Back in 1982, John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was released in cinemas and proved a bomb both critically and commercially – a surprise considering it is now often considered his greatest work in various critical polls. In the wake of that failure, he had to come up with something more commercially viable and appealing.
The result was “Starman,” the acclaimed romantic sci-fi film starring Jeff Bridges as an alien who crashes on Earth and takes the form of the recently deceased husband of a widow (Karen Allen) in order to get her help to get back to his people.
Now a remake of the film is on the way at Sony Pictures with “Real Steel” and “Night at the Museum” director Shawn Levy at the helm. Levy, who helmed episodes of the new Netflix series “Stranger Things” which premieres on the streaming service on Friday, spoke with Coming Soon this week about his plans and love for the original:
“To me, I think it’s brilliant. It was an Oscar nomination for Jeff Bridges, it’s thick with ideas and incredibly rich with romantic feelings, and those are the things I’m going to carry over into this updated version. I don’t know why it’s kind of separate in the canon of Carpenter, but I think it’s magnificent.
The premise is filled with ideas that are interesting to revisit in a different way in 2016. It fits less neatly in his genre legacy, but I think it’s absolutely one of his finest films. I am going to try to be faithful to the romantic spine to the story but also the fish-out-of-water humor which is genuinely charming and winning in a way that Carpenter and Bridges filmed it.”
Levy also says he’s looking at some of the people he’s worked with before to take on the lead role – that could mean anyone including Hugh Jackman, Adam Driver, Miles Teller, Mark Ruffalo, Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Renner, Dan Stevens or Bradley Cooper. Arash Amel is penning the remake which Michael Douglas will produce.