Taxi Driver (1976)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Forget the fact that it’s already damn-near perfect. It’ll take a lot more than that to put Hollywood off the remake scent! No, the reason we can’t see this ever being remade is that the post-Vietnam backdrop that makes Travis Bickle the way he is is almost unrecognisable some 25 years later. Plus, good luck finding anyone willing to step into De Niro’s shoes… or Jodie Foster’s for that matter!
If They Have To Do It: We suppose you could have a veteran from the Iraq war making his embittered way through a post-9/11 New York, with maybe Tom Hardy taking the lead role. But we still wouldn’t want to see it!
Evil Bong (2006)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Taking aside the fact that Tommy Chong has essentially been remaking the same movie throughout his career, it beggars belief that this stoner-horror nonsense was even made once, suggesting a remake is highly unlikely. Although Killer Klowns From Outer Space is apparently being redone, so perhaps we shouldn’t speak so soon…
If They Have To Do It: Hmm, how to improve upon Evil Bong ? Well, they could draft in Gary Busey for a start. The Gingerdead Man makes a fleeting appearance in the first film… more of that please!
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Can you imagine anything less appealing to a major studio than a remake of David Lynch’s incomprehensible thriller? Or indeed, a more thankless task than the one facing the project’s potential director? No, us neither. In fact, we reckon Lynch’s entire canon is probably safe from Hollywood’s grasping hands…
If They Have To Do It: Perhaps a handy sheet of tips, clues and explanations could be provided in the cinema foyer? The DVD case was a start, but your average cinemagoer might need a little more…
Leprechaun In The Hood (2000)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Because it’s arguably the dumbest example of high concept filmmaking ever to reach a mainstream audience, and the late-nineties/ early-noughties boom in cod-gangsta posturing has thankfully now passed. Even if you liked the unhinged mayhem of the first film, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood proved the “magic” was hard to recreate.
If They Have To Do It: Have David Simon and Ed Burns do the script to invest a little grit into proceedings. Keep Warwick Davis though, obviously.
All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: A children’s film in which the vagaries of life and death, heaven and hell are explained via the medium of dogs? This kind of thing was rife in the ‘80s, but these days, kiddie entertainment is a lot more risk-averse. Plunging a loveable pooch into the fire and brimstone of eternal damnation is no longer on the agenda…
If They Have To Do It: Pixar would definitely be the way forward. The brush with fiery death at the end of Toy Story 3 proved they’re up for taking on more “challenging” material…
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: They wouldn’t dare, would they? Rightly held up as a classic of modern filmmaking, surely even the most cynical of Hollywood bigwigs would balk at the outcry provoked by an attempted remake. Even if that wouldn’t bother them, Victor Fleming’s sweeping, stately romance would probably struggle to put bums on seats when up against the bells, whistles and 3D-explosions on offer at the average multiplex!
If They Have To Do It: George Clooney steps into Clark Gable’s shoes whilst Nicole Kidman takes Vivien Leigh’s role. Urgh… for a minute there we forgot we were making this up!
Pink Flamingos (1972)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Not only was John Waters’ original a notorious controversy-magnet (anathema to most mainstream studios), it was also populated by a colourful cast of real-life freaks and whack jobs, many of whom are no longer with us. How do you re-cast an overweight drag queen with a penchant for eating dogshit? It’s a poser…
If They Have To Do It: Perhaps John Waters could preside over the remake himself, stirring up a fresh batch of controversy by digging up Divine’s corpse and operating it like a marionette? Just a thought.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: For the same reasons as Gone With The Wind , largely. Not only would the idea be widely regarded as sacrilege, but the twist ending has now been parodied to the point of no return! That said, it would be interesting to see a modern-day interpretation, factoring in the struggle between print and online media, but it’s never going to happen, is it? Not until Rupert Murdoch decides to finance his own biopic…
If They Have To Do It: Mel Gibson stars as barmy, megalomaniac publisher Robert Mardock. That, we would pay to see.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Every remotely snappy crime script released in the last twenty years has been forced to contend with inevitable and unfavourable comparisons to Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. So when a completely unrelated film is hamstrung by a failure to measure up to Reservoir Dogs , what chance would an out-and-out remake stand?
If They Have To Do It: Is there anyone cool enough to take on these roles? No. So why not turn it over to Judd Apatow and make a stoner comedy out of it? We can see it now: Seth Rogen is Mr Green…
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Taking aside the fact that the Kubrick estate would never let it happen, would any modern movie studio be remotely interested in a remake of this weighty, slow-moving epic? Nary a word is spoken for the first twenty-five minutes! That shit won’t fly these days. There would have to be a few car chases written into the script for Tinseltown to even consider giving this a second look.
