I’m as disgusted as a department store clerk forced to wash bubble gum from ladies knickers, but I’m also rather intrigued (just as they would be).
A remake of John Hughes’ classic “Weird Science” (yes, I thought remakes of John Hughes movies were a sealed-off zone, too!) is in the works, with “21 Jump Street” scribe Michael Bacall planning to dirty up the PG-13 template with a racier reworking of the 1985 hit.
The project is being spearheaded by Joel Silver – not a name you’d normally associate with comedies. Silver, the action vet behind flicks such as “Die Hard”, “Predator”, “Lethal Weapon” and “Commando” had crossed over into the horror realm in recent years with flicks like “House of Wax” and “The Factory”, but laffers aren’t his usual bag. So why’s he on this? He’s gotta be. He produced the original! Yep, then 33-year-old Silver had his seventh producing effort on Hughes’ “Weird Science”.
Universal, home of the original “Weird Science”, seem to think a R-Rated/Silver/Bacall version is worth doing so have given it the stamp of approval and namely, the bucks, to push on.
The original film, a comedic take on the “Frankenstein” stories, told of two teenagers who ‘create’ their dream girl using their computer. Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Anthony Michael Hall played the teens, with Kelly Le Brock playing their self-created object of affection. The supporting cast included then-unknowns Robert Downey Jr and Bill Paxton.
Hollywood has stayed away from remaking John Hughes’s movies – until now. Though there have been rumours of remakes and sequels (a “16 Candles” sequel, supposedly involving the original cast, didn’t make it to the cameras; a spec script serving as a “Ferris Bueller 2” also didn’t appeal to the Hughes’ estate) to his hits, besides a loose reboot of “Vacation” and those unremitting “Beethoven” and “Home Alone” follow-ups, his ’80s gems have largely remained protected by a devoted fan base and legal team.
Of all of Hughes’s teen classics, I guess – if even because it’s already been turned into a TV series, which didn’t lead anyone to picket – “Weird Science” is the safest one to do. We love it, but not in the same way we do, say, “16 Candles”, “Breakfast Club”, “Pretty in Pink” or “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” (not a teen movie, I know, but still one of the man’s best) – when Hollywood finally gets around to redoing them, and you know they will, you’ll definitely read some heated ALL-CAPITALS complaints on the www.
Here’s some classic “Weird Science” to prep you for the remake :