Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #327: Let's Help MGM

I'm buoyed by the response I got over my suggestions with what could have been done with the $60 million pissed away on the movie Che, so I'm going to posit another possibility.

MGM-UA has been declared a going concern, and has been meeting all of its debt requirements, which bodes well for the company, but it's $5.5 billion dollar library isn't enough to keep the company going. It needs new product to increase it's value and revenue potential.

Now normally I don't support remakes, I think MGM's plan to remake
Red Dawn is about 20+ years too late, but it looks like MGM might have no choice but to do some remakes until the company is on a surer financial footing.

Which is where you come in. I want you to look up the MGM library, and see what films could be used in a remake that won't offend the sense and sensibility of movie fans.

Here are my suggestions:

TELEFON: The original was a Charles Bronson vehicle where he played a KGB agent hunting Donald Pleasance who is using the phone to set off brainwashed people and turn them into killers.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: A KGB agent, whose came to America as a sleeper in the 1970s or 80s and stayed after the USSR's collapse, finds out that an old associate has sold the list of brainwashed people, and the instructions to use them, to a terrorist organization, and has to stop the plan before this cold war relic wreaks havoc. It'll be a great part for an older actor, and if anyone says that won't sell, tell them three little words: "
Gran Torino, Taken." Hat tip to Thierry Attard whose horrified reaction to the concept made me think of this post.

THE SATAN BUG: A thriller about a mad scientist threatening to "play god" with vials of stolen bio-weapons and the secret agent tasked to stop him.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: Despite being directed by action movie legend John Sturges, and a script by top action/adventure writers Alistair McLean, James Clavell, and screenwriter Edward Anhalt, was surprisingly light on real thrills. They were trying to be more cerebral than the Bond films but when was found wanting by critics and audiences. My advice, take the thrills and suspense that's inherent in the story, and run with it.

THE BRIDE WORE BLACK: A French film by Francois Truffaut, about a woman out for revenge when her husband's killed at their wedding.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: Beautiful woman, action, suspense, and beautiful European locales, the film makes itself.

FROM NOON TIL THREE: A rare Charles Bronson romantic comedy about an Old West outlaw who becomes a legend thanks to the overwrought imagination of a lonely widow in a big isolated house, but when he can't live up to the legend things start to get weird.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: If handled as a satire of media culture, with liberal doses of racy comedy, it could work.

SECRET ADMIRER: An old fashioned romantic farce in the guise of an 80s teen sex comedy about a misdirected anonymous love letter that wreaks havoc wherever it goes.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: Michael Cera, Amada Seyfried, as the leads, a sharp script, and Jason Reitman directing, you could have a winner.

YOUR PAST IS SHOWING: A mostly forgotten Peter Sellers black comedy about a TV star with a taste for elaborate disguises plotting to kill a blackmailing tabloid editor.

THE REMAKE CONCEPT: Jim Carrey dons a variety of disguises as he plots to snuff out an obnoxious gossip blogger who is blackmailing half of Hollywood. Trust me, the hissy fits it'll cause among real gossip bloggers will be worth millions in advertising.

So get poking around the MGM-UA library, come up with some concepts, and I'll poach them and pitch them to MGM myself for millions! Bwah-hah-hah!

Just kidding, MGM doesn't have millions to spare.

I'll do it for thousands! Bwah-hah-hah!


  1. If MGM wants to get into the animation biz, they could make a CGI(?) "reimagining" of The Secret of NIMH.

    Wait, did you say "won't offend the sense and sensibility of movie fans"?

  2. Hello Master D,

    Thanks for the hat tip.

    We should not mess with such forces, because our wisecracks always become reality. Months ago I joked on my blog about the idea of a US remake of "Lost in Austen". And they'll do it...

    An anecdote: after the Diet Coke remakes of "The Thomas Crown affair" and "Rollerball", a friend and me had some fears about a "Soylent Green" remake where the end would have been: "Tell them, Soylent Green is... good, man!"

    Your remake concept of "Telefon" reminds me of an excellent miniseries produced by the great Verity Lambert and called "Sleepers".

    But I guess they'll not make it as brilliant as your pitch... They'll redo it like "The Jackal", with Richard Gere as Bronson. And Michael Sheen will play Donald Pleasence.

    God, I love Hollywood...