The Hanson Brother Return: A Slap Shot Remake?

As is the story with many a movie geek, I wasn’t a big time jock in high school. But unlike many of my colleagues, most of whom spent time in the A/V club or hanging out after school watching old movies, I did participate in my fair share of sports growing up. Two such sports were hockey and golf, one of which I was pretty good at — that being golf — and the other to which I was most often just a spectator. Yet, though my relationship with the sport of hockey was mostly just the affection of a fan, it still holds a special place in my heart as my favorite sport.

That said, there was always my movie geek side — one that combined my affection for both golf and hockey into the love of two particular movies, both made in the late-70s, both heralded as classics among sports fans and comedy connoisseurs alike. The golf movie was Caddyshack, obviously. There is no other. The hockey movie was George Roy Hill’s Slap Shot, which still stands alone as one of the most irreverent, spirited and wild sports comedies of all-time.

So you can imagine my surprise when I picked up word the other day that a remake of Slap Shot is currently in the works. In an interview with Your Movie Maven (found via /Film), 21 and Analyze That screenwriter Peter Steinfeld said, and I quote:

“Right now I’m finishing writing the re-make of the iconic hockey movie Slap Shot for Universal. I’ve never had so many people hate me for writing something they haven’t seen yet. It’s such a classic film and fans of the original feel like I’m grave-robbing or something. But I think the movie will be really fun and will capture what it’s like to play minor league hockey in 2008. We haven’t set cast yet…”

And this is where I stopped. First of all, it goes without saying that I would be excited to see another movie in the same vain as Slap Shot. The really combined a beautifully snarky tone with some absurd humor, all centered on the already ridiculous world of minor league hockey. We haven’t seen anything like it since. Mystery, Alaska could have been that movie — but it chose to go the way of the family-friendly story. Close, but not quite.

The problem I see in this news is in the translation from 70s minor league hockey to the minor league hockey of today. There really isn’t anything funny about minor league hockey today, unless you are a destructive alcoholic played by Emilio Estevez who is sentenced to teach a rag-tag group of kids the lessons of life through the game of hockey. Even then, we are still talking about Pee-Wee hockey, not minor leagues. They need a different angle in order to keep with the spirit of George Roy Hill’s original film. If not, this would go down as just another “in name only” remake — and most likely a disappointing one, to boot.

What do you think of a Slap Shot remake?

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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