Sunday 14 August 2011

Making the Prequel of the Sequel

There’s a lot of film remakes being made. For those who might have missed them the first time. Made by directors who are unaware that you are allowed to rent the same film twice at your video store (or are we any further down the road to calling it the Blu-Ray store?).
There is though a case for keeping media productions up to date. All those films in which a character says to a distanced nearest-and-dearest, ‘Where have you been? You don’t write, you don’t call anymore’, could drop the line. Change it to something like: ‘Where have you and your avatar been? You don’t email, you don’t tweet, you don’t skype anymore’. (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)

But it’s not just films that could benefit. The children’s animation Postman Pat might be succeeded by Internet Provider Pat, though more likely his Christian name would have to be changed so as to form a catchier alliterative title (after all, Colin the Tank Engine proved to be a hard sell). Perhaps Internet Provider IƱes, an animated Spanish IT person with a server that delivers the village’s email messages. It’s unclear if this is how the whole email process works, but come on, the show’s for kids who don’t care. They just want a main character who is responsible for the communications within a community. And they expect him to implement whatever system is technologically advanced and proven. And for him to have a black and white cat. (N.B. A halfway house scenario between Postman Pat as is, and a Spanish communications-literate reincarnation might be realised by viewing the clip, below.)

Where next? The remake of the remake? Or could that result in just making the original film again? You have to think these things through. Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder could be remade as Text M for Murder or Text M for Mango if the main character didn’t know how to switch off the setting for predictive text.


  1. Recently I took my daughter to see the remake of Arthur. She had not seen the original and was therefore not as surprised as myself when I found out that Arthurs butler had had a sex change and was now referred to as a nanny. I'm not sure that this sort of thing has any part to play in modern film making. I would not expect to see the genetically modified mini corn on the cob, (ting bag, baby sweet corn) in the remake of the film Big or a woman playing the part of Gandhi. It also follows that I would not wish to find out that peacefully demonstration was pointless and setting fire to furniture stores was a much better way of bringing the subject to life.

  2. Editor's Response:

    You have to be careful remaking films, especially where the title is a person's name. I can imagine you having a similar reaction to the one you had witnessing the transgender Butler in Arthur: 'Hang on a minute. What's Gandhi doing in a dress?' You're not seeing the remake at all. You're seeing a biopic of Indira Gandhi.

    I like your reference to the Tiny Bang Theories article 'The Coming of Age of Baby Sweetcorn' (11 August 2011) regarding a remake using a genetically modified prop. Is there not a case though for revisiting some titles when they're remade? With reference to the Tiny Bang Theories article 'Gandhi and the All-Day Breakfast', could we not delight more in 'The All-Day Breakfast Club' or 'All-Day Breakfast at Tiffany's?'

    The furniture store will endure: IKEA, I came, I conquered.