Classic dystopian novels and films are great candidates for fresh film adaptations. Movie remakes and reboots are more commonplace now simply because we have the the potential to do things better. Of course, sometimes that potential is wasted. Neither Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake, or the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes come even close to the original with Charlton Heston, even though the special effects in the original aren’t nearly as good. The biggest thing that kills remakes is overuse of CGI. So, I have to say that this list is done under the assumption that each remake would have to be done right… without unneccessary reliance on special effects, and remain true to the story and characters.
In a single weekend I read the novel Logan’s Run, and the 1976 film based on it. I can’t say I was thrilled with either, but the concept of the story is so good, it is begging to be redone and reimagined. A hedonistic society of the future where everyone is slated to die at 21 (or 30 in the original film) and one man, Logan, whose job it is to hunt down runners trying to evade their fate, is now running himself. There’s great potential in this story that, in my opinion is executed horribly in both the novel and the original film.
This one is almost too obvious. There has been a lot of concern recently about government overreach and spying that sales of 1984 have surged. It seems like it is time for Hollywood to take another look at the quintessential dystopian novel as source material for the big screen again.
As much as government overreach is a concern for many, so is global climate change and the havoc it could wreak on the population, particularly with how it will impact the food supply. Soylent Green. The concept definitely has relevance today, and the original is, in my opinion, a bit slow.
It’s been nearly fifty years since the original movie by French director François Truffaut, which isn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t call it memorable. The execution of the original is a tad clunky. The poor overdubs and obvious reversed sequences are too obvious. Who could create a fantastic vision of a future without books? I don’t know, but I’d love to see someone try.
I’m really going out on a limb here, because I know this movie is a classic that is held in high regard by science fiction fans, and given the recent attempt to remake Total Recall (also based on a Philip K. Dick story) it may be better left untouched. Still, I contend that modern remakes have the ability to be done right and to eclipse the originals (like The Dark Knight Trilogy) so I think I can add this to my list without feeling too bad.