Whenever the notion of a remake is tossed out into the world, a fair bit of skepticism is tossed back. Is it a cash grab? Is it part of reboot city? Or is the original coming up on an anniversary. Studios don’t need a reason, they can just set up whatever they want. Then there’s the case when a director has a chance to remake a movie, where it seems like it’s a match made in heaven. That’s the kind of “lightning in a bottle” situation you hope for, when Edgar Wright says he’s up for the unenviable challenge of stepping into that ring.
Earlier today Deadline broke the news that Paramount Pictures was embarking on a new version of The Running Man. Their first (and apparently only) candidate for the job was Edgar Wright. Not only will Wright be manning things behind the camera, but he’ll also be writing the script. Along side his Scott Pilgrim vs The World cohort, Michael Bacall. Before you go wondering why a director like this would take on such a daunting task, you just need look at this Twitter exchange from 2017:
Wright is a fantastic and fascinating choice for the project. While his previous films reference other movies, he’s never fully taken on something that’s already existed. Which is what makes him tackling the work of Stephen King so interesting. Most films based on the writer’s work (or in this case Richard Bachman’s) stray mightily from the page. The Running Man of 1987, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, is quite different to the book. From the layout of the contest/game show, the make up of Richards himself, as well as the world, there’s a lot to get mined.
If there’s one downside to all this news, it’s that a planned release date is non-existent. With covid protocols deciding what studios go forward with what productions, that’s expected. This also may be a case where extra time spent on the script and development could be a great thing. Plus, with enough of a delay, the film could be released to coincide with the story’s original 2025 setting. With two Edgar Wright flicks this year ( The Sparks Brothers, Last Night In Soho), it’s not like people will be starved for content. Soon as there’s more news, we’ll bring it to you.