal to newer audiences.  I actually like or love all the movies listed below and so it is not because the originals were bad films. 

Dune – We have had two versions, the 1994 David Lynch film and the 2000 TV mini series.  I did not see the TV version but feel that a re-launch of the entire book series might be a good franchise if the right production team was behind it.  Think Peter Jackson or some other presence that would be able to start from scratch and create a new popular franchise.  I am not sure the world is ready for this right now but perhaps in five years after the superhero phase lightens up a bit, the time will be perfect.

Fantastic Voyage – The 1966 movie is pretty spectacular but imagine a new version with CG effects.  The level of advancement in medical photography has increased so much in the past bunch of years that it would be amazing to see it in this movie.  Also imagine it in 3-D.  I dislike the 3-D technology but I have to admit that it would be a huge selling point for a movie like this. At one point James Cameron was attached to remake rumors a few years back.  He might be the best choice for this movie.

The Black Hole – This movie was epic and pretty good but it has dated a bit and at the time people were afraid that it would be too much like a Disney film. As with Fantastic Voyage, more info and photography of space will make a remake more accurate and the CG would be pretty cool.  With the right cast and production, the film could be excellent.  There are quite a few space movies on the horizon in 2013 and 2014 so depending on how they do, this movie may be primed for a return. Andrew Stanton (Wall-E and Monsters Inc) did a fairly good job with John Carter and so he might be a good fit.

Logan’s Run – the remake of this story is ready but production hell has plagued the project for years. The idea would be ideal for new audiences and could expand on the movie plot a bit.  This could also be made into a series as the 1976 movie was.  Hopefully, like all these remakes listed, the movie doesn’t turn into a chase action movie like the Total Recall remake in 2012.  Of course, Logan’s Run is about a chase, so there.

Flash Gordon – Speaking of John Carter, this franchise, you would think, would be more ready for a return than John Carter was.  Flash Gordon is more popular and besides a gross blip in 2007 with a TV series, it could do well today. I would hope that the movie would be more like the animated cartoon of 1979 and less like the spoofy 1980 movie.

Forbidden Planet – I love this movie but boy, this one needs a remake.  The ideas and effects still hold up today but the acting and characters need a reboot.  The worse part of the movie is the poor 50’s style relationship between Altair and just about everyone else.  I absolutely admire Anne Francis as an actress but the dialog in this movie is bad.  A remake with effects that would have to rival the superb ones from 1956 is perfect as long as it doesn’t come out like The Day the Earth Stood Still remake in 2008.  J. Michael Straczynski was at one point attached to a remake idea in 2007 and that would be fine with me.  James Cameron’s name has also been associated with this.  I do have nightmares that Robby the Robot would be CG.  That might be bad.

2001: A Space Odyssey – oh boy.  This is my favorite sci-fi movie of all time.  How dare I even remotely mention the idea of a remake?  Well, again I would love to see what the effects would be like today.  If someone could make the effects as good now as the original ones were in 1968 I would be superbly impressed.  I would love to see these visuals take center stage but I would also like to see more story and characters.  The idea of slow moving plots is of a day long past and so to see this story with a bit more character interaction (similar to the original sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact) and keep the mind blowing imagery and have the film brave enough not to explain every single thing, I think I might be happy.  This remake could lead into 2010, 2061 and 3001 movies as well and that is all good in my book. Nothing can replace the original but I am all for a well made remake. Not sure who could pull it off.  At one point James Cameron or Steven Spielberg would be ideal choices but perhaps Danny Boyle (Sunshine) or Duncan Jones (Moon) might be other possibilities.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – I have read the book and seen the 1954 movie but am not familiar with the 1997 remake nor any of the other animated projects.  It goes without saying that this movie should be a period piece and take place in 1868 but a present day remake is not entirely out of the question in my mind.  With CG and advanced underwater technology, this film could be pretty spectacular.  I keep going to obvious choices but James Cameron seems to like it underwater more than above it so he might be an okay choice.  I know he is currently very popular but I just thought that Captain Nemo could be played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Barbarella –  This film is a product of its time but a remake could work really well.  I would expect the same level of camp, sex and comedic themes would be included.  The original did have some good sci-fi ideas and so hopefully the remake could live up to that.  Ultimately it would come down to who do you get for the main star.  In the past names such as Drew Barrymore, Sherilyn Fenn, Erica Durance and Rose McGowan had been rumored to play the title part.  Today an Eva Green or Emily Blunt might be good choices.  I am thinking of many more so I will stop there. Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) had been attached to the project for quite a few years but that seems to no longer be the case, which is a shame.

Them! – Since it has been almost 60 years since the original, I guess it could be time. When was the last time we had a swarm of giant insects attack Earth movie….that wasn’t on SYFY?  Now is the time.  Get an all star cast and attempt to make a serious disaster film with giant CG ants.  If done seriously, it could be pretty gross and horrific.  Or not.  Pacific Rim and Godzilla are approaching movie theaters and so what better time for Them!

Sinbad – With the popularity of Game of Thrones still peaking, a new movie series based on the 1958 and 1970’s Sinbad movies (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger) might be a hit today.  You bring in a CG team that puts half of the time and effort into the detail of creating fantastical creatures and worlds as original effects creator Ray Harryhausen did and you might pull it off.  A good cast and writer and director could start up a new fantasy series replacing the voids made by the end of the Harry Potter and Twilight films.

What are some other films that you think might be ready for a remake?


  1. I would like to see a proper period war of the worlds.Imagine a victorian battleship taking down a steampunk war machine.If any one could do it justice I would suggest Mark Gattis - especially after his First Men In The Moon from a few years ago.

  2. That is a good idea for War of the Worlds. I agree that some of these older stories would benefit from taking place during their original time period.

  3. The Last Starfighter comes to mind. Wouldn't mind seeing that done again. Good list

  4. Of all the movies on this list a couple are already in the works like you said, so I hope Black Hole makes it out of development and into theaters.