NME's film critic Andrea Hubert writes...
Remakes in themselves aren't totally objectionable to movie lovers, but there are some roles so iconic they deserve to stay preserved, like celluloid fossils, exactly as they were – not the way money hungry producers want them to be.
I say this after watching the first trailer of the new A-Team movie, and feeling a mixture of pity and irritation at Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s portrayal of B.A. Baracus. To quote a much missed turn of phrase, I pity the fool for even trying.
It’s tricky enough to emulate such a well loved TV show, but to try and remake roles that are inseperable from the actor that played them is foolish indeed – even if your middle name is Rampage.
There are a slew of (arguably) unnecessary Hollywood remakes in the works - including The Karate Kid, Footloose, Hitchcock’s The Birds, and even the seemingly untouchable Nightmare on Elm Street – which seem hell bent on (cue LA buzzword) “re-imagining” those roles which already have an indelible permanent address in our imaginations. And while it’s highly unlikely movie moguls will take heed, if I ever got the chance to please my case, I’d do a montage of clips set to MC Hammer’s ‘You Can’t Touch This’.
These are the top ten characters that should never be touched. Feel free to add your own but please - take all Star Wars and The Godfather roles as a given.
Freddie Krueger – A Nightmare on Elm Street
That terrifying melty face, those stabby fingers - it’s hard to imagine the 2010 Freddy Kruger (Jackie Earle Haley) could possibly scale the heights of fear created in the bedrooms of children all over the world by the original Freddie, Robert Englund.
Mr Miyagi – The Karate Kid
It’s irritating enough that the new Karate Kid movie is produced by Will Smith and stars – gasp – Will Smith’s son. But let’s face it – there’s only one Mr Miyagi. And anyone who says different can just wax off.
Travis Bickle - Taxi Driver
A tour de Force by Robert De Niro, his drug addled psychotic taxi driver Travis Bickle has been often imitated, and never bettered. Let’s keep it that way.
Wonder Woman – original TV series
Back in the day, Lynda Carter and her giant stars 'n stripes pants represented every little boy’s wet dream. The big screen version is in safe-ish hands with Buffy’s Joss Whedon but none of today’s starlets could ever fill those red and white boots.
The Terminator - Terminator
It’s unlikely that Arnie would ever allow a Terminator film to exist without him in it, so it’s almost a moot point. As if anyone could fill those vast leather jeans and wider-than-a-freeway jaw.
Dr. Peter Venkmann - Ghostbusters
Bill Murray’s genius comedy turned Peter Venkman into an eighties legend. The Ghostbusters remake that’s been sending shivers down spines promises an appearance from Murray, but hopefully, in the hands of Judd Apatow, it will steer clear of trying to emulate this iconic performance.
John Bender – The Breakfast Club
They’ll never remake The Breakfast Club....will they? It would be foolish, especially any scenes with Judd Nelson. “Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?” might draw a reference blank, but the sentiment is perfect just as it is.
Jack Nicholson - The Shining
Big deserted hotels with evil spirits lurking inside their proprietor were always going to be scary, but Nicholson’s genius turned a leading role into a legend.
Snake Plissken - Escape from New York
Thankfully, the remake of this cult classic is stuck in development hell – which is just as well, as both fans, and the original Snake, Kurt Russell, were thoroughly unimpressed.
Smurfette – The Smurfs
Either the voice of reason in an all-male patriarchy, or the biggest slut in the world, Smurfette is a total hero. So why on earth is Katy Perry voicing her in the movie?