Doug Belgrad, head of Columbia Pictures, recently said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that an “update[d] for the present” version of fantasy film Jumanji is in the works. Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?
Sure, Jumanji was made in 1995 (and certainly carries the look of the time). This was before the invention of Facebook, the widespread use of cell phones, and, well, Hannah Montana. It’d certainly be interesting to see how characters with modern technology would handle all the crazy stuff that can happen when people play that wicked game…
I have to be honest, though: This idea makes me kinda angry. Jumanji was one of the first movies that scared me as a little kid. I was fascinated with all of the ornate set details, and the purely original concept of a board game that could not only come to life but could kill you. It was thrilling!
But notice that last concept I wrote: the purely original concept. Rewriting Jumanji for modern times seems lazy to me, as if Hollywood writers couldn’t come up with anything new to make a movie about. It would certainly be interesting to see a modern-age interpretation of Jumanji, but why not the original movie stand alone? If I wanted to tell my future kids the story Jumanji, I’m not going to write to a studio asking for a new version of it. I’ll just find a DVD of the original.
In my opinion, the idea of rewriting old movies for the modern age opens the door for new versions to replace the originals in popular memory (this doesn’t include complete re-imaginings like The Dark Knight or satires like Blue Harvest). What good is it to have a really wonderful remake of a movie if younger generations don’t even look to the original film anymore? It doesn’t make sense to me, and I dearly hope that I don’t see ads for modern versions of Casablanca, Funny Girl, Silk Stockings, or any classic movie from a previous time. Because frankly my dears, I think we should let great movies from the past lie.
And by the way, wasn’t Zathura supposed to be the successor to Jumanji? Just sayin’.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]
What do you think of the idea of another Jumanji, Lovelies? Are updated versions of classic movies good idea, or no?