If They Have To Do It: Stephen King is put on script duties, allowing him to get even with Kubrick for The Shining .
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Because the late, great Russ Meyer is no longer with us, and it’s difficult to see who would be able to recreate his particular brand of T&A-soaked mayhem for a modern audience. Tarantino was reportedly keen at one point, but having already covered the exploitation genre with Death Proof , it seems unlikely that he would go back on himself here.
If They Have To Do It: QT would be a fine (the only?) choice to direct, and how good would Angelina Jolie be as a replacement for Tura Satana?
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: You’d really need to be a glutton for punishment to try and force Anthony Burgess’ cocktail of drugs, rape and ultraviolence past the BBFC for a second time, particularly now they seem to be getting all twitchy about sexual violence again. Factor in the inimitable brilliance of the original, and you’ve got a very tricky sell indeed.
If They Have To Do It: Set it in parallel version of modern-day Britain, where gangs of middle-class psychopaths have begun terrorising the streets, and council estates have become the safest places around.
The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Because it’s a profoundly offensive slice of racially prejudiced tosh, riddled with historical inaccuracies and venerated by the Ku Klux Klan. Somehow we can’t see it going down a storm in today’s society.
If They Have To Do It: Hand the reigns to Spike Lee and turn it into a comedy, exposing the gross ignorance of the original and its advocates.
The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: We wouldn’t object to a remake on grounds of quality. Heaven knows the first two films could do with a bit of work on the acting front! However, having spent seven (soon to be eight) films watching the same actors play the same parts, it would be nigh-on impossible to cast anyone else! So omnipresent is the image of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, its difficult even to read the books without imagining him as the lead. Casting another actor in the role? Never going to happen.
If They Have To Do It: The only way we could see this working is by transforming it into a television series, allowing more time to be devoted to the intricacies and detail of Rowling’s sprawling odyssey.
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: It’s an utter masterpiece, but as mentioned before, that alone is not enough to ward off a remake. The setting however, might be. A period remake would probably be too pointless to make for a viable project, whilst any attempt to relocate the tale to a modern setting would surely strip it of its civil rights resonance.
If They Have To Do It: It’s a real struggle to think of anyone who could recapture Gregory Peck’s combination of warmth, decency and determination. Jeff Bridges perhaps?
Bad Taste (1987)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: After the inevitable box office success of the upcoming Hobbit movie, we can just imagine some bright spark sifting through Peter Jackson’s back catalogue in search of remake-fodder. However, this early splatter-filled offering could only be considered as a last resort. As great as it is, it’s about an alien fast-food conglomerate… not exactly Oscar-bait, is it?
If They Have To Do It: Make all the alien content motion-captured, and cast Andy Serkis in every role.
The Sound Of Music (1965)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Week in, week out, mobs of nutters, sorry “fans”, crowd themselves into specially arranged screenings to sing along with Julie Andrews as she takes on the Nazis. Now, imagine the reaction of said fans to the news that the film is being remade, minus all the original stars. Since these fans would be the only ones interested in watching The Sound Of Music again anyway, this is a plan that would be doomed to fail!
If They Have To Do It: There’s only one way to make any money out of this… by sticking the cast of Glee in it. They can sell anything.
Donnie Darko (2001)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: There’s a reason there hasn’t been a glut of teen sci-fi mind-manglers in the wake of Donnie Darko ’s success, and that reason is that they’re bloody difficult to pull off! Richard Kelly’s superbly original film demands repeat viewings to fully decipher what’s going on, and we wouldn’t back anyone but Kelly himself to come up with the definitive explanation. Unless he wants it remade, it simply won’t happen.
If They Have To Do It: We’d like Michael Bay to be placed in charge, if only to see his brain explode at the complexity of the plot.
Toy Story (1995)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Whilst it’s conceivable that Pixar could keep churning out sequel after sequel, surely there would be little point in remaking the original movie? It’s not as if the roles can be recast, after all. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a 3D re-release in the not too distant future.
If They Have To Do It: A live action version in the vein of Night At The Museum would be the only conceivable way of freshening this one up. Not that we want it to happen, you understand!
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Tim Burton’s gothic fantasy was a true one-off. Where could a remake possibly take the story that wasn’t already covered first time around? A sequel, whilst not exactly desirable, would at least offer a chance to see what became of one of Burton’s best-loved characters.
If They Have To Do It: Since Edward doesn’t age, we’d need a digitally de-aged Johnny Depp in the lead role. It’s not like he’s getting bored with playing charming eccentrics, is it?
