When asked to think of a decades-old action film that could easily be improved with a remake most folks would immediately consider Die Hard. That Bruce Willis fiasco could only be improved by modern day CGI, the addition of a young sidekick, and a lead actor with a full head of hair, but there’s one other 80’s “classic” that would benefit even more.
And thanks to the genius executives at Warner Bros. we just might get to see the Lethal Weapon reboot we so clearly deserve.
THR is reporting that a recent executive shuffle at WB has resulted in a handful of several ‘in development’ remakes seeing the light of day once again. Most of the titles mentioned are ones we’ve heard discussed before including Westworld, Oh God!, and The Dirty Dozen. Westworld in particular has seen a stream of names get attached then detached from the project over the years including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tarsem Singh.
The Wild Bunch is also on the list, and while that may perturb some folks it wouldn’t be the first Sam Peckinpah-directed film to enter the remake pipeline. An updated Straw Dogs is already in the can, and The Osterman Weekend is currently in development. (Note to producers, you should grab that Rutger Hauer fellow now before Hobo With A Shotgun turns him into a star.) But can a violent western filled with foul “heroes” actually get a green light these days? And would they still be allowed to shoot the shit out of the Mexicans? Doubtful.
The most egregious film on WB’s list though is also the most ridiculous. What exactly about a Lethal Weapon reboot makes sense? The whole “mismatched buddy cops” formula is still just as common as it ever was, so it’s not as if they’d be bringing back a genre staple. The name brand is recognizable, but it wore out its welcome after the shit-fest that was Lethal Weapon 4 smeared its way across screens. (Emilio Estavez’s Loaded Weapon didn’t help matters either.) The best remakes are the ones that are able to improve upon one or more elements from the original… an updated and better script, stronger effects, etc.
But there’s not a single goddamn thing that can be improved upon with a Lethal Weapon remake. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover have a fun and electric chemistry, Shane Black’s script is darkly comic and exciting, Richard Donner’s direction is the sharpest of his career, and they won’t find a cuter blond to drop topless off a balcony. There’s nowhere to go but down with this one WB, so instead perhaps you should just focus on finding a brilliant script with new characters and a new story. Excite us with originality and quality, and we’ll reward you with our cash. It really is that simple.