J. Michael Straczynski Writing Forbidden Planet Remake
by Alex Billington
October 31, 2008
The classic 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet is next to be remade. Warner Brothers and Joel Silver have picked up writer J. Michael Straczynski, one of the starters of "Babylon 5" and writer of Clint Eastwood's Changeling most recently, as well as the recent Thor comics for Marvel, to rewrite Cyril Hume's script. Over the years, this project has been in the hands of James Cameron and David Twohy amongst many others, but only recently did it settle at Warner Brothers. The original follows a starship crew that is sent to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.
Unfortunately the original Forbidden Planet is one of the few classic sci-fi movies I haven't yet seen, but that might change this weekend. Obviously the remake will have to be modernized and as long as Straczynski writes a grittier, darker kind of movie (and doesn't opt for the Lost in Space or Galaxy Quest kind of family sci-fi), I think it could turn out pretty good. Just look at The Day the Earth Stood Still remake - that looks fantastic so far and it's a completely modern update of the original. Obviously that is a bit more sacred than Forbidden Planet, but I'm still not completely opposed to this particular remake.
I do wonder if there are almost too many classic sci-fi remakes in the works right now, with The Day the Earth Stood Still being the first of the batch, followed eventually by Race to Witch Mountain, Fantastic Voyage, Flash Gordon, and so many more. It's not a terrible idea to remake old sci-fi films, but I always think back to Lost in Space, a big budget sci-fi remake that really doesn't hold up at all anymore. That is always in the back of mind and I hope especially that Forbidden Planet doesn't go down that same path. Though with Straczynski writing, I really don't think that is possible. What do you think?