Remake of The Wicker Man in the works (BEWARE SERIOUS SPOILER IN LINK!)

Cees Alons

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Aryn,
I changed your topic title to warn members that the story in the link you gave contains a very serious spoiler.
Whoever didn't see The Wicker Man yet and doesn't want to have his/her experience spoiled, do not read that article!
Cees
[Edited last by Cees Alons on August 28, 2001 at 03:50 AM]
 

Julie K

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Urk. Where's that puke smiley now that I really need it?
I believe this says it all:
quote:
"I was told it was a very remarkable film in some ways, but when I went to see it at a showing in New York I didn't think it was that good," said one executive. "However, it is a very 'remakable' film and when Nicolas Cage suddenly became interested we started to respond to it."
[/quote]
Somehow I'm just not surprised that (1) an exec at Universal doesn't like one of the most unusual and fascinating films I've ever seen and (2) he only got interested in it because of a big name star.

BTW, I've been thinking about spoilers wrt Wicker Man. Of course, everything should be done to protect plot points from those who haven't seen it, but...what about the title itself?
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[Edited last by Julie K on August 28, 2001 at 07:29 AM]
[Edited last by Julie K on August 28, 2001 at 07:30 AM]
 

Michael Reuben

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All true, Julie, but the article also says that Neil LaBute is attached to the project. If LaBute writes the script and directs, the results could be interesting. He has a knack for presenting obsessed, repellant characters in a way that makes them seem both logical and compelling (the best example being his series of one-act plays called Bash).
M.
 

Julie K

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He has a knack for presenting obsessed, repellant characters in a way that makes them seem both logical and compelling
That could work, then, as long as other things are handled in a manner similar to the original.
Spoiler:
What I like about the original is that while Howie is obsessed and a character whom you really don't like, neither does the audience feel good when he's burned alive. I hope the remake can avoid the trap of (1) making Howie so repulsive that the audience is glad he's killed or (2) making the islanders one-dimensional badguys and I'm not sure a Universal-backed movie is up to the task.

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"Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
 

Scott Dill

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What's the point?
Generally speaking I hate remakes - esp. when something is a "bonafide" cinema classic already. This one looks to have no hope right from the start.
Casting Cage as Howie seems to be a particularly poor choice ... He would more likely join right in with the Pagans instead of being a believable prude

The setting of it the US makes no sense either. Part of the Beauty of "The Wickerman" was the use pagan Celtic rituals that were native to the region before the Christian invasion. There is no pagan tradition in the US to fall back on, so the entire premise would seem to fall apart.
Maybe Cage will will feel the need to play Charles Foster Kane next
 

Michael Reuben

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The same considerations ("remakes are bad", "classics shouldn't be touched", "the setting shouldn't be changed") should have precluded Sergio Leone from remaking Yojimbo as For a Few Dollars More. I'm glad they didn't, though.
Playwrights, novelists and filmmakers have been borrowing and retelling stories for centuries. There's nothing inherently wrong with remakes. It's just that most of them are badly done.
M.
 

Cees Alons

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Julie,
I disagree with you that the title is a spoiler. The thing is part of a ritual we learn to know late in the movie. It solves a few questions, but is not particular.
And no viewer
Spoiler:would expect it to have a heart.
Cees
 

Scott Dill

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Michael,
Thanks for being so dismissive.
My reading of the article suggests that they just want to make the same film, but with an American cast. This (IMHO) is not a good justification for remaking a classic.
Changing a story from one about Japanese Samurai - in Japanese - to an "American" Western or adapting literature is not a remake, but an adaptation. This is different.
The very heart of "The Wickerman" is its grounding in Celtic Traditions. I could see the story being adapted as a Mexican film in which the ancient Mayan/Aztec practices are used, but North America lacks the rich pagan tradition that would make this a true cautionary tale like the original.
If cage and crew just uses the basic idea and finds a uniquely American version of the cult and DOES NOT use the same ending, then it may be a worthwhile story....but not "The Wickerman" and that's my point.
 

Michael Reuben

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Scott, I read the article somewhat differently. The key fact is that the project is "in development". Now, you don't have to watch too many "making of" documentaries or read too many feature articles on the making of classic films to know that literally anything can happen to a project in development. It can be shelved. Scripts can be tossed and redone from scratch -- and then tossed and redone again. Casting can change, including the leads. Directors come and go. Given the uncertainties of the process and the softness of the information at this point in time, there's no way to know what direction this particular project will ultimately take, or even if it will ever see the light of day.
I could see the story being adapted as a Mexican film in which the ancient Mayan/Aztec practices are used, but North America lacks the rich pagan tradition that would make this a true cautionary tale like the original.
Perhaps you're right. OTOH, this country has borrowed so liberally from so many cultures and traditions that I'm not prepared to accept as gospel that there's no possible American setting in which the story of The Wicker Man could be effectively reconceived. I'd rather let creative people have the opportunity to try. Maybe they'll fail, but they also might succeed.
But all of this is sheer speculation. My comments were limited to the general "remakes are bad" attitude exhibited at various points in this thread. I disagree, and I'm sorry if that offends you.
M.
 

SteveGon

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If this remake does get made, how much are you willing to bet that they give it a happy ending?
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SteveGon

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If Neil LaBute writes and directs, I'll take that bet.
I see your point. But even if he writes and directs, do you really think they'll give him complete creative control? I kind of doubt it...

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"Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins - leave death to the professionals!"
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Scotty_McW

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Found this on Cinescape today and thought I'd resurrect the thread since production is about to begin:



I've never seen the original, but I really want to.
 

Kevin M

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I have said before that a remake set in the americas might work as the influx of "communes" in the 50's & 60's could add credence to the idea of a rich radical buying his own island (the upper west & east coasts have many) and the rest of the story would fall into place.

Now Nicolas Cage I am weary of, I thought a younger Ben Kingsley would have be perfect....Gary Sinise, Joaquin Phoenix, William H. Macy or William Hurt would have been my choices.
 

Joshua_W

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I have said before that a remake set in the americas might work as the influx of "communes" in the 50's & 60's could add credence to the idea of a rich radical buying his own island (the upper west & east coasts have many) and the rest of the story would fall into place.
I think that movie came out last year.
 

Kevin M

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Oh I hope M. Night doesn't come out at the end of this remake and say "....white people...."
 

JonZ

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Im more worried about the script than Nic Cage, who can be very good in the right parts.
 

Brook K

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I'm torn on this one, I hate the idea of remaking The Wicker Man almost as much as the utter insanity of remaking Ikiru. But Neil LaBute is one of my favorite current American directors. Guess I'll take a wait and see attitude.
 

Seth--L

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re: Nic Cage

He'll be too outwardly emotional; too forcefull. You need an actor who can got a lot across with little expression. Kevin's casting suggestions of William H. Macy or William Hurt would be perfect. In fact, I could really see Hurt in the part.

It's really hard to imagine the atmosphere of the original being reproduced, which is what made the movie work. I imagine that everything in the American version will be big and played up.
 

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