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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Modern Easy Rider reboot is in the works, sounds like a terrible idea

Finally, someone will tell the story of modern counterculture bikers...

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The Easy Rider motorcycle
The Easy Rider motorcycle
Photo: HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP via Getty Images

Dennis Hopper’s brilliant 1969 film Easy Rider was both a celebration of the era’s counterculture and a grim condemnation of how the rest of America felt about all the peace and love stuff that young people were such big fans of, spending a good chunk of its runtime on just watching hippie-types do pleasantly meandering hippie-type things before reminding everyone that there are still some people out there who would rather kill you than let you be different in any way. It was a timeless story that was also very much of its time, so, obviously, Hollywood somehow thinks it makes sense to just… do the same thing again in the present day!

That comes from Variety, which says a “consortium of stakeholders and producers” (exactly the kind of people people you want in charge when you’re talking about Easy Rider!) now own the rights to Hopper’s movie, and they want to find “bold writers and/or directors” who can update the story “for modern times” but “with the same fringe spirit.” The comparison the producers are going off of is apparently Creed, which was a new kind of a Rocky story for a new generation, but the difference here is that a modern-day Rocky movie that reckons with the Rocky legacy both in-universe and in real life makes sense. That seems like a good idea for a movie! Doing the same thing for Easy Rider does not make sense, because a huge part of Easy Rider is that the world of Easy Rider no longer exists and maybe never did in the first place.

What does a movie about bikers getting rich from a drug deal and then traveling around the country learning about “freedom” look like in 2022? And how do you make a movie like that in 2022 where the bikers don’t turn into anti-vax Trumpers hassling people for choosing to wear COVID masks? Listen, we don’t want to tell investment company The Jean Boulle Group (a member of the aforementioned consortium) what to do with its money, but maybe do something else? Maybe make a different movie?

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Or, if you really need to get your investment back on the Easy Rider rights, convince some streaming service to pay for a prestige miniseries remake that’s still set in the ‘60s and just spends even more time with Billy and Wyatt having sex with hippies. Watching them have a sad LSD trip in New Orleans for a whole hour sounds miserable, but it seems less like barreling straight through a minefield than this modern day reboot does.