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: The original’s vast box office take will mean this will probably be considered at one time or another, but no one will ever see it through. Knowing the outcome from the get-go was fine first time around, primarily because audiences were champing at the bit to see the devastation on the big screen. But now we’ve seen it, there’s really no need to sit through the build-up all over again.
If They Have To Do It: They should stick with their existing plan. Apparently a 3D enhanced treatment is set to arrive in cinemas next year. Cynical, yes, but not as aggravating as a full-on remake.
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: “Can a full grown woman ever truly love a midget?” So asks the tagline of Tod Browning’s notorious bad taste horror film. Can you imagine seeing that on a contemporary movie poster? There’s not a studio exec in Hollywood that would go within a hundred yards of this one!
If They Have To Do It: The only way to stoke up more controversy than the first film managed would be by casting able-bodied actors as the “freaks” of the first film. We can see the tabloid headlines now…
Withnail & I (1987)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Bruce Robinson’s brilliantly shambolic comedy is so firmly entrenched in the late ‘60s, it’d be harder to shift than the grime in Withnail’s sink. Nowadays, our hero could just tweet his agent rather than grappling with a payphone in the back of beyond. And where’s the fun in that?
If They Have To Do It: At least relocate the setting to America so we can point the finger at our transatlantic cousins for making a royal hash of it.
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: The “unfilmable” comic book finally made its way onto the big screen in 2009 after spending years and years in development hell. With so many directors having tried and failed, it already seems a minor miracle that Zack Snyder managed to produce such a serviceable adaptation of Alan Moore’s sweeping magnum opus. Why in God’s name would anyone try and start all over again?
If They Have To Do It: We’d love to see HBO commission a TV series out of this. Given a much larger running time to play with, it could be the epic treatment the source material truly deserves.
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: As a film with one of the most commercially-unfriendly premises you could imagine, we’re guessing there aren’t many studios clamouring to revisit this one. As occasionally striking as the scenery is in Gus Van Sant’s desert-set walkabout, not a lot happens over quite a lot of time! Even if you were patient enough to see it through the first time around, surely there wouldn’t be many punters up for a second go!
If They Have To Do It: They should cast even bigger names than Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, only to strip the dialogue away still further. Take that, casual viewer!
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: This could only have been released in the ‘80s! Based on the spectacularly grotesque (and thoroughly awesome) sticker collection, Garbage Pail Kids tells the story of a group of hideous mutant children, all of whom are played by dwarf actors in terrifying prosthetic costumes. Try getting that one greenlit.
If They Have To Do It: This should be made as a dark and twisted animation, with a similarly macabre aesthetic as the original stickers. We’d also like to see an appearance by our personal favourite, Peepin’ Tom, a boy whose body is covered top to toe in eyes. Nice.
Point Break (1991)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: If we’re talking “remake” in the strictest possible definition, this one will surely never happen. We draw that distinction because The Fast And The Furious is basically Point Break with cars, but in terms of a straight-up remake, this blend of surfing and homoeroticism surely couldn’t exist in the post-‘90s arena! And then there’s the irreplaceable Patrick Swayze to consider…
If They Have To Do It: Keanu Reeves plays both roles, with only a blonde wig to differentiate between his twin portrayals of awesomeness. Gnarly.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: One of the most disconcerting elements of this videogame-inspired clunker was the eerily dead-eyed CGI, which made even the heroes appear frightening. With today’s technological advances, that could probably be remedied quite easily! It’s the tedious plot and non-existent characterisation that means it never will be…
If They Have To Do It: Bung it in as a DVD extra with the next Final Fantasy videogame and spare us the bother of having to write about it!
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: First of all, Bowie wouldn’t touch it, which kind of renders the whole endeavour redundant. Perhaps more importantly however, is the cult appeal of the original. In order to tap into the appeal of the first film, you’d need to win over its legions of devotees, and the way to do that is definitely not with a remake! You’d be far better served making a generic fantasy film and leaving the Labyrinth name out of it. Make it weird enough and you might just have a cult classic of your own!
If They Have To Do It: Guillermo del Toro might appease some of the fans, his nightmarish visuals lending themselves nicely to the aesthetic of the original.
Star Wars (1977)
Why It’ll Never Be Remade: Because surely even George Lucas must realise that he’s tampered with the galaxy far, far away at least three times too many already! Nobody wanted the director’s cuts and nobody really wanted the prequels after seeing the first one… The last thing we need is a reboot of the first film.
If They Have To Do It: Who are we kidding? George is probably hard at work on this already, finding a way to cram Jar-Jar into every scene before making room for some giant ants and Shia LaBeouf.