Today's mass purging of sequels and remakes: The Karate Kid, Ghost Rider, The Monster Squad, The Equalizer
Today is just one of those days: The sun is shining, the oil is gurgling, the oceans are gradually turning a beautiful Revelation-red, and the birds, held aloft on the balmy breeze, sing a comforting song of “Remakes! Sequels! TV adaptations! Recognized properties, squawk!” Let’s join these rehashed melodies together into one sonorous chorus of recycled ideas, shall we?
First up: After an opening weekend that saw it kung-fu-metaphor-ing the competition at the box office, The Karate Kid is already being set up for a sequel, with Sony execs currently meeting with writers so they can pitch their ideas. Not much surprise there, we suppose. Hey, remember that one Karate Kid sequel where they spent like half the film trimming a Bonsai tree? Yeah, don’t do that.
Sony is also working on Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, the follow-up to 2007’s poorly-received-but-Nicolas-Cage-tastic-all-the-same adaptation of the Marvel superhero, with Crank writer-director duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor currently in negotiations to take over the franchise. The epic collision of the guys behind Crank working with Nicolas Cage guarantees that Josh Modell will be there opening night, most likely with a certain movie-going pal.
Meanwhile over at Paramount, the remake of 1987’s The Monster Squad that original director Fred Dekker called a “terrible idea” is moving forward anyway, with screenwriting cousins Mark and Brian Gunn being brought on to shape the film for original producer Rob Cohen. There’s still no word on what direction the remake will take—specifically whether it will bring back the classic Universal monsters, or go for a more modern spin—but we can tell you that the Gunns are most recently responsible for the upcoming Journey To The Center Of The Earth sequel Journey To The Mysterious Island, so clearly they’re familiar with crafting pale imitations of properties that were sort-of flimsy to begin with.
And finally, as some total douche hinted at when he was being deliberately mean to Billy Zabka, a big-screen remake of the Edward Woodward-starring CBS series The Equalizer is still in the works after spending years in development hell, and the L.A. Times now reports that Russell Crowe has signed on to play the titular vigilante who dispenses street justice to myriad young punks. There’s no studio involvement yet, but a group of executives that includes action-movie vet Marc Neufeld, The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3 producers Escape Artists, and, oddly enough, Adam Sandler collaborator Alex Siskin are said to be shopping it around with Crowe’s name attached, and with his involvement, it’s likely that Crowe will be on the mean streets soon enough, boxing a few dead ears.