Universal is on a remake roll this week… after yesterday’s announcement of their gloriously stupid plans to remake David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, word has come down today that they’ve found another utterly original and uncompromising vision to reimagine…
Just kidding. But The Hollywood Reporter is threatening that Universal will be remaking Ate de Jong’s Drop Dead Fred, the 1991 comedy stinker starring Phoebe Cates (red bikini) and Rik Mayall (The Young Ones). The film is about a young woman whose life begins to unravel both professionally and socially until her imaginary childhood friend reappears in her life… and proceeds to make things even worse. Universal is catering the title role for Russell Brand’s (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) particular form of comic mayhem. The plan is to focus more on the concept of imaginary friends and where they come from, where they go, and why they’re all British.
This should be an interesting case for remake reactionaries. (I’m looking at you AngryBroomstick!) Remakes aren’t inherently a bad thing (The Thing, The Fly), and if a film can be improved upon in some noticeable way then a remake should be welcomed by film fans. Drop Dead Fred is a bad movie. Painfully unfunny and annoying even. Sure sure, some people may call it “perfect” but these same people also go to bed with a different “imaginary friend” every night so there’s probably a conflict of interest there somewhere… The original script was lacking in humor to the degree that even Mayall couldn’t save it from being nothing more than ninety minutes of frustration. Brand has his detractors, but he’s also pretty damn funny at times so the trick will be finding a script that captures his style and wit without overdoing it. Bottom line, if a redux can improve on the laughs and find a leading lady as delightful as Cates then I say go for it.
Yay or nay for a Drop Dead Fred remake?