Happy New Year!
I trust the holidays were well for everyone. I, for one, managed to get out to enjoy a bit of research for Lost in Translation* and took in the sights**. This year, 2013, is going to be filled with adaptations and remakes. Here are some of the coming adaptations.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Bruce Willis is back as John McClane, the hard-luck New York cop who somehow manages to find himself in the middle of a bad situation. A Good Day to Die Hard is the fifth of the series, with the original /Die Hard/ having been based on Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorpe. Die Hard itself changed action movies, allowing the main character to get battered, bruised, and beaten. The previous movie in the series, Live Free or Die Hard, received mixed reactions, most of the problems in it came from the studio wanting a PG-13 rating, cutting the gore and the language (including McClane’s catchphrase).
The Smurfs 2
The lovable three-apple high blue creatures with a limited vocabulary are returning to the big screen. The original adaptation did well enough, thanks to having Neil Patrick Harris and to appealing to a wide audience. This will be the middle movie of a Smurf trilogy.
Despicable Me 2
Although billed as a sequel, Despicable Me 2 is a spin-off from the original movie. The focus switches to the minions, who gained the affection of audiences.
Oz, The Great and Powerful
From Disney, Oz, The Great and Powerful is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of the Oz himself and how he got to be the Wizard. The trailer appears to be following the movie continuity of Oz, not Baum’s books. However, more people are more familar with the movie starring Judy Garland (or The Wiz, with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson) than the books. Disney’s recent record on adapatations is excellent, though***.
The first non-sequel, non-prequel on the list, Beautiful Creatures is based on the young adult novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. If the movie does well, the rest of the Caster Chronicles should follow.
Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters
Fairy tales seem to be Hollywood’s go-to source lately. With TV series like Grimm and Once Upon a Time and movies such as Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the Huntsman, darker takes on the tales are popular.****
With Sam Raimi producing, the remake of the B-movie classic The Evil Dead should draw attention from fans of the original. Raimi is taking what he has learned since filming The Evil Dead and applying it to the remake.
Originality in Hollywood is still at a low point. However, adaptations have long been a part of the movie scene; the much beloved The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. People wanting originality may have to look elsewhere, such as books and television, or deeper, at how an adaptation is handled and look for nuance.
Next time, what do I have in my columnses?
* I went to a movie.
** I checked out the posters for upcoming releases.
*** Thor, Captain America, Avengers. The exception is John Carter, which is more of a marketing failure than anything else.
**** Though, darker is relative here. Many popular fairy tales have been cleaned up and made more palatable for children and their parents over the centuries since their first appearance.