Article: The New Visions We Need and the Directors Who Could Make Them Awesome Again

"Remakes are horrible! The original was perfect! There is nothing that will curb my blind nostalgia!"

Well, what about the ones that might actually benefit from a new vision from the eyes of a great director? Here I explore the selfish fantasy of having my favorite directors reimagining or adapting a new version of ten different worlds I love or feel have been misrepresented. It's miserably likely that along with all of these directors, I'll croak before any of this could happen.

Green Lantern
Why should it be redone? Who doesn't want this erased from our memories forever? The original attempt at making a passable movie looked like a sci-fi channel original from the 90's that ripped off the better version which doesn't exist. Coming from an otherwise great director, it's puzzling how subpar this turned out. On top of that, they took unreasonably huge liberties with arguably the most important villainous presence in the entire Green Lantern universe.

Just to throw it in there, I like Ryan Reynolds a lot, but he was miscast. Hal Jordan isn't a goofball. He's intensely self-absorbed and can be cocky in a fun way, but not a goofball with a terrible hairdresser who loves blow-dryers way too much.

Who should make the correct version? I should. No, but for real. I should. I'm not kidding either, but if we're being realistic, how about Rian Johnson!? From his work on Looper and Brothers Bloom, he shows the care and complexity required to compliment such an intimidating, enormous universe swirling around one simple, but stubborn hero. Green Lantern is essentially supposed to be a cop drama, but in space... with aliens. Rian Johnson is in that sweet spot where he's still cheap to hire, but has that passionate grassroots indie blood that's still warm enough to fuel a big Hollywood sci-fi epic in a unique way. Then his career will either go straight down the toilet or he'll become the sequel to Joss Whedon.

Won't Hollywood ruin this, though? There is a horribly thin selection of great cyberpunk films out there and this could be one of the good ones. Scary, epic, visually enthralling, psychologically twisted, with volcanic and iconic action, Akira is a wild film that would make a deliciously wicked summer blockbuster unlike anything else... or the studios are scared to death to respect the source material and will royally mess it up. But, I'll take that chance to maybe see a live-action taste of some truly twisted sci-fi.

Who should make it not suck? Darren Aronofsky, duh. The same guy behind the nastiest psycho-dramas known to the human race (Black Swan, The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream) has been in the lineup to direct what might have turned out to be some of the most masterful summer blockbusters we would have ever gotten. Robocop, Batman, and Wolverine were just a few of the huge titles thrown at him, but dumb people did stupid things and he didn't get those chances. Aronofsky is famous for his repeat plunge into the darkest abyss of the human psyche and what better subject than that of Tetsuo, the intensely insane psychokinetic super villain who all but obliterates the entirety of Neo-Tokyo? This director has proven his worth for epic visuals and soul-wrenching psychological explorations. I don't think there is a better director out there for Akira.

Why does it need to be a movie? Uh... it's f--king Lobo?! Arguably one of the more out-there and unapologetically vicious comics ever made is just itching to spill pints, upon barrels, upon tanks of gore on the silver screen. Lobo is essentially the belligerently cracked-out version of the Hulk who ate Superman and absorbed his sweet nutrients. Lobo likes cigars, space motorcycles, and is virtually immortal since he could be completely dismembered and regenerate from a pool of his own blood. Lobo is the unequivocal ultimate bad ass. 

Who should direct? From the director of the ultra-violent, rainbow-colored thriller, Smokin Aces, and the over-the-top action comedy A-Team, Joe Carnahan was born and raised for Lobo. If you've seen these movies, you know why he's the obvious choice. Carnahan directs with a comic-book sensibility by default and his love for an explosive, nearly cartoonish level of human sauce would do serious justice to the universe's baddest Main Man.

Why remake a classic? Dune is a cool flick. Don't get me wrong. But, you gotta admit, it's a pretty darn disjointed, and dry film (no desert pun intended). Yes, Lynch is a phenomenal director who deserves acclaim for his vision of Dune. Now, I haven't read the book(s) or anything, but because of how the film is paced and cut, it just feels like it's missing a lot of potentially awesome stuff. A new adaptation of Dune has been tossed around Hollywood for a while now with no forward momentum to be seen. I would hope that it retains its frightening, eerie, and vast scope and I have just the director...

