Last we heard Steve Carr (“Paul Blart : Mall Cop”) would direct the long-touted remake of John Badham’s “Short Circuit”, now Tim Hill (“Alvin and the Chipmunks”) has the job, according to the following post at Deadline.
Dimension Films is making a deal with Tim Hill to direct its reboot of Short Circuit, the 1986 film about an experimental robot manufactured to be a weapon until a lightning strike fills it with intelligence. It runs away and befriends a fractured family, the military in hot pursuit. Hill directed the Illumination pic Hop and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks. Dimension optioned the remake rights in 2009, originally signing Paul Blart: Mall Cop helmer Steve Carr and screenwriter Dan Milano. The project has languished and Hill is being brought in to supervise a new script and get the iconic robot Johnny 5 moving. David Foster, who produced the original, is producing with Ryan E. Heppe and John Hyde.
Look, I know John Badham’s not a master of the art or anything but he definitely knew his way around a fun movie – “Stakeout”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “War Games”; all exceedingly fun flicks – and I can’t say that for Tim Hill. If anything, Carr’s one of those last-minute gun-for-hires that seems to be able to effectively point and shoot – and work with kids and animals. And, well, that’s about it. He’s usually hired to helm unmemorable, sometimes monotonous CGI kids flicks – like “Smurfs”, “Chipmunks”, “Muppets from Space” and “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie”, which suggests the “Short Circuit” redo will be even more family-friendly than the original was (and a fairly good chance Johnny 5 will be CGI). If the latter bunch were good kids flicks, it’d be a different matter, but they’re not, so, personally, I’m not holding out much hope for Johnny 5’s rebirth.
But then Dimension don’t seem to be about making the best movies possible at the moment, they’re just trying to stay afloat, so if they can milk a few of these franchises they own the rights to they will – regardless of how sore the teat is.
(If they manage to bring Fisher Stevens back it’ll score an extra star – or at least the one – from me).