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Archive for October 18, 2011

Why The Fly should be remade (continued)

Yesterday, I talked at length about why I’d like a remake of “The Fly” besides the 1985 one. Today I’d like to address who I would like to see direct it.

I want to see James Cameron direct “The Fly”.

Mind you, it’s not going to happen. No one in hollywood is even thinking about doing this, and even if they were, Cameron’s a respectable director now and I don’t think the Fed has printed enough money to make him go back to doing monster movies.

There may be some confusion here as well. I’m on the record as being extremely critical of Cameron. That’s true, I don’t think he’s a good storyteller. I think he’s a great director, and Like George Lucas, I think he’s a great ideas man, but he should be kept out of the building during the scriptwriting stages of production.

The thing is, “The Fly” is a rather bleak story. It can veer into complete hopelessness really easily (the 1985 remake is a perfect example of this). But Cameron has demonstrated the ability to take a bleak story and inject just enough hope into it to keep it from going over the edge. The Terminator is a great example of this. The ending is almost like one of Carpenter’s Apocalypse trilogy, yet there’s almost a hopeful feeling in the air. The end is coming, but we’ll be ready. It’s validated in T2 which is again a desperate fight against impossible odds. Indeed, T2 is a movie where we open up to find people in dark, hopless situations, but we never feel like there’s no point to the struggle.

Aliens is another great example. Here we have situations where death is preferable to what might happen next. It can be a chilling thing to see someone begging you to kill them. We have Riply with her life GONE, destroyed. and these things are still out there, thousands of them. You’ll never kill them all They pursue you, and Gorman and Vasquez hold hands over a grenade and prepare to die, and yet it never feels pointless. Overwhelming, almost hopeless, bleak even. But never does it feel like there’s no chance. There’s always a reason to continue struggling. There’s always just the slightest possibility of getting out of this situation.

Cameron knows how to make a bleak story a triumph of the human spirit. This is after all, the man who made the Titanic into a love story. He understands action and terror. More importantly, he REALLY understands sci-fi. Imagine getting him into the production design, creating the pods, the creature, the technology and the devolution. What was missing from Cronenberg’s Fly was the soul of the story. the adventure and heart. And that’s fine, that wasn’t the film Cronenberg was making. But I’d love to see this movie remade with the sensabilities of someone like James Cameron. I think there’s still hope of a slick 21st century remake of this movie too. With “The Blob” up next to be remade (though Rob Zombie’s departure may stall it) we’ll have to see if this movie can be successful. If It is we can be sure that other classic properties will be getting eyed, and the time will be prime for a Fly remake.