Quite possibly you heard it: The sound of legions of faithful "Escape from New York" fans shuddering in unison after learning that "300's" Gerard Butler will star as Snake Plissken in a remake of "Escape from New York."
For those few uninitiated souls out there who somehow managed to make it to 2007 without experiencing "Escape," the 1981 original stands as an unparalleled masterpiece of B-movie fare. To compare it to its peers of the same era: If "Mad Max" was post-apocalyptic and edgy, "Escape" was post-apocalyptic and cheesy. If "Blade Runner" was a "cyberpunk vision of the future," "Escape" was the low-rent dream of kids turning off disco and turning on to leather jackets. If "Star Wars" was the ground-breaking first installment of George Lucas's storied trilogy, "Escape," too, spawned a mini-empire for director John Carpenter, who again worked with star Kurt Russell on "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Escape from LA." Sure, "Star Wars" may have had Sir Alec Guinness, but "Escape" had Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine.
When Russell himself heard news of the remake, he said: "Nothing is sacred in this business. I did Disney movies, they remade those. I did 'Stargate', they made that into a TV show... Having created the character [Snake Plissken], I know one thing. Snake Plissken is quintessentially American."
As I wrote back in March 2006, Hollywood's appetite for twice-baked hits seems to grow exponentially from year to year. Why take a chance on an untested script when a new treatment of proven hits like "Barbarella," "Wonderwoman" or "Hairspray" are only a greenlight away from box office returns?
Our mission today is to tell Hollywood that we consider some movies to be sacrosanct. We value them too much to see them reimagined by the magic of CGI effects or the interpretation of a new generation of actors. No matter how intriguing the idea of Steve Carrell as Maxwell Smart may be, I'm sure there are tons of new scripts out there waiting for him that don't involve trampling on the grave of Don Adams.
"Escape from New York" may not be your bag, but surely there is a movie you consider an untouchable -- a perfect 10 that should be locked in an eternal stasis, forever safe from the minds of lazy studio execs.
What movies do you consider too sacred to remake? Share your candidates below.