So They’re Remaking The Fugitive: Of Course

As Ryan Scott of MovieWeb states, reboots and remakes are the trend of the day and have been for the last several years. Hollywood is running dry on ideas and the well isn’t replenishing as quickly as they’d like. The only problem is that there are literally thousands of stories out there that might follow similar themes but are at the very least original and haven’t been seen time and time again. Maybe it’s time for the indie films to start taking over again until the well can finally replenish and give the ‘big time’ producers something innovative that they can run with and make into a pile of money again. Truthfully it’s not entirely fair to say this much since a lot of movies have been making big money and The Fugitive did very well for the 90s, but bringing it back at this point is an idea that seems best left to a back burner just in case anything new doesn’t pan out the way it needs to.  But that’s not what’s happening.  Apparently studios have tapped director Albert Hughes for the project. Other than that, little has been revealed.

There’s no doubt that Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones will be sitting this one out since as a reboot they might get a mention at best, but the chances are that both men will be far away from this movie the moment it starts up. Plus, given the likelihood of reboots to add in some nice little homage to the movies that spawned them there’s always a chance that we’ll at least see a few hints of the movie we remember from the 90s in an effort to placate the audience. So far it doesn’t seem like a lot is known about this movie, but the idea of bringing it back to the big screen is one that might be met with a very mixed reaction by the audience unless those working on it can find a way to make it seem appealing, new, and yet familiar at the same time. Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline has more to say on this subject. That seems to be one of the many ways to get the audience on your side these days after all, familiarity. Too many people don’t want a challenge, something that might actually make them think. They want to plant their butt in the seat and be wowed for a couple of hours or more and be given material that they can say they know at least a little bit about. The predictable has become the norm in a big way, and people seem to enjoy it.

Michael Kohler of Lights Film School is pretty accurate in saying that the size of the audience is dependent on following the formula and business model that has been successful in the past. Well, he said something akin to those words, but it makes a great deal of sense in an infuriating fashion since it means more or less that people want to see more of the same thing, over and over and over and….well, you get it. The problem with this of course is that it lacks innovation, it lacks overall excitement, and it lacks a forward-thinking idea that allows people to pull out of the swamp of ideas that continue to be constantly recycled. The Fugitive was began as a TV show decades ago and was successful at that time as well, but upon being transferred to the big screen the success only continued for one movie, as U.S. Marshals, it’s sequel of sorts, didn’t do all that great.

It did deviate from the original in a few ways, but it also suffered from the idea that the dialogue was horrible and the fact that the story had already been seen not that long before. Innovation is a tool within the Hollywood grab bag of implements that too many people seem to think they’ve mastered but very few of them can wield with any real skill. This seems like it might be nobody writer telling off a business that’s been in place since before a lot of us were born, but it’s also a devoted storyteller telling a very big group of elitists that they’re missing the point by trying to be clever while using ideas that have come and gone for years and been deemed, by the audience no less, to be entertaining but in some cases tired and worn.

It’s true that not all of us have the answers we think we do, and in fact it’s true that opinions and skill sets differ when it comes to bringing stories to life, but The Fugitive is not a tale that needs to be brought to light again, at least not yet. To be honest it might need another few years to really warrant a return, but until then it feels more appropriate to fixate on something else that might be worth developing.

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