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Over Thinking: My Wild Idea for an IT Remake   Leave a comment

For the month of October I have been trying to watch a horror movie every night before bed, and last night’s pick was the first part of the Stephen King’s It.   If you suffer from Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns, there is a pretty good chance that this movie is the root cause.   Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown is pure unfiltered nightmare fuel.

Makes John Wayne Gacy look cuddly.

It is the story of two encounters that a group of friends have with a demonic clown.  The first happens as a set of flashbacks to the early 1960s when they are about 12 years old, the second is the then modern era of the 1990s when they are in their early forties.  The thirty year time jump requires two actors for each part, so for example we have a young Seth Green growing up into Harry Anderson with both playing the part of Richie.  Currently a new adaption of the story is in the works though Warner Bros.

This got me to thinking, now that the original youth cast is getting close to their forties, why not remake it with them as the adults and use the original footage with them as kids for the flashbacks?  Think about the level of visual authenticity it would provide!

What follows is where that thought experiment took me…

Remakes are often criticized for not staying true to the original story, which is unfair t0 the new creative teams who should be free to be retell the story.  Staying to close to the original results in bland and uninteresting story telling.  The 1998 shot for shot remake of Psycho is an extreme example of this failing.  What was lacking in the remake ended up serving to highlight how amazing the original was. The 1998 Psycho‘s ultimate contribution to the film industry was to show that, as Rodger Ebert put it, “genius apparently resides between or beneath the shots, or in chemistry that cannot be timed or counted. ”

The way I see this idea working would be for the writers could throwout the adult half of the film and create a completely original story for the second half of the story.  The flash back serving as the jumping off point, like a story prompt for a writing class exercise.  A similar idea was used for the tragically sort lived but fan praised Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which picked up after the events of Terminator 2, and ignored the events of Terminator 3 (like we all did).

With that model in mind I think that the idea for reworking the old footage holds some water, if the original cast could be brought back together.

As it turns out the only member of the youth cast who is still actively working in the entertainment industry is Seth Green.  I was surprised, considering they showed a lot of talent for such young actors.  One such stars was Jonathan Brandis, who is best known for his part on SeaQuest.   He was a big deal for a little while back in the ’90s, and I had been wondering not too long ago why I hadn’t seen him in anything recently.  As it turns out he died in 2003.  The last movie he appeared in was released in 2005, the long forgotten Bad Girls From Valley High.  The rest of Green and Brandis’s young costars have pretty much fallen into obscurity.

That would pretty much kill my whole idea right there, but I don’t want to give up on the theory of a successful original footage/new footage hybrid remake.  So I applied the idea to 1995’s coming of age girl empowerment classic Now and Then.

While most of the youth cast is still enjoying at least steady work in the entertainment industry, Ashleigh Aston Moore passed away from pneumonia in 2007.  Foiled again!

Pennywise is not impressed.

I think that under the correct circumstances that this could make for an interesting experiment in story telling.  But, with a key member of the original cast no longer avaliable my idea is never to be.  Sadness.

Could this idea be applied to any other movie?  How would you remake It? Tell me below!

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Posted October 19, 2012 by atomicsam in Film, Over Thinking, TV

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