I believe the cinematic market is a wee bit oversaturated with unnecessary remakes. As every single Disney movie is simultaneously being resurrected for the big screen, I can’t help but yearn for the hidden gems that nobody seems to be talking about.
There are lots of older movies that would no doubt captivate current moviegoers. Many of these stories feature themes that are prevalent today. They could potentially benefit from a modern makeover.
Here are just a few movies that I think should be remade, along with the talented actors that should star in them.
1. "The Lost Boys" (1987)
The Lost Boys is a cult classic. We’ve had to endure the melodrama of tortured vampires for the past decade; Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and countless other bloodsucker tales take themselves far too seriously. That is precisely why we need a remake of this unique, oftentimes hilarious, film.
It follows protagonist Michael who unknowingly falls for a beautiful young vampire and consequently joins a bloodthirsty crowd. His main rival is David, the intimidating leader of the punk rock gang.
Brendon Thwaites & Daniel Kaluuya
Brenton Thwaites is probably a familiar face with roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Maleficent, and Gods of Egypt. While these roles all appeal to his obvious good looks, his most vulnerable performance is in Oculus where he battles a traumatic past and possible mental health issues. The character Michael calls for a bad boy appeal while also conveying a vulnerability that audiences will sympathize with when watching Michael evolve from good guy to moody vampire, making Brenton well suited for the task.
Daniel Kaluuya is most notable for his impressive performance in Get Out. His intensity makes him an obvious choice to reprise Kiefer Sutherland’s role of David. It isn’t difficult to imagine Daniel giving intimidating stare downs while racing on motorcycles and hanging from railway bridges, daring Michael to go further and further until he takes the ultimate risk.
2. "Barefoot in the Park" (1967)
If you haven’t seen Barefoot in the Park, you’re missing some classic Neil Simon hilarity. When tightly wound Paul marries free spirited Corie, we witness the newlyweds struggle to compromise and thrive. Almost all of the film takes place in their tiny New York City apartment, creating a theatrical setting relying heavily on dialogue and comedic timing.
A remake would be socially relevant, possibly even more now than at the time of its original release. More and more twenty something’s struggle with impending adulthood, so seeing a young couple navigate aspirations, relationships, and limited living space in a light-hearted way would be overwhelmingly relatable.
John Boyega & Saoirse Ronan
John Boyega has made a prominent name for himself with dramas like Detroit and The Circle. However, it was the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens that propelled him to stardom and showed off his comedic abilities. Portraying Robert Redford’s character Paul Bratter would be an excellent addition to Boyega’s already stellar resume, balancing comedic parts with his rapidly growing serious roles.
Saoirse Ronan is an incredible actress whose performances in Brooklyn and Atonement earned her two respective Academy award nominations. Her quirky performance in The Grand Budapest Hotel showed her comedic side, making her suitable to revive Jane Fonda’s Corie Bratter. She could even use her natural Irish accent to give the character added dimension.
3. "Reality Bites" (1994)
This 90’s rom com follows college graduates as they navigate their professional lives while balancing personal relationships. Anyone who has gotten fired, sacrificed integrity for a job, or sacrificed a job for integrity would deeply appreciate this movie. It needs a remake because millennials would no doubt relate to at least one of the lively characters.
The movie follows Lelaina, a filmmaker who vacillates between striving to be a successful filmmaker and retaining her own identity. Troy is a total bohemian who ignores the rules and chastises anyone’s pursuit for career advancement. These two butt heads and exchange philosophical conversations that many of us have had during late night vent sessions.
Britt Robertson & Garett Hedlund
Britt Robertson knows how to have a breakdown. Just look at her roles in Girlboss, Ask Me Anything, dating all the way back to Dan In Real Life. These moments of utter hysteria are necessary for Winona Ryder’s role Lelaina who faces several work and life crises throughout Reality Bites. Lelaina also requires a softness and vulnerability that would nicely round out Robertson’s repertoire since she typically portrays women who are somewhat rough around the edges.
