As I am sure many of you have heard by now, it was reported by several news sources that 20th Century Fox in considering a remake of 80’s cult classic “Big Trouble In Little China” with the starring role, originally played by Kurt Russell, going to the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Nothing yet is officially confirmed but the rumors have invited reaction all across the web and the twitter-sphere in both positive and negative form.
Being both a fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the original film, I can easily see why film producers and/or studio executives would be considering this. The Rock, as a star, couldn’t be more popular right now and there is still a lot of fan love our there for the original film. Both actor and film share some movie tropes that would seem to go well together. But there has also bee a backlash and many fans of the original film are worried that a film like this should not be exploited for the sake of bringing in new fans and it is fine as it is. There is also growing fatigue with remakes, particularly ones from the 1980’s.
Let me say again that most of this is still speculation. There has been no official announcement on a deal for this film and “The Rock” is one of the most common actors that is associated with rumored projects lately.
With all that in mind I want to offer my “Top Five Reasons” why a “Big Trouble In Little China” remake should NOT be made:
#5 -The story will change
It’s a pretty good bet the story and style of the original film will be altered to fit in with current audience’s tastes for action and humor but the action and humor is what original fans love most about the film. Changing the story runs the risk of alienating the core fans but not changing it alienates everyone else. Only the original fans will get most of the referenced jokes and it won’t be enough to please them.
#4 -The Rock is not right for the part
The Rock is too valuable a commodity to experiment with films that don’t fit with his persona. The original Kurt Russell character was more confidence than ability. That was the joke. With the Rock, wouldn’t believe there was much he couldn’t do, and him pretending to be incompetent doesn’t fit his “brand.”
#3 – Remakes suck
How many times do you want to gamble on remakes? People are obviously getting tired of them (poor responses for Robocop, Total Recall, Conan) but just like a trying to give direction to a deaf camel, Hollywood isn’t listening. This might be part of a scheme to get around hiring writers to produce original works or paying high prices for book rights but it doesn’t change the prevailing attitude that if people want to see these films again, they just re watch the old ones.
#2 – The original actors are still alive
Too soon. Most of the original actors are still around and actively working. It will be tempting to involve them somehow and even though we are looking forward to this in the next Star Wars film, it doesn’t mean it’s something you need to try too much. (Just ask southpark about Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull)
#1 -Make a better original film for heavens sake
Use “The Rock” and make a better, original film, with him. “The Rock” has reached his time as THE action star of his era. He should be involved with films that highlight his talent, not becoming a replacement leading man for remakes or being part of other movie series where his shares the spot light like he does in Furious 7. He needs a film and story that can define his career while it is still red hot. He needs a Die Hard, Terminator, Rocky kind of film not remakes of them.