Friday, April 20, 2007

Spare Me

Variety.com - Schulman pumps up Mandalay: "A highlight of the Mandalay Pictures’ slate at Universal is the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” scheduled to be in production by early fall.

“We think we have a very contemporary take,” Schulman said. “In the original, the birds just showed up, and it was kind of like, why are the birds here? This time, there’s a reason why they’re here and (people) have had something to do with it. There’s an environmental slant to what could create nature fighting back.”"

16 comments:

Graham said...

Oh for God's sake. That lack of explanation was one of the things that made the movie good! Horror is about the irrational!

Incidentally, there's no explanation in Daphne du Maurie's original short story, either.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Since Schulman (who he?) is obviously no Hitchcock I think I'll watch it after I watch the remake of Psycho with Anne Heche; i.e., never.

Bill Crider said...

Evan Hunter wrote the screenplay for the original. They won't find anybody like that, I'll bet.

Brent McKee said...

He's a She - Cathy Shulman, new head of Mandalay Pictures - and as far as this thing goes I'm afraid she's barking up the wrong tree. First of all when has any remake of a Hitchcock film worked? I believe the correct answer is "never", and that includes when Hitch tried to remake himself - I at least prefer the British Man Who Knew Too Much to the American one with Doris Day. it is almost invariably a case of pygmies trying to improve on the work of giants (not just the director either - can you improve on an Evan Hunter screenplay or a Bernard Herrmann score? I think not). if you are intent on remaking movies remake the bad ones in the hope that you can improve them: remember The Maltese Falcon was the third version of Hammett's story in ten years.

But we know this film is going to be a disaster without even knowing who is writing, directing, acting in, scoring, or working as best boy. Why? Because Schulman uses those dread words "we have a very contemporary take." After that no matter what she said was irrelevant.

Bill Crider said...

Yep. Scary words indeed.

TM said...

However, Kate Beckinsale, Angelina Jolie, and, sorry, Sienna Miller are attached to the project as the Birds. Miller perhaps as a Dirty Bird.

Bill Crider said...

Well, maybe I'll go see it after all.

Richard Heft said...

In the original BATTLE OF BRITAIN, the Nazis just showed up, and it was kind of like, why are the Nazis here? This time, there’s a reason why they’re here and Englishmen have had something to do with it.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

You guys have said it all. I'm constantly amazed at the hubris of these idiots who are so void of ideas they think they can improve on a classic. And what'll you bet it will be full of flash cuts, extreme closeups, and crappy music? Pfui!

Vince said...

Here's an idea: why don't they mount a new version of the terrible 1994 made-for-TV sequel, The Birds II: Lands' End? That way nobody gets hurt.

Todd Mason said...

I choose to admit, at this late stage, that I tend to agree with Harlan Ellison's assessment of the Hitchcock-directed BIRDS, that it was For The. However, hearing Hunter describe his writing process with AH on FRESH AIR was pretty interesting. (Du Maurier's story was pretty good, I think.)

...And which I see they haven't archived yet. Pity. You can listen to Gahan Wilso and Janet Leigh interviews, and learn that, at least for the headline for NPR's obit for Hunter, that he was a Police Writer.

Bill Crider said...

Hunter talked a little about writing the screenplay when he was the GoH at the Omaha Bouchercon. He had some funny stories.

Gar Haywood said...

Typical Hollywood. Revenge is always the motive of choice, no matter how nonsensical. Hence, the Joker killed Bruce Wayne's parents, because Batman wouldn't want to bust the guy just because he's a crazed maniac, would he? Having birds attack the human race because we murdered THEIR parents via environmental criminal neglect is just the next logical step.
Sheesh...

Bill Crider said...

Wasn't there a movie called FROGS or something like that? Same premise? Why don't they remake that one?

TM said...

Because FROGS didn't make Huge money, in the long run at least.

Bill Crider said...

That's a good reason.