The ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ remake just nabbed a director and star. Here’s why it’s already dead.

Here's the thing about remakes: even the bad ones can't taint our fond memories of the original. Which is why I'm choosing not to feel any way at all about today's news that LD Entertainment's Jacob's Ladder “reimagining” will be directed by David M. Rosenthal, who helmed last year's critically-reviled thriller The Perfect Guy (which nevertheless made $60 million at the box office). Before that: A Single Shot starring Sam Rockwell (49% Rotten Tomatoes score) and Janie Jones starring Abigail Breslin (52%). Am I sensing a downward trend here?

Joining Rosenthal for the destined-to-be-mediocre effort is his Perfect Guy star Michael Ealy, who is talented and attractive and will likely be wasted in the lead role. All due respect to Rosenthal, but his resume makes it pretty clear what kind of “remake” they're going for here. The original Jacob's Ladder may not be a masterpiece, but it is still a bracing, personal and genuinely unnerving horror film that benefitted from a strong point of view behind the camera (Adrian Lyne, please come back to us). Speaking of which! You can read my in-depth piece on the film's legacy here, featuring interviews with Lyne, screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin and star Tim Robbins on its 25th anniversary.

As for the update: let's just forget this thing even exists. Based on the Deadline report, it sounds like the “reimagining” label is a pretty apt one anyway, given this puzzling description: “a modern-day paranoid action thriller about two brothers.” Which…um. Are they sure this isn't just a totally different movie?