Hollywood can’t seem to get enough of remakes. If it isn’t the latest Colin Farrell flick (three boobs, anyone?) or an 80s musical being rebooted with fresh young “talent,” the big screen is being saturated with new versions of old stories. Problem is most of them can’t hold up to the originals.
But now that we hear What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is (gasp) being remade (sorry, but there is no one who could ever hold a candle – or dead parakeet – to Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in this campy classic), we came up with a list of five flicks that at least deserve a second look … but with some very gay twists.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Glee took a stab at rethinking this musical for younger audiences, but failed miserably in our opinion when they cast a woman as Frank-N-Furter. While the original oh-so-gay-friendly story was as tacky as it wanted to be in this Transylvanian farce, we imagine the musical being updated with a few new Broadway-style plot twists that play on everything from today’s genetic testing to over-the-top gender bending – with some fierce drag queens to boot. This could be just the film Alan Cumming’s been waiting to get his pasty little arms around.
The Whales of August
It’s last movie that either Lillian Gish and Bette Davis ever starred in – and one you may not have even heard of. The film follows the lives of two elderly women who make their home on the very bleak Cliff Island in Maine. It’s a quiet little film with gorgeous cinematography and quirky dialogue between the two stars – who were infamous for hating each other (who didn’t Bette hate?). The new version might look more like something out of Charles Busch’s play book with two drag queens in the roles of the famous biddies vacationing (where else?) in P-Town.
You can’t top Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson. But what about a similar premise with a sexy cougar seducing a young woman of family friends? They’d scarcely have to rewrite a line, but it sure could inspire a soundtrack that competes with the memorable Simon & Garfunkel songbook that sprung from this classic original. Consider Susan Sarandon as the older, wiser woman putting the moves any young tomboyish starlet (Michelle Williams?) … well, anyone other than Ellen Page.
Bringing Up Baby
Forget Cary Grant and the leopard. How about two gay dads and a newborn? The original comedy was the epitome of screwball that played up conflicts between the sexes and capitalized on the absurd. But using the script as loose inspiration, the updated version would be less about making any serious statements about gay parenting today, and more about chronicling what happens when two gay guys settle down to bring up their own baby.
The original movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (you know, Angie’s dad) already touched on the underbelly of male hustling. But we picture a much grittier update in modern-day New York City (or Los Angeles?) with someone like Jason Schwartzmann as Ratzo Rizzo and an up-and-coming leading male who’s not afraid to get really gay for pay – maybe Garrett Hedlund? He already has a good start playing Neal Cassidy in the soon-to-be released On the Road.
What films would you like to see get a second life? Share your picks with us.