A lot of people despise remakes and until recently, I had always felt this way too. This was until a couple of years ago when I went to see An American Werewolf in London at Midnight Movies at The Curzon Soho. This is probably my all-time favourite film (along with Big Trouble in Little China and Withnail & I). It was a midnight screening, and there was a fancy dress disco beforehand – with Joana And The Wolf playing in the bar. Before the film was screened John Landis was interviewed by Kim Newman, and Jenny Agutter was in the audience. Basically, I was in fanboy heaven.
John Landis was likeable, witty and charming – then right at the end of the interview, he announced brazenly “I just sold the rights of An American Werewolf to be remade…”.
A silence fell across the room; the audience were not happy, including me. I felt betrayed. But then he said this, which is lucid and logical, and very hard to disagree with – so I forgave him:
“One of two things will happen: either the remake will be really good – in which case what are you worried about? Or the film will be really bad – but that won’t detract from your love of the original; you will probably even love it more. Either way, it will probably make a new generation of fans check out the original film. And with the money I can make a new film of my own…”
So now I don’t begrudge any remakes, sequels, prequels et al.
And thinking about it, lots of classic films are remakes – John Carpenter’s The Thing, Brian DePalma’s Scarface. And look how many times Dracula has been reinterpreted…
This is a personal website and the views expressed here are my own (or stolen from other people down the pub). Facts may not be accurate, or could be poorly paraphrased gags borrowed from proper writers - or simply, outright lies.