There might actually be people who would fight me on this, but while Arnold Schwarzenegger’s version was wildly different from the original story that was written by Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, it was still pretty cool. But giving it a reboot would be interesting, especially if it could keep the same look and the same type of gameshow quality while taking on an even darker cast. A lot of people probably recall how The Running Man followed Ben Richards, a former police helicopter pilot, who was framed for gunning down innocent civilians before being tossed in prison. The story is set in 2017, which is amusing since back in the 80s and 90s people were certain that the 2000s were going to give way to flying cars and all sorts of technological wonders that would change the world. Yet here we are, and thankfully shows like The Running Man are still for entertainment and aren’t reality TV at this time. The initial story that was created though didn’t go through this development as it did feature a man that was working against the Gaming Network for a prize that would change his life.
But instead of characters like Subzero, Buzz Saw, and the others, there were bounty hunters that were tasked with bringing Richards down. It was essentially the same story, but with quite a few noticeable differences that sent the movie in a very different direction. It’s definitely a matter of personal taste when it comes to the fans since some might have liked the book version a lot more, while others might have enjoyed the movie since it’s Arnold, and most people would use such a reason to watch just about anything. It can be said that this movie was a bit goofy and kind of campy, but at the very least it had at its core a story worth telling since otherwise, it’s likely that it would have never been made.
The reason for wanting to see a reboot of it would be to clean the story up, to take out a few elements that didn’t make sense, such as Dynamo, who happened to be a big fat guy that couldn’t do much of anything but shock a person to death or try to run them over with his tiny clown car. Deleting this character altogether or reconditioning him to become someone that might look like a cross between Lightning from Big Trouble in Little China and Electro might be a workable idea. But as far as the others go, a change of look would be about the only thing they might need since it’s fair to say that their characters worked, but were handled in a manner that wasn’t all that convincing. It’s easy to state that back in the day that the effects budget and the desire to go all out with the effects weren’t there, and that the director had to work with what was offered. But in this day and age, even with the addition of CGI, it feels as though it would be possible to give each Hunter a more dangerous look and a lot more effective set of tactics while keeping the established landscapes and everything else.
Subzero might need a name change, but that would be one of the lesser issues to deal with since the gaming course might actually need a touch-up as well, and the addition of several other convicts to make the story a little more interesting sounds like a great idea since it gives a better explanation as to how Richards and those with him could survive so long. Plus, while the fact that Weiss, who was played by Marvin J. McIntyre, was able to find a way into the Gaming Network’s system, it feels as though this scene could have been a little more difficult to reach, especially since the consoles are out in the open where anyone with the knowledge of how to use them could do something with or to them. But between the Hunters, the story, and the overall dialogue and action, the actual story of The Running Man would be kind of nice to see come back, and it would be great to see Arnold come back in a cameo or guest-starring role since he helped to make this movie what it is today.
It wouldn’t be perfect, there’s no way to claim that it would be, but bringing The Running Man back and adjusting the time period to reflect a time far into the future, perhaps further than a few decades, would be advisable since unless humanity reaches a new pinnacle of evolution soon, it’s fair to say that we’ll be dealing with the same issues we are now. Overall, seeing this movie brought back as a reboot would be worth thinking about.