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The New ‘Indecent Proposal’ Probably Shouldn’t Be an Exact Remake

The peculiar love story from 1993 gets a redo, but this version will hopefully change around some plot points.
Indecent Proposal
By  · Published on July 31st, 2018

The peculiar love story from 1993 gets a redo, but this version will hopefully change around some plot points.

Screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson (The Girl on the Train) has signed on to pen Paramount Players’ new take on Indecent Proposal, according to Deadline. Aside from that bit, there isn’t any further information about the new take to share for now.

The original Indecent Proposal was directed by erotic drama master Adrian Lyne from a script by Amy Holden Jones adapting Jack Engelhard’s novel. Released in 1993, the film won the Razzie Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay of that year. But, despite the lack of positive honors, it did do very well at the box office, grossing more than $266 million worldwide.

The plot of that movie follows a young couple, Diana and David (Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson in the earlier version), who are down on their luck and low on the finances needed for their home. While attempting to gamble their way to riches one night in Vegas, a man, John (then Robert Redford), offers them $1 million for a night with Diana. Things go just as well as you’d expect them to.

With the lack of news involving details of the remake, I’m left with a million questions. Let’s start with: is this going to be the same exact story? The original Indecent Proposal is labeled as a romantic drama, but that may not fly in 2018, or any time in the near future. With allegations in the #MeToo movement constantly whirring around, — and given the actions and attitude of our current president — this may not be the kind of story we need right now.

Aside from the, you know, offering a woman money for sex, the drama in the film comes from Diana and David separating after she realizes her feelings for John, which leaves David feeling insecure, as well as discovering that John has purchased their home as it was being foreclosed on. With Diana seemingly happier with John, David signs divorce papers and gives away the million dollars.

At the film’s end (sorry for the 25-year-old spoiler), Diana realizes her mistake and returns to David. While it’s no doubt that there’s a romantic element there, I could definitely see the premise being redone as more of a thriller. John is a guy who literally experiences love at first sight and then offers her and her husband $1 million dollars to let him spend the night with her. Tell me that that doesn’t sound like the makings of a totally creepy storyline.

A thriller aspect would make the plot a little less disturbing and could diminish the idea of Diana being okay with being sold off. With a horror-like plot, John’s character could be someone who has been obsessed with Diana for a while. He could have been plotting this offer for weeks, months even. He could have been the cause of Diana and David’s financial downfall. The possibilities are endless.

There’s also a possibility that the new Indecent Proposal could even more boldly and potentially controversially be a more faithful adaptation. Engelhard’s book involves cultural drama along with the romantic situation, as the John character (Ibrahim on the page) is an Arab billionaire and the husband (Josh in the novel) is the Jewish son of Holocaust survivors. Going that route could allow for a more diversely cast picture, but the politics of the dynamic wouldn’t be such an easy sell.

Another question that comes to mind concerns the casting. If the remake sticks to the character traits of the 1993 version, I could definitely see a George Clooney type in Redford’s role. As for Diana and David? Who knows. Maybe Emily Blunt and John Krasinski can bring their roles as real-life and on-screen lovers to this (potentially) scary flick like they did in A Quiet Place. However, given the studio division involved, Collider’s Jeff Sneider believes the lead trio will be aged down.

There is a lot to think about given the absence of details. Hopefully, with updates, we’ll soon be given some sort of indication as to Wilson’s intentions and whether or not this remake is going to directly mimic the original plot or take a completely new path with the story, as well as who will be leading this unique love story.

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