There’s no shortage of complaining about Hollywood’s over-reliance on remakes in the film blogging world, but that’s probably because there’s no shortage of new remakes being proposed either. And this latest one, it just feels like somebody’s messing with us. Variety reports that MGM is dipping into their back catalogue and pulling out The Magnificent Seven as a new starring vehicle for Tom Cruise.
The Magnificent Seven was a 1960 cowboy film directed by John Sturges that starred names like Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson, and the fact that it’s being remade by MGM is especially egregious for several reasons. The most obvious of which is that the original Magnificent Seven was already a remake of sorts, as it took the plot of Akira Kurosawa’s classic 1954 film Seven Samurai and transplanted it into a Western setting. But that’s not the real reason this plan is so insulting.
The real reason is that this proposed remake doesn’t yet have a script or a director, and its star, Tom Cruise, doesn’t even have any holes in his busy schedule at the moment. If there was a script floating around out there that nailed the Magnificent Seven material and was begging to be realized on the big screen, this wouldn’t be so bad. If there was an upcoming director out there who loved the original movie and was dying to put together his own take on the material, it might even sound promising. But this project getting put together without a script or a director on board essentially boils down to two studio execs sitting around one morning and having a conversation that went something like,
“Hey, we’ve got to get some more movies on our schedule. You wanna just remake something again?”
“Yeah, sure, throw a dart at the wall of movie posters. Just make sure you get a big star to agree to be in this thing before we tell anybody, or it might get passed on and we’ll have to come up with another idea.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got Tom Cruise on speed dial and I’m pretty sure he’s into cowboy movies.”
Or, you know, maybe not. But I’m sure that however the conversation went, the phrase “story I really want to tell” never came up once. How many years would you say we have left before they take the show out of show business completely?