Once a film or a story has been around long enough to have been made officially, then remade unofficially a bunch of times, I have to ask seriously… what value is there in doing another official remake?
When you look at Michael Bay’s “The Island,” I know people love to say that it’s a rip-off of the justifiably obscure “Clonus,” but I’d argue there’s a whooooole lot of of “Logan’s Run” in there, too. And Andrew Niccol is in the middle of his own film about a society where no one ever ages past 30, starring Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Amanda Seyfriend, and a bunch of other really young and pretty people.
I don’t love the ’70s film version of “Logan’s Run,” but I like elements of it, and I really dig the novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. There’s so much material in the book that wasn’t used in the film that I think there’s room for a filmmaker to come in and really turn it into something new, but doing so means you can’t just indulge nostalgia like most remakes do. This can’t be a pandering cash-in, because frankly, I don’t think that would play for anyone. It has to be something new, something that stands alone.
I’ll say this much: hiring Nicolas Winding Refn to direct the film seems to be a step in the right direction. I really liked “Bronson,” the film he made with Tom Hardy a few years ago, but before that, I was already a fan thanks to the “Pusher” trilogy, and the notion of him playing around with a studio’s money on something with the scale of “Logan’s Run” is exciting.
This is a guy who I would trust with big money precisely because he’s not a big money director. He’s had to fight to get the phenomenal imagery of his films up on the screen, and he hasn’t been able to solve issues just by throwing cash at them. He’s ready to come in and make something like this with a voice we don’t really see in the studio system.
It’s also encouraging that Alex Garland is the last screenwriter connected to the material. I think he could take the novel and really pull something strange and wonderful out of it.
But the thing that’s got me most interested is the news today that Ryan Gosling may come aboard to star. I’ve been intrigued by Gosling’s work since the 2001 Sundance Film Festival where “The Believer” played. Gosling doesn’t seem to me to be chasing stardom so much as resisting it, and he’s confounded studios by turning down some pretty major movies over the last few years. If he ends up making this one, I think he and Refn could have great energy together, and they’re both resistant enough to business as usual that this could be anything but.
According to the report at Deadline, this is already into the deal stage, so we may well be looking at a film that will happen in the near future, and if so, we’ll make sure to keep you posted.