Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is tackling a reboot of the ’80s comedy classic Revenge of the Nerds, which is already taking great pains to avoid the more problematic moments from the original. The reboot for 20th Century will reportedly star The Lucas Brothers, who will also serve as writers for the project that plans to explore what the heck being a nerd even means today. Via Variety:
The upcoming version won’t be a remake of the 1984 comedy, which hasn’t aged all that well and has been criticized in recent years for depictions of rape. Instead, the contemporary reimagining will pontificate about today’s nerd culture and what even constitutes a geek in the 21st century.
The most problematic scene in question involves Robert Carradine’s Lewis wearing a Darth Vader costume to trick Julia Montgomery’s