From: Craig Linden, VP of Content Development (email@example.com)
To: Creative Dept. Distribution List (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: The state of our remakes
Hopefully it’s not news to any of you that the top brass is “disappointed” with the creativity of the remakes that have been commissioned lately. There have been a number of discussions at the VP level, and the gist is that if we want old movies we should watch old movies. We’re doing remakes because we want fresh. We want original.
Now, personally I believe the Content Development Department is the tops in this organization, and I know you are all up to the challenge of finding some fresh remake material. Please feel free to think outside the box on this one. What classics could use a fresh coat of paint? What old stories can be updated to appeal to today’s youth? Nothing is too radical to be dismissed out of hand. And I just know all of you will make me proud by giving me something great to show to the stakeholders.
Looking forward to hearing what you come up with!
I feel completely inspired by your email! I’ve been working on ideas all night, and I think I have some great targets to remake.
First, Harold and Maude. Why don’t we sex up this comedy classic! For starters, Maude will need to be youngified. Who wants to see a sex comedy with a grandmother? Not me. No, Maude will be transformed into a sexy MILF, played by whichever hot actress is available in the 32-40 age range. Harold will be largely unchanged, except instead of suicidal, he’ll be Channing Tatum. To keep the spirit of the movie alive, there will technically still be an enormous age gap between the two due to a complicated subplot involving time travel.
Or how about Revenge of the Nerds? In keeping with the increasing cultural comfort with mental illness (see: Monk, A Beautiful Mind, RoboCop), the “sciencey” Nerds will be replaced by neurotics and psychotics. In the new Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity: the social anxiety disorder guy, the OCD guy, the PTSD guy, the schizophrenic. They’ll fight for their frat’s right to participate in their school’s annual Public Debate, Vietnam Reenactment, and Confined Quarters Sewage Crawl triathlon.
What about School Ties? But this time it’s a secret Muslim at the prep school. She initially passes as an oddly-shaped white Christian because, like in White Chicks, she’ll be wearing a complicated prosthetic disguise over her burqa.
I’m literally sweating enthusiasm, so please let me know which of these ideas we can move forward with.
Thanks for the quick turnaround on this. I’m not totally sold on any of these ideas, but thanks so much for following directions and really thinking outside the box! I particularly like the notion of trying to update classics with today’s youth in mind. Anything else on that front?
Sure! How about:
It’s a Wonderful Life. Friends, community and generosity are not appealing concepts to today’s young Randian Objectivists. We can keep most of the story the same here, with George’s virtuous hard work and resulting business success providing the necessary narrative drive. But that third act needs to go: friends, Clarence, and all. An ending where George leaves his wife for Mr. Potter is much more believable. After all, they’re the two most financially successful men in town, and thus made for each other.
Let me know what you think!
Feeling the viscosity of youth,
We obviously can’t make George Bailey and Mr. Potter gay. Slow down. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but this one doesn’t make a lot of sense.
To clarify, George and Mr. Potter would not be gay. Like today’s youths they transcend conventional gender roles and identify, if they identify at all, as pansexual. Speaking of which, there’s a bitching update of Shampoo I’m still working out.
In the meantime, how about Transformers? It’s a recent one, but they remade The Incredible Hulk after like 5 years, so why not? In this version, instead of cars or planes, the Autobots turn into existentialist philosophers to fight against the Kantian Decepticons. God shows up to settle the whole “God is dead” thing, but is accidentally crushed when the Kierkegaard robot gives too vigorous a defense of infinite qualitative distinction. The viewer’s perspective on intrinsic morality will depend largely on whether they’re wearing 3D glasses.
I don’t know what a Kantian is and I’m not sure you do either. Is this a serious idea?
I’m sorry you didn’t care for my Transformers idea. This one’s a surefire winner though:
Clash of the Titans. Seeing as the claymation original is universally preferred over the expensive CGI remake, logically, a cheaper and more primitive version should be better still. We just need to hammer out which medium would be most preferable: sock puppets, LEGOs, or just an audio recap of the story provided by a pair of sugar-fueled six year olds and a cab driver earnestly working to improve his English.
Fueled by sugar and also some other stuff,
Okay, I get it. This is all — what — a sarcastic exercise? You’re a struggling screenwriter who’s above remakes and feeding me shit, is that it? I’ve spoken to Katie in HR and we’re prepared to let you go. Any last ditch ideas you have to change my mind?
I’ve been thinking Annie Hall could be really interesting if you swap the roles of Diane Keaton and the lobster.
With arthropodic charm,
… That’s actually not bad. Let me get in touch with a writer and I’ll set you up for lunch. The lobster would be CGI I assume? Who do you like for the voice? Wanda Sykes?