Monday, December 22, 2008

Movies that Want Making

Some movies are so great that it makes no damned sense to remake them. Take The Day the Earth Stood Still or The In Laws or The Out of Towners. Pointless remakes all. Old TV shows are not an adequate basis for a movie. Sequels usually suck. What I'm getting at is that there are lots of opportunities for filmmakers to do original work, and there are some works of literature that are overdue for theatrical movie versions.

I enjoyed the Sharpe's Rifles miniseries based on the Cornwell novels with Sean Bean as a credible Richard Sharpe, but the production values were not so great and the show reached a limited audience. Richard Sharpe is an extraordinary action hero whose exploits could be a franchise. A hard core sergeant in His Majesty's Army in the Napoleonic era finds himself commissioned an officer. He faces incompetent fellow officers from the privileged classes who bought their rank as well as the unstoppable French military machine. You have espionage, sex, violence, intrigue and everything you need for a series of action adventures. I see Christian Bale as Richard Sharpe.

It's a damned pity that only one of the Patrick O'Brian novels about Captain Aubry and Doctor Maturin has been made into a movie. There were about twenty novels in the series, and each one would make a damned fine film. This is also a ready made franchise with an enormous fan base. Get to it, Hollywood! I liked Heath Ledger for Captain Aubry, but his death makes that hard to pull off.

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