Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.
You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.
It’s Christmas time again and that means we get to watch a slew of holiday classics almost every night on TV as most television shows are done for the season. We get everything from the great A Christmas Story to the not so great Jingle All The Way.
There’s really no avoiding these movies, so you might as well get in to the Christmas spirit. With that in mind I pondered hard about the Christmas classics and tried to figure out which one should be remade. This is a delicate process (no one wants another JIm Carey fueled sleigh ride to mediocrity like How The Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol) and must be handled with care. It’s far too easy to piss off people who love the originals (I’d burn down the first studio to try and remake A Christmas Story). After many sleepless nights trying to solve this holiday riddle I think I finally found a solution: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (henceforth being called Rudolph for the remainder of the column) is about a misfit reindeer with a red nose, a plucky elf who wants to be a dentist, a prospector searching for gold (or silver), and some misfit toys. Also Santa is in there and it’s narrated by a snowman. You know what, you know what Rudolph is about. The bottom line is it’s a great Christmas movie that everyone loves and it’s stop motion and made in the 60′s.
So why should Rudolph be remade? Well for starters, it’s starting to look a little old. I know the stop motion thing is a classic, but I just bought the blu-ray for my mom for Christmas (because I’m the best son ever, just ask her) and it’s really starting to show it’s age. The problem with advancing technology in film is that all of our beloved classics are starting to look like shit. Another reason is that with the right touch, this movie could become something that everyone would enjoy for many years to come. We’ve seen cartoon and stop action movies be remade before with less than desirable results (sorry guys, you can’t stretch a 30 minute story into a 90 minute story no matter how much makeup you put on Jim Carey) but I think it’s possible to pull off with good results. The original was stop motion, but the remake should be live action. With the success of The Muppets I wholeheartedly believe you can pull off a live action move with some very animated puppets or something of the like. The other need for Rudolph is a great star-studded cast. I don’t mean B and C list actors, I mean real stars (and not in a New Years Eve train wreck sort of way).
So who would direct this amazingly fun remake of a Christmas classic? Let’s hand this one over to James Bobin and Jason Segel. They absolutely nailed The Muppets and are a perfect combo for Rudolph. This team would bring the perfect blend of comedy and inside jokes to make this remake a perfect reference and enhancement to the classic. There are plenty of musical numbers in the original Rudolph and we’d definitely need them in the remake. I couldn’t imagine a version of this movie that didn’t include a version of the misfit toys singing about how ridiculous and misfit they are.
With Segel involved we can count on him to make an appearance in the movie. Usually he has a leading role, but I think he’d be best suited to play Bumbles the Abominable Snowman. Just picturing him in all that making makes me laugh. You could get the kid from Hugo (Asa Butterfield) to play Hermey The Elf, and John Goodman would make for an amazing Yukon Cornelius. Santa could be played by Jeffery Tabor, which will work perfect as Arrested Development is coming back in to the limelight. As far as Rudolph goes I would love to see Neil Patrick Harris take on that role. He’s got the perfect mix of enthusiasm and charm for the part. If Frodo can be a penguin, Barney Stinson can be Rudolph.
I think Rudolph has amazing potential to go down in history (like George Washington!) as a great classic with an equally great remake. With the right cast and the right writing it could be absolute (silver or) gold. Unfortunately Hollywood would totally screw it up with a(n) (island of) misfit (toys) cast. Do you guys get it yet, I’m making Rudolph puns. Whatever, I’m going to go drink eggnog until someone calls the cops on my again.
Justin Proper is currently decking the halls with dismantled VHS copies of The Santa Clause he found at Goodwill. You can follow him on Twitter.