Garrett Hedlund stole my heart in Georgia Rule but also proved his acting chops in On the Road and Inside Llewyn Davis. He’s perfect to revive Ethan Hawke’s Troy, a stubborn nonconformist who is ridiculously intelligent and secretly holds a torch for Lelaina. Garrett Hedlund would bring likability to Troy, a character who needs to be at least somewhat adored in order for the movie to work.
4. "The Craft" (1996)
The Craft needs a reboot because it features one of the most kickass female ensembles of all time. Depressive Sarah moves to Los Angeles and joins a group of high school witches led by goth queen Nancy. At first, the girls are close friends and help each other. But as they become more powerful, circumstances quickly spiral out of control.
Teen situations like young love, bullying, and insecurity are all addressed in this brutally honest femme tale. Remaking this movie would bring to light many difficult topics in an unapologetic way. It also exposes a darker side of young female relationships.
Jane Levy & Maika Monroe
Jane Levy has proved herself to be a horror movie darling in Don’t Breathe and Evil Dead, but honestly, it’s her role as Mandy in the TV show Shameless that proves she has the capacity to chill you and fulfill you. She’s able to completely change her body language and tone of voice to go from endearing to threatening in a matter of seconds. Fairuza Balk did an impeccable job originating the role of Nancy, but I have no doubt that Levy could revive the role without sacrificing any of the crazy.
Robin Tunney played Sarah in the 1996 version, but Maika Monroe is no stranger to darker films like The Craft including The Guest and It Follows. Sarah is a reclusive character who harbors a great deal of guilt and sadness, making Monroe’s ability to be expressive using her body language and facial expressions of particular value. She also has the capacity to play a character that is dominated but later dominating, abilities vital to the role.
5. "Guys and Dolls" (1955)
I realize movie musicals were trendier ten years ago, but this classic desperately needs an update. This musical is filled with zany characters and an impressive score including Luck Be a Lady and Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat. These energetic musical numbers are hardly done justice in the original movie (sorry, not sorry).
A remake could brighten the set, escalate the dance routines and give the characters a fresh boost of energy. While the leading couple isn’t the most interesting, supporting characters Miss Adelaide and Nathan Detroit have the potential to make this movie unforgettable. Adelaide is a performer with a thick New York accent, a lingering cold, and a craving to finally marry fiancé of ten years Nathan Detroit. Nathan, a lovable gambler, tries to subdue his anxious fiancé while evading the police. See the potential here?
Ariana Grande & Darren Criss
Ariana Grande not only has an outstanding singing voice, but she is also a very funny actress. Her roles in Scream Queens, Sam and Cat, and even her various performances on Saturday Night Live highlight her comedic talents. Her big brown eyes and tiny frame would add a cartoonish quality to Vivian Blaine’s Miss Adelaide.
Frank Sinatra is inarguably a legend. His vocal chops are unmatched, but his acting abilities left much to be desired when he portrayed Nathan Detroit. Enter Darren Criss. Criss has a lovely singing voice along with oodles of onstage experience including Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and StarKid Productions’ A Very Potter Musical. Darren has a joyful spirit that is essential to play the charming ne’er-do-well, and his acting range is definitely well suited for the movie musical adaptation.
6. "The First Wives Club" (1996)
Remember when Jennifer Lawrence quoted this classic during her 2013 Golden Globes acceptance speech by exclaiming What does it say? I beat Meryl! The fact that so many missed the reference is evidence that this movie needs to be remade. If that’s not reason enough, there’s also the fact that it shows women over a certain age exuding strength and coming together instead of competing with each other (which we don't see nearly enough on the big screen).
Elise, Brenda, and Annie are college friends who are reunited by tragedy. They find that they have something in common; they all are being left by their husbands in favor of younger women. The women join together and take action to get revenge on the men who have left them “first wives”.
