So how long do you have to wait for a sequel?
Well, in the case of Blade Runner (one of my all-time favorite films, incidentally) it has been 35 years. Yet, despite the gap in time, the follow-up, Blade Runner 2049 has one of the original stars (Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard, although we still don’t know whether he is android or human. Mr. Deckard,that is, not Mr. Ford), one of the original screenwriters (Hampton Fancher) and Ridley Scott, the original director of the 1982 film, now credited as an executive producer. (The way I heard it, Mr. Scott wanted to direct the long delayed sequel but had to hand over directing duties to French-Canadian ace Denis Villeneuve due to conflicts in Mr. Scott’s schedule.)
With that in mind here are a few ideas on rebooting other so-called classics:
BICYCLE THIEF 2 Michael Fassbender is now Antonio who regains the respect of his son, Bruno (now played by Jacob Tremblay) and the love of wife Maria (now portrayed by Alicia Vikander) by getting a new bike. Unbeknownst to the two of them, though, Antonio has been stealing expensive ten-speed bicycles, motorcycles and other vehicles and has become a major player in the Rome underworld. Now directed by Roberto Benigni (who originally suggested that the movie be called Thug Life is Beautiful.)
THE SOUND OF MUSIC 2: TRAPPED BY SUCCESS
The plot has been shifted to Los Angeles where the Trapp Family has won a singing competition on a popular reality show and are signed to a contract with a major record company. The family is beset with all the usual temptations but you know the old saying “The family that plays together stays together.” Jazzed by the remake, La La Land ‘s Damien Chazelle not only signs on as director and writer but offers to rewrite some of the originals’ classic songs: “The Beverly Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Money and (in a cameo appearance by Brad Pitt) “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Angelina” (Mr. Pitt has never sung in a movie before but is reputed to have said, “If Brosnan can do it, I can do it.”) Ryan Gosling takes over the Christopher Plummer role and Emma Stone now plays the Julie Andrews role.
URBAN COWBOY 2: Urban Country
Marketing decided “Urban Country” sounded more modern. Gilley’s and the mechanical bucking bull were ditched as “old hat”. Kenny Chesney (in his major movie debut!) replaces John Travolta as Bud, the scenes are filmed in some of Mr. Chesney’s favorite stadiums (giving Kenny a chance to perform some of his biggest hits), Renee Zellweger was originally scheduled to play the Debra Winger role but citing “scheduling conflicts” she has been replaced by Miranda Lambert (in her major movie debut!) Ben Foster plays the role of the con man originally played by Scott Glenn. Kanye West replaces the late James Bridges as director. (Mr. West insists he can do anything. We’ll see. He says he will even direct from the hospital if he has to.)