I used to be the type of person who would get all indignant and huffy when Hollywood would deem it necessary to remake a classic film. I would whine about the original film’s integrity being compromised. It is art, I would reason, and some art should not be trifled with. Well, I was wrong. Honestly, who cares?
Let’s take, for instance, the 1998 remake of “Psycho” (Now, since no one actually watched it, we can’t be positive it sucked, but let’s just assume). Myopic film nerds were up in arms when this project was announced, decrying this blasphemy against Hitchcock. But here we are, twelve years later, and has it in any way, shape, or form hurt the reputation or stature of the original? No, of course not. Did it give crybaby movie review bloggers something to wring their carpal-tunneled hands about? Oh, yes.
Indeed, the notion of movie-remaking is wholly commercial, sometimes crass, and generally misguided. But other than someone somewhere making or losing money on the remake, the original remains intact. So let the money-makers try to make their money. If nothing else, remakes usually revive an interest in the original, and at least the old-school fans get a good DVD re-release out of it.
That’s why I am anxiously looking forward to the re-imagined “To Kill a Mockingbird” they’re shooting in New Zealand this fall. Sure, they’ve tweaked the plot for modern sensibilities, but at its core it’s still the same moving story we all grew up with. I’m quite sure that when Commander Atticus (played by Ryan Reynolds) incinerates the rabid two-headed zylphrdog with his laser cannon in the middle of the deserted Mars outpost, I will still get choked up, just a little.