It seems like nowadays you cant walk down the street without hearing about another example of lazy opportunistic Hollywood thinking with a new remake of a classic film in the works. Nothing is sacred, Citizen Kane and Casablanca haven’t been touched yet but if the current trend continues then you might hear “Rosebud” tumbling from the lips of Shia The Beef or some such. Don’t get me wrong I’m not in the anti-remake brigade or anything, I count the ’78 Bodysnatchers and Carpenters The Thing amongst some of my favourite films. Personally, there are some films I’d like to see remade, just not films that are great to begin with. Don’t remake The Omen, remake The Omen IV ( the one with the girl Damian and Faye Grant from the brilliant TV series ‘V’ that Independence Day ripped off). Don’t remake Class of 1999, remake Class Of 1999 2: The Substitute (with Sasha Mitchell!) and give it more than a passing relationship to the previous (classic) flippin’ film. Anyway, you get the point. So, in what will become a grand and epic series I plan to preempt the Hollywood trend machine with what I would consider to be good replacement actors for updates of classic films. First up, Jaws….
BACK IN THE DAY: Roy Scheider
PICK THIS GUY: Rob Morrow
DON’T DO IT!: Ben Affleck
Although Jaws is a three hander it is the Brody character that is central to the plot and with whom the audience most relates to, with the majority of the story taking place from his perspective. Rob Morrow has a good everyman persona and likeability, coupled with the fact that he’s covered the whole big city guy uprooting to the sticks role before in Northern Exposure. The temptation for the remakers might be to go for a more traditional leading man type like Affleck or Christian Bale, perhaps not Affleck, he’s not that much of a draw nowadays, maybe Matthew ‘Bongos’ McConnhonaughahey (NOOO!)
BACK IN THE DAY: Richard Dreyfuss
PICK THIS GUY: TJ Thyne
DON’T DO IT!: Reese Witherspoon
I think this is the role that would tempt the remakers into a bit of tinkering. Specifically putting an extra tension factor into the previously male-centric triangle by changing Hooper into a hot blonde female. For the audience focus character of Brody they’re more likely to stick to the male lead, and the Quint character is WAY out of bounds, leaving poor Hooper. They could go any number of ways with this, changing sex, age or race as it suits. Personally, I don’t know, but if they’re sticking with the original character then your man from Bones has the right look, age and acting ability for the role.
BACK IN THE DAY: Robert Shaw
PICK THIS GUY: Nick Nolte
DON’T DO IT!: Johnny Depp
I think you need that extra bit of crazy about yourself like Mr Robert Shaw apparently had for this role. Personally I think Nolte has that in spades. He does have a tendency to to slice himself off an extra thick chunk of ham for his acting sandwich (metaphors aren’t my stongest point) as you can see in Hulk, but if he reigns it in a bit I think he’d be perfect. You can see how the studio think process might go on this one, “Hmm, Quint….salty seadog type…Get me Jack Sparrow, we can’t lose!”. I may be being a little harsh there, they’re probably not that stupid, I’ve just had this image of a movie studio head that was forged back when I saw Barton Fink and I can’t shake it.
Alright, that’s me, now what do you think? I was going to pick a choice of new director for the project but couldn’t for the life on me think of a suitable candidate. As long as it’s not Michael Bay or Uwe Boll we should be alright (comparatively speaking). And, by the way, I don’t actually WANT them to remake Jaws, I’m just planting seeds so that we dont get a complete balls up. And if anyone accuses me of putting ideas into their head check out my hit count and weep n’more.