Why the 80s Movie “Arena” Deserves a Remake

Arena is a film made in 1989 when the effects were as cheesy as they could get and the acting was just as bad, but looking at it now it could possibly do with a remake. So yeah, the premise and the plot need to be reworked but that seems like it would be relatively simple. There’s not a lot that needs to be done when it comes to reworking a story so that it will actually make a decent movie. I’m downplaying it of course since a LOT needs to be done to make it all work. But from a writer’s standpoint the idea of making something a little more than it was in the first place is a matter of imagination and should come easy to most writers. As a matter of fact I can think of a few ways this movie would be better off just from the get go.

As it stands there’s really no reason for the main character to fight until his friend is taken and has to pay off a debt. That’s a pretty good reason to fight for prize money but it’s kind of shaky and a little overplayed. A revenge story is just as overplayed as well but it offers a little more purpose towards this kind of movie. If a person really wanted to make this movie again it could even be a continuation of the original. Perhaps some sort of legacy that the main character left behind that a child or grandchild is expected to take up, or a matter of family honor, or something along the lines of a person being expected to be an arena fighter because of their patriarch.

That might seem vague but there are a lot of different directions that could be explored with that premise alone. And that’s just one of them. There a dozen others if not more that could be applied to this movie and make it something special, but it would take the right director and of course the right cast to pull it off. It could even be made into something inherently dark since the whole story leans upon someone that works in a menial job and has no real prospects in life other than that he’s trying to stay out of trouble. The hard part would be convincing people that the special effects monsters that could be created by today’s technological means could actually be beaten by a human.

Honestly, look at some of the monsters created in modern times by CGI and animatronics, there’s no way a normal human would stand a chance. Given the inherent toughness that a lot of alien creatures seem to be built with I don’t think it’s likely that even a very fit and tough human would stand much of a chance. That would be where the story needs to bend a bit so as to allow humans a fighting chance so that they’re not annihilated in the first round. It could happen.

I think it deserves another trip through Hollywood.

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