We live in an age of reboots. Sometimes, they work (take a cloaked bow Batman Begins), but mostly, they really don’t (there’s actually too many bad ones to list).
As a result, movie fans have a fairly negative association to the whole reboot concept, with this week’s uproar at the idea of re-doing Home Alone being just the latest backlash to the idea of a perfect movie being re-done.
But it’s not just fans who hate the idea of reboots, sometimes the people who made the originals do too. People like...
Robert Englund - A Nightmare on Elm Street
Robert England’s whole career has been defined by one role, which he performed multiple times across various media. Yep, he’s basically Freddy Krueger to several generations of horror fans. Reboot star Jackie Earle Haley, meanwhile? Not so much.
So it probably should come as no surprise to hear that Englund has a clever analysis of why the reboot version of the behatted dream demon didn’t work.
"I thought the movie was a little cold,” Englund said. “We weren’t really given time to see the kids when they were normal, before they were frantic and haunted by Freddy. That made it harder to connect with them, harder to care what happened to them…”
“I think the change to a more ‘realist’ burn make-up with melted features took a lot of the strength away from the character. The strong nose and chin in the make-up I wore gives Freddy presence and power. And I played Freddy as if he liked being evil, he liked his work. Jackie went a different way."
Macaulay Culkin - Home Alone
One of the few good things to come out of this week’s announcement that we’ll be getting a Home Alone reboot from Disney was Macaulay Culkin’s perfectly pitched response, trolling the studio with the following tweet.
This is what an updated Home Alone would actually look like. pic.twitter.com/sGj86933LA— Macaulay Culkin (@IncredibleCulk) August 7, 2019
We generally love pretty much everything Disney does, but if Culkin isn’t the eventual star of Home Alone: Reborn, we’re boycotting (we’re kidding, let’s face it, we’re all going to watch it).
Leslie Jones - Ghostbusters
The decision to re-reboot Ghostbusters (again) , abandoning the all-woman line-up to return to an all-male group of spook-grabbers in Ghostbusters 2020, was one of the rare reboot announcements to be greeted warmly by a large section of the fanbase. Not everyone was happy, though - especially not Leslie Jones, one of the stars of Paul Feig’s 2016 version, who tweeted the following statement.
“So insulting. Like f*** us. We didn’t count. It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice) ”Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers” ugh so annoying. Such a d*** move. And I don’t give f*** I’m saying something!!”
Yikes! Bustin’ does NOT make her feel good in this instance.
Walter Jones - Power Rangers
While the Power Rangers big screen reboot wasn’t exactly a box office smash, it was pretty fun - though we probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if we were in the original cast, considering the significant amount of changes that were made to the main characters.
Walter Jones, the original Black Ranger Zack Taylor, had this to say, “I was a little disappointed that they changed the characters around a little bit because I wanted Zack to be with his kido because Hip Hop Kido was a really important element of who I was on Power Rangers.”
“I think if they would have added that then there could have been some parkour and there could have been so many other elements to that character that it would have been awesome.”
Michael Caine - Alfie
Jude Law’s Alfie remake was already an uncomfortable watch, but viewed through the prism of modern gender politics, it’s basically impossible to sit through. One person who definitely didn’t enjoy it the first time around was Michael Caine. Mainly because he feels it fundamentally misunderstands the character.
"At the end of the movie, Alfie says, ‘What’s it all about?’ But the minute Jude walks on, you see a young man who knows exactly what everything is all about. Alfie was a sort of innocent blunder, shagging birds here and there for a nice apple crumble, at the end he’s puzzled why everyone’s pissed off at him.”
“Jude, being so knowing looking, looked like it was deliberate and it became sinister instead of funny. It just became some guy who doesn’t care about women, he just screws them and leaves them – a male chauvinist pig, but with knowledge. I played an innocent male chauvinist pig."
Nancy Allen - Robocop
Nancy Allen, who played police officer Anne Lewis in director Paul Verhoeven’s classic tale of a fallen police officer who becomes a cyborg cop, wasn’t as bothered about her character being rebooted as she was the whole idea of a different take on the original.
"I don't think you remake iconic films. Ours was created out of an extraordinary script with the right director and an amazing cast. Jon believed in the script and an exceptional movie was made. I'm troubled by studios who take a perfect piece and try to milk more money off it.”
“How can this new script be as great as Neumeier's and Miner's original? If I were a director, I wouldn't touch an iconic director's work. It would be insane. To quote Paul Verhoeven about the new film, he said, "It's very depressing, I should be dead.""
Jerry Lewis - The Nutty Professor
Comedy icon Jerry Lewis found a whole new audience when his 1963 movie The Nutty Professor was remade in 1996, and he was initially involved in the project.
But he wasn’t pleased with the new direction star Eddie Murphy took it in.
“When he had to do fart jokes, he lost me,” Lewis said. “As a matter of fact, I told his editor, If he wants any more from me on a creative level, tell him to pull the whole sequence.”
“What I did was perfect. And all you’re going to do is diminish that perfection by letting someone else do it. I won’t go through it again."
Ron Perlman - Hellboy
The biggest problem with the Hellboy reboot wasn’t just that the original two movies had an army of admirers who desperately wanted the trilogy to be completed, but that the cast and crew behind both films were so passionate about what they’d created.
Asked about the reboot, original Hellboy Ron Perlman said, “I have mixed feelings, really mixed feelings, violently mixed feelings, because of the fact that Guillermo fought for seven years to get me to be the Hellboy against all odds, and against all wishes of the studios, he really had doors slammed in his face for seven years by wanting to have me do it.”
“So the fact that we got it made and then we got a second one made, and then the second one was so set up for the third one there seemed to be a natural trajectory to the evolution of this title.”
“When we fell short of getting the third one made and the producers found a way to continue using the title, but in a completely different way, I found that to be going against the tides of the universe, and so I said I’ll wait for Guillermo to want to finish the trilogy, that’s the only thing I’m interested in doing… The only thing that’s important to me is to finish what we started, which is the third film, so those are my thoughts.”
Abel Ferrara - Bad Lieutenant
Abel Ferrara is a director who’s not exactly known for holding his tongue. But he went even further than usual when he was asked about Werner Herzog’s Nic Cage-led remake of his cult hit Bad Lieutenant (which originally starred Harvey Keitel). To put it simply, Ferrara wasn’t happy.
“I hate these people – they suck… It’s lame. I can’t believe Nic Cage is trying to play that part. I mean, if the kid needed the money… It’s like Harvey Keitel said, ‘If the guy needed the money, if he came to us and said, “My career’s on the rocks,’ I’d cut him a break.”’ But to take $2 million – I mean, our film didn’t cost half of $2 million. That film was made on blood and guts, man. So I really wish it didn’t upset me as much as it does…”
“Nobody asked us to do it. Nobody approached us and said, ‘Would you do it?’ Give us $8 million, we’ll come up with something. They give me twenty grand and say, ‘Go f**** yourself.’ Gimme a break! They aren’t paying Harvey anything, they aren’t paying him two cents. Ed Pressman sucks c**** in hell, period. You can print that.”
Gene Wilder - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Gene Wilder probably said it best when it comes to reboots. “It’s all about money. It’s just some people sitting around thinking ‘How can we make some more money?’ Why else would you remake Willy Wonka?”
Home Alone will appear on Disney+ at some point in the next couple of years. Probably at Christmas 2020.