Who, Jesse? Who?! The creator of the surreal thriller, The Cell, the brutally gorgeous Immortals, as well as the poetic and dream-like The Fall, there is no better director for a Dune remake than Tarsem Singh. Period. The guy knows how to capture satisfyingly visceral action, scarily massive and eerily beautiful landscapes, and complex intrusions of his character's innermost machinery. The guy would be a film making God if it weren't for that Mirror Mirror stain on the shorts of his career. But we'll forget that ever happened.

Why do we need another one of these? I actually like Michael Bay for the most part. I can't really defend his films for being particularly good, but I can no doubt defend his work ethic, and the bars he's raised for action. What I can't defend is his seemingly utter disregard for the concept of a script. The Transformers films need a fresh start. Something not so unapologetically stupid and, quite frankly, juvenile. I've dreamed of a Transformers set in the 80's, following a typical Midwestern middle-school boy with a crush on the new girl, who gets reeled into a fascinating, wondrous adventure when his big brother gets a new magenta Hot Rod. Huh? Am I right? See where I'm going with this?

Who should fulfill my fantasies? Me again, but I guess I'll settle for J.J. Abrams this time -- the obvious choice. After Super 8, Star Trek, and Mission Impossible 3, this is a man after my own heart. If Abrams ever ends up touching a Transformers film, I would feint like a 13 year old girl who just got spit on by Justin Bieber.

Super Mario World
Why do we need this crap again? No, not another embarrassing live-action atrocity. I'm talking about the version that was always meant to be: a Pixar-level animated adventure of a chubby mustachioed plumber in a totally weird world of missiles with faces, turtles that fly, free floating blocks that produce happy-faced mushrooms with rapid growth powers, and dinosaurs with magic wands, just to name a few. I might die before I see Nintendo finally make a smart decision again. This would be one of them.

Who should direct? The guy that helped make Joseph Gordon Levitt and Andrew Garfield cause ladies to change their undergarments more frequently than usual, Marc Webb, warmed our hearts and subsequently squashed it in 500 Days of Summer, and made Spider-man amazing again. I'd love to see what this guy can do with an animated film. If he can make a computer-generated Peter Parker exhilarating to watch as he free falls and pendulums his way through skyscrapers and alleyways, and simultaneously make us laugh with clean, family-friendly comedy, I could see Webb bounce Mario and Luigi through a thrilling, lighthearted and high energy adventure across a candy coated Super Mario World.

Just imagine dropping 'shrooms before watching a movie like this. Seriously? A plump raccoon with an Italian for a face, fighting cloud-riding reptiles who throw spike balls?! Come see the family adventure of the summer, kids!

What? Who cares about this movie? I do! Go write your own article! Cyborg, for those that can remember it, also remember being scared urine-less from its incessantly bleak atmosphere coupled with one of the most egregiously evil bad guys I've ever had the pleasure of chasing me in my nightmares. Cyborg is a post-apocalyptic action-thriller starring my biggest guilty pleasure, Jean Claude Van Damme, and even though it suffers from having a severely cliché, rain soaked finale packed with testosterone-laden screaming, it remains surprisingly odd for its time. It's incredibly disturbing and ruthlessly grave, but has its classic 90's cheese oozing out of its holes, and that's why we need another go at it.

Who should direct?
I want to see Paul Thomas Anderson make an action epic like this. If There Will be Blood had vicious fight scenes and lots of chains and huge knives, and took place after most everyone on the planet dies of a horrible plague, you'd have the remake I want to see. Anderson can make Cyborg's quietest moments feel as sharply dreadful as they should. His fight scenes would carry with it emotional credence, be far too well shot, and accompanied by a dissonant and uncomfortable score that would cause my bowels to loosen in my pants. Anderson has fine tuned "brooding," and if given some action sequences, would put a bitter spin on the combat.

Cowboy Bebop
Why this? If you have to ask why, you have no idea what Cowboy Bebop is. At one point, Keanu Reeves was attached to play Spike, arguably the "face" of Cowboy Bebop, but not exactly the lead. And that's why the show is so damn good! It's a story about a whole group of incredibly misfit bounty hunters (and a dog) in the very far future who always struggle to make ends meet while eating self-cooking ramen noodles. It's a fantastic story waiting to hit the big screen and is ripe for both the casual American audience and the buffs. It's funny, endearing, packed to the brim with action, cute, loveable, sad, and has one of the very best soundtracks of any show... ever.

