"Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?"
A well-loved ‘80s classic with an ultra-quotable script, cracking period soundtrack and a lead character who became a pop-culture icon…it’s difficult to see how Ferris Bueller’s Day Off could be improved upon.
All of which makes it the perfect candidate for a Hollywood reboot! It’s only a matter of time before some bright spark gets this up and running, so let’s have a quick gander into the old crystal ball and see how it might pan out…
Having done what they consider to be the decent thing by giving it 25 years since the original, Paramount reveal their plan to celebrate the movie’s quarter-century anniversary by bastardising, sorry “rebooting” it for a whole new audience.
However, instead of the anticipated outpouring of wailing and teeth-gnashing, the blogosphere remains eerily quiet, as fans of the original take the unusual approach of simply pretending it isn’t happening.
Secret Cinema climbs upon the bandwagon by screening a celebratory showing of the original, with hundreds of fans donning leopard-skin vests for the occasion.
Joss Whedon is unveiled as director
Having already soaked up all-manner of fanboy abuse over his Avengers adaptation, Joss Whedon reveals himself as a glutton for punishment by signing on to direct.
Eyebrows are raised over the sci-fi specialist’s suitability, although his high-school experience from Buffy is generally considered to count in his favour. However, all hell breaks loose when Paramount execs issue a press release claiming to have hired Whedon on the back of the Once More, With Feeling episode.
To the horror of precisely everyone, the studio confirms that the film will contain an array of musical numbers, including a Glee -esque barbershop treatment of Twist and Shout .
This is the final straw for the fans, who can keep quiet no longer. An angry mob descends upon Paramount HQ, and an effigy of rumoured star Zac Efron is burned in front of a baying press pack. Whedon, perhaps sensibly, is unavailable for comment.
Having received an unprecedented degree of fan-backlash, Paramount issues another statement claiming that their initial release was misinterpreted, and that the musical idea was “just one of a number of approaches” they had discussed with Whedon.
Cynics suggest that the whole thing was a neat way of drumming up publicity for the film, but the prevailing emotion is one of relief, as the studio announces the project will have “the original at its heart.”
Whedon meanwhile gives his first interview since accepting the director’s chair, claiming to be a “huge fan” of the original and describing the opportunity as, “a dream come true.”
The film is also given an unexpected boost by the family of the late John Hughes, who give the project their blessing, saying Hughes would have been okay with it. Rumours of a CGI-assisted posthumous cameo, are thankfully confirmed to be wide of the mark…
Andrew Garfield is Ferris
For a brief, heart-stopping period it looks as though teen warbler Justin Bieber could be in the frame to play Ferris, as the bookies slash his odds to put him top of an oh-so-predictable shortlist of Aaron Johnson, Shia LaBoeuf and, shudder, Taylor Lautner.
A fan-backed campaign to have a digitally de-aged Matthew Broderick reprise the role sadly falls by the wayside, as the unfancied Andrew Garfield sneaks in to grab the part, with Whedon describing him as his “one and only choice” for the role.
A fairly muted response is only slightly tempered by Broderick’s seal of approval, with the original Ferris telling reporters he is “proud to pass on the torch to such an exciting young talent.”
The fact that this endorsement is given during publicity for the belated I nspector Gadget 3 slightly undermines Broderick’s credibility, but hey, a man’s got to eat!
Michael Cera is Cameron
Despite having moved well into his twenties, Michael Cera is cast as Ferris’s reluctant partner in crime Cameron Frye, with Whedon boasting the Superbad star was his “one and only choice” for the role.
When asked whether he worries about being forever typecast as an awkward teen, Cera just looks at his shoes and mumbles something about “choosing characters that are fun to play”.
Jeffrey Jones returns as Edward R. Rooney
In a clever piece of stunt casting designed to get the fans on side, Jeffrey Jones reveals that he will return to reprise his role as Dean of students, and Ferris’s nemesis, Ed Rooney.