Michelle Monaghan, Rachel Weisz & Connie Britton
There’s no denying that the original had a stellar cast. Goldie Hawn brought charm and sass to the role of Elise, a vain washed up actress. Michelle Monaghan’s underrated role in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang proves her comedic range and undeniable charm. She’s an actress who hasn’t gotten the credit she deserves, a struggle she has in common with the character Elise.
Rachel Weisz has a lengthy filmography, but it’s subtle humor in The Lobster, Definitely, Maybe, and The Mummy that makes her suitable for Diane Keaton’s part, Annie. Annie is timid, often times reluctant to take action or express her anger. Rachel Weisz could easily win over audiences portraying Annie’s pent up frustration that eventually explodes onscreen.
Connie Britton is somewhat of a wildcard for Bettle Midler’s role of Brenda. Britton is primarily known for her roles in TV shows Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story, and Nashville. However, she steals scenes in every series and easily portrays a no nonsense mother. Brenda provides a lot of comedic relief in the movie, offering sarcasm and witty one-liners. This would be the perfect opportunity for Connie to prove her skills on a larger scale.
7. "The Faculty" (1998)
This is the most recent film on the list, but its underrated and quirky nature makes it a deserving contender for a reboot. The astronomical success of sci-fi series Stranger Things bodes well for the potential this film has with modern audiences. While this story is a bit more silly and lighthearted than the aforementioned Netflix series, its supernatural phenomena and overarching whodunit mystery would no doubt draw crowd appeal.
Casey is a do-gooder high school student who notices bizarre behavior from his teachers. He cultivates an unlikely band of heroes including Zeke, a wise cracking drug dealer who charms his teachers and overcharges freshmen. The classmates work together to solve the mystery pervading the faculty and quickly discover that there are alien forces at play.
Emjay Anthony & Ezra Miller
Emjay Anthony is most notably Percy in Chef, a son who offers sarcasm but ultimately is a sweetheart yearning to learn from his father. He’s also a young and considerably tiny actor, perfect for reprising hobbit Elijah Wood’s role as Casey. Casey is a good kid who provides humorous commentary in The Faculty, making Anthony a perfect fit.
Ezra Miller is a superb young actor, best known for roles in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He clearly has a wide range, making Josh Hartnett’s role of lovable playboy Zeke a walk in the park. Miller would no doubt make the role his own while venturing into ladies man territory for the first time.
8. "Death Becomes Her" (1992)
Death Becomes Her is one of the funniest movies of the 90's thanks to its remarkable cast. Rivals Madeline and Helen learn that their back and forth scientist lover Ernest has concocted a potion that grants immortality. They compete to win Ernest's affection while vying for the powerful serum.
This movie deserves to be remastered because its obsession with staying young is as prevalent today as it was then. Improved graphics could also spice up the gore and rot as the women fall apart (literally).
Jennifer Lawrence & Emma Stone
This movie had a star-studded cast, and so should the reboot. Jennifer Lawrence would bring to life (and death) Meryl Streep's Madeline, a youth obsessed actress who uses her beauty to steal Ernest away from Helen. We all know Lawrence's talent is incredible; she is probably the only actress of our generation worthy of reprising a role originated by reigning queen supreme Meryl Streep.
A-lister Emma Stone has an endearing sense of humor and has no problem laughing at herself, which would perfectly suit Goldie Hawn's Helen. Helen begins the movie as an overweight wife who gets left for a slimmer Madeline. Over time, Helen loses the weight, undergoes a makeover, and tries to win Ernest back. Along the way, she has countless arguments with Madeline. Can you imagine Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone starring in a comedy together? That sounds like cinematic gold to me.
There you have it! These are the movies I yearn to see revisit the silver screen in the foreseeable future. We all know the secret to a successful remake is proper casting, so let’s hope that quality actors like the ones included are considered for the many roles we hold near and dear to our hearts.