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.
If you have ever been an awkward 8th grade male then you are familiar with the dream of being able to create your own woman. I guess girls could have this day dream at some point in their lives too, but I can not speak to that due to the fact that I am a dude, despite what you heard on the internet. Either way, it is a common dream to just create a companion. This notion has shown up in many sci-fi movies (remember Jude Law’s character in A.I.? No? Good, that movie sucked.) and even more video games and television shows. In the 80′s they decided to take this fantasy and make it a full blown reality with Weird Science. That film is a zany 80′s classic, but the concept behind it would make one hell of a remake.
If you have not seen Weird Science it is about two high school nerds who create a magic woman with their computer. It was the 80′s and computers could do that back then. So now they have a super model looking woman at their command that has magical powers like the ability to make a car appear out of thin air and what do they do? Not have sex with her. Even the magic computer woman seems confused by this, so she makes it her goal to help these nerds gain some confidence and become normal people. After some crazy 80′s antics the nerds get regular girlfriends and the magic computer woman leaves because her work there is done. Credits. It is a fun movie that a lot of people enjoy.
Remaking an 80′s comedy is tough. Most of the things that make them funny does not work these days. Weird Science does not work now, we know that computers are not magic. That is totally ok though, because audiences can accept that in the not so distant future we may have robots that look just like people. So we set the remake in the future, and instead of a crazy comedy we make it an indie drama/comedy about the social implications of dating a machine. Instead of the magic woman helping the two boys gain confidence with her powers we can have two nerdy friends who split the cost of a robot woman and focus on what that does to their relationship with each other and how their friends and families react to it. It would be like a mix between Lars And The Real Girl and that episode of Futurama where Fry dates the Lucy Liu robot.
My first pick for casting the two guys is Fran Kranz. He was the stoner from Cabin In The Woods and he would make a perfect socially awkward nerd. He was surprisingly good in Cabin and would dominate a non horror role. Topher Grace would make a good friend for him, and his star power would bring in some more people to the theater. We all know Grace as the lovable nerd from That 70′s Show so why not play off that? Sure, it may be typecasting a bit, but when he does it so well, who cares?
In the original Weird Science you had two high school kids create a super model. In the remake we have two 20 somethings and a robot. It would seem a little ridiculous to have someone like Kelly LeBrock for a regular affordable robot companion, so we need someone more normal looking, but still pretty attractive. I think that Alison Brie would fit the role perfectly. She is really cute but can be really hot when she wants to, which would fit the part. Brie is also a pretty funny actress (as seen in Community) so she would blend well with the guys to keep the mood light and playful.
John Hughes directed the original, and he is a master, so finding a suitable director for the remake is tough. I think Judd Apatow would handle it well. His use of comedy and romance to make memorable movies that appeal to nearly everyone would be great for a Weird Science remake. His love stories in his films always feel real, which would make this remake seem less absurd and more like something that could happen in the future. Plus, I would love to see him take on something with a little more freedom in its reality instead of his usual movies that are set in the real world.
Being able to create your dream woman is a fantasy pretty much every guy day dreams about at some point. The 80′s made this in to a crazy movie (just like every other absurd fantasy anyone had in the movie studio offices) and I think it is time to revisit this concept. With the right setting and cast we could have another beloved version of Weird Science to enjoy for years to come. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section and be sure to suggest some movies you think are due for the remake treatment as well.
Justin Proper once won a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest that Chaplin himself was entered in. You can follow him on Twitter.