At an official casting-call press conference, Jones has them rolling in the aisles by beginning every answer with a snarling, “listen, you snot-nosed punk.”
Whedon meanwhile, grins that Jones was his, “one and only choice” for the role. The claim is met by a wall of exasperated silence…
Amanda Seyfried is Sloane
The Dear John star completes the primary cast by replacing Mia Sara as Ferris’s squeeze, Sloane. However, Seyfried briefly puts her foot in it by claiming never to have watched the original.
After a swift dig in the ribs from a Paramount exec, she soon realises her mistake, subtly altering her position to claim it was in fact one of her favourite films whilst growing up.
Nobody asks Joss Whedon what he thinks of the casting…
A leaked script finds its way on to the internet, confirming that the nuts and bolts of the plot will be almost identical to the original, with Ferris pulling a sickie before heading out to the big city for a day of authority-baiting fun.
Eyebrows are raised at a seemingly arbitrary decision to swap Chicago for New York, but Whedon justifies the move on the grounds that the city provides a better mirror for a look at the today’s yoof.
Indeed, the film is at pains to place itself in a contemporary setting, with Rooney’s attempts to track down Ferris now revolving around locating the teen via his iPhone GPS.
Fan forums get themselves in a lather over this perceived “sell-out”, but there are wild celebrations at Apple, as the company prepares itself for a run on a range of official Ferris accessories and ringtones…
The sound of music
Along with the various gadgets and gizmos, the film’s soundtrack is also in for an update, with old faves like Oh Yeah and Beat City no longer considered relevant to today’s audience.
So instead of singing Danke Schoen in the shower, Ferris now finds himself belting out Ke$ha’s Tik Tok instead, whilst Twist and Shout becomes Akon’s Sexy Bitch .
Whedon bats off widespread criticism by labelling dissenters as exactly the kind of squares Ferris would rebel against.
Filming begins in late 2011, but Whedon soon begins to regret asking Jeffrey Jones to return, with the actor pulling him up on every little deviation from the original. Things come to a rather fiery head when Jones tells a stunned Garfield that he “isn’t fit to wipe Matthew Broderick’s ass.”
Garfield flounces off set in tears, prompting an angry telephone call to Paramount from the star’s mother. Under pressure from the studio, Jones is unceremoniously booted off the project, forcing Whedon to complete his scenes by cutting in footage of his performance from the original.
Early screenings suggest these are the strongest part of the film…
In a shameless attempt to pander to the naysayers, Paramount open their chequebook to secure cameos from original stars Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck.
In a recreation of the scene in which Ferris and Cameron leave their Ferrari at the garage, Broderick and Ruck play the pair of attendants who take it for a joyride.
Broderick repeats his, “if you had access to a car like this,” line, in an unbearably smug in-joke that makes Oceans 12 ’s Julia Roberts shtick look restrained by comparison.
The film holds its World Premiere in London’s Leicester Square, with proceedings kicking off in spectacular style when a replica of the film’s famous Ferrari is dropped off the cinema roof.
A raft of “celebrities” are in attendance, with several of them giving the film the thumbs up in a series of video interviews to be used in the trailer.
Big Brother 8 winner Brian Belo endorses the film as “well wicked and that” before admitting off-camera that he didn’t really understand it.
The inevitable sequel
Despite receiving a critical mauling in which the film is dubbed, “an affront to the original” by Ain’t It Cool, “embarrassing from start to finish,” by Total Film and “the best film I’ve seen this year,” by Paul Ross, Paramount release a press statement that insists work has already begun on a sequel.
Set to replace the entire cast with newcomers, the film is entitled Ferris Bueller 2: Son of Ferris , and will follow the antics of Ferris Jr. as he follows in his old man’s footsteps by bunking off, nicking a Ferrari etc etc.
“The question isn’t ‘what are we going to do?’” quips one Paramount insider, “It’s ‘what aren’t we going to do?’”