Rocky Horror Picture Show Remake and Hairspray 2 Coming
by Kevin Powers
July 24, 2008
Two projects that I'm sure most never thought about before are today making headlines. Outlets are reporting, despite any overt interest I've come across personally, that a remake of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a sequel to 2007's Hairspray will bow at the big screen next year. Why and why? Worse still, these projects have a tinge of credibility considering those involved. MTV is behind the Rocky Horror remake, while John Waters himself is set to write the "treatment" for the Hairspray sequel. Again, why? These are two projects that have left me totally befuddled. Please let all the Comic-Con coverage bury this musical madness quickly!
If you think about it (and we have to now), a Hairspray sequel isn't completely out of left field considering the success of last year's film and the likability of Nikki Blonsky. However, John Waters' original story has existed for nearly 20 years without being exploited and extended into sequel territory. Not only that, none of the cast have options for a sequel as of yet. So why now? If you guessed money, you get two points. Director-choreographer of the 2007 movie, Adam Shankman, told Variety: "I never thought of musicals as franchises, but it certainly worked with High School Musical, and the idea of working with that cast again, and creating new material and music, is a dream come true. John [Waters] has such an original and extraordinary voice; we all can’t wait to see what he has come up with." Whatever happened to Polyester/Pecker/Dirty Shame days of John Waters? Adapting his material for the original Hairspray was enough, but this news makes me downright sad.
As for The Rocky Horror Picture Show remake, talk about horror. No one should be touching this classic, especially MTV! Lou Adler, executive producer of the 1975 original, is actually involved (if you can believe it), and the film will "use the original screenplay but may also include music not featured in the original." I can only guess that maybe the higher-ups thought remaking the sci-fi/horror musical comedy might similarly align with recent musical movie successes, such as Hairspray or Mamma Mia!. Or, perhaps the upcoming Repo! The Genetic Opera and eventual theatrical debut of High School Musical 3 gave them some false idea that the time was right. Whatever the reason, it's a bad decision. Is this as frustrating and sad for you as well? Are musicals getting out of control?