Romancing the Stone & “They Live” Remakes

Having raided the 60’s and 70’s beyond exhaustion, Hollywood is now tucking heavily into the 80’s for remake material in its endless desire to eat itself.

Already pointless remakes of Red Dawn, Clash of the Titans, Adventures in Babysitting, Robocop, A Nightmare of Elm Street, Friday the 13th, The Karate Kid, Weird Science, Arthur, Footloose, Flashdance and The Thing are in the works or about to hit. Today, two more have been added to the list says The Hollywood Reporter.

The first is romantic adventure comedy classic “Romancing the Stone”. Fox has hired “Eagle Eye” scribe Daniel McDermott to pen a script for a remake of the Robert Zemeckis-directed 1984 feature. The original followed a lovelorn romance novelist (Kathleen Turner) who heads to Colombia to rescue her kidnapped sister.

Becoming lost in the jungle, she’s saved by a soldier of fortune (Michael Douglas) and the pair set out to reach Cartagena while avoiding the private army of the country’s murderous secret police chief. Mudslides, treacherous ravines, crashed planes, drug lords, alligators, the kidnapper’s inept brother (Danny DeVito), and a giant emerald are all thrown into the mix.

Though intially seen as a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” clone, the film became a smash hit and has grown in appreciation over the years thanks to its solid comedic moments, location shooting, and the excellent chemistry and performances that launched Turner’s career and repositioned Michael Douglas as a romantic lead.

Meanwhile Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment are in negotiations to acquire the film rights to John Carpenter’s 1988 cult feature “They Live”. The original sci-fi satire followed a construction worker (Roddy Piper) who discovers sunglasses that let him see aliens walking among us and controlling humanity.

Though there’s some notable scenes, particular the film’s hilarious final moment where the alien threat is revealed to humanity, it’s mostly remembered for its brutal one-on-one fight scene between Piper and Keith David that goes on for five-and-a-half minutes. Unlike ‘Stone’, ‘Live’ was a commercial flop but has since gained a strong cult following and critical appreciation. No writer is yet set for the remake.

Marc Abraham and Eric Newman will produce while Shep Gordon and Carpenter will serve as executive producers. The deal also includes rights to two other Carpenter cult films – “Prince of Darkness” and “Village of the Damned” – while Strike is also in development of a remake of his signature science-fiction work – 1982’s “The Thing”. Three recent remakes of Carpenter-directed films – “The Fog,” “Halloween” and “Assault on Precinct 13” – failed both critically and at the box-office.

With all these remakes on the way, think of the other frightening possibilities that could happen in coming years? “Beetlejuice” starring Steve Carrell, Shia LaBeouf in “WarGames”, Emile Hirsch goes “Back to the Future”, Eva Mendes is “The Accused”, Adam Sandler goes “Back to School”, and Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan have a “Fatal Attraction”.