Who should direct it? Edgar freakin Wright. Director of the adorably cool Scott Pilgrim, and comedy masterpieces, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End, and the upcoming Marvel film, Ant-Man, how could this guy NOT make the best Cowboy Bebop adaptation conceived? The guy can do everything Cowboy Bebop wants to be in a live-action film. Edgar Wright is an artistic cybernetic organism designed for films like Cowboy Bebop. If Edgar Wright doesn't make Cowboy Bebop, he's dumb.

Why do you want to ruin this franchise, too? Because I'm a big stupid head who doesn't respect good things. Hollywood is just sopping wet with its desire to put robots or transforming things in just about everything now if it can. No doubt, a truly respectable live-action Evangelion film most likely will never get passed the morons that decide what we can be entertained by, but I can hope. The concept might be too disturbing to sell to children without severely altering the wild existential philosophies and traumatizing experiences the very young characters go through, but again, I can hope to see it one day. Never have we seen the visual clash of musculature and organs wrenching out from ridiculously huge robots piloted by emotionally tortured children in a summer blockbuster... and I would sacrifice puppies to see it happen. PUPPIES!

Who Should Direct? Pascal Laugier, the director of the most soul crushing horror film I've ever seen, Martyrs, will take the helm in the alternate reality Earth ruled by me. Plus, I would have the audacity to release new toys to promote to your kids. Laugier has an inarguable death grip on the psychology of a excruciatingly painful mental issues and can milk actors for the most gut-wrenching intensity required of something like Evangelion. I don't know if he has what it takes to direct computer-generated robots, but he certainly has a grasp on the peculiar religious symbolism permeating the design of the alien antagonists which battle our prepubescent heroes in city ravaging death matches.

Herp derp Nolan's Batman is a Mashterpeesh! Nothing can be better! Even if that weren't more false than complete lies, Batman is still going to get redone and reinterpreted, regardless. As I've said before and I'll say again, we have yet to truly get the Batman we deserve. A film not afraid of its source material. A film with a seriously horrifying ninja bat as its protagonist. A film not afraid of stark color and contrast, glorifying an inky black tone, with borderline horror movie atmosphere. I want to see kids asking to be Batman for Halloween for a damn good reason! Someone who scares the crapped-in pants off of criminals and scumbags and detects the dots that need connecting for some super-sleuthing mysteries when he's not whooping ass as a silent, but deadly ninja master. Or we get more boring cop-dramas pretending to be good comic-book movies.

Who would do it better? David Fincher can. What can't the guy do? His films look amazing, aren't written for idiots, have memorable characters, and always a great soundtrack. He is the master of grit, the director of the wretchedly entertaining mystery, Se7en, the left hook to the gut, balls, and brain, Fight Club, and the puzzling mindbender, The Game. Fincher would bring everything the Batman films have been sorely lacking since they started making them -- everything that matters most to the character and the universe. If Fincher got signed for the next Batman film, I'd sacrifice puppies to his honor! PUPPIES!

The following is a list of films I didn't cover mostly because this article is stupidly huge. People can't seem to count higher than 10 anyway. I left out the sequels, because I wanted to concentrate more on films that desperately need to be redone or adapted for the first time. I would have enjoyed exploring the idea of Peter Jackson directing a reboot of Gremlins, or Nicolas Winding Refn remaking another Van Damme film, Hard Target, but I only have so much space before people don't care anymore. Regardless, I did also list my obviously superior choices of directors anyway for your scrutiny...

Gremlins - Peter Jackson

Hard Target - Nicolas Winding Refn
Cloverfield 2- Matt Reeves
District 10 - Neil Blomkamp
Beetlejuice 2 - Gore Verbinski
Toxic Avenger - Sam Raimi
The Warriors - Alex Proyas
Mad Max - Kathryn Bigelow

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments! Who do you think should direct these? What remakes or new adaptations do you want to see?

- Article by J.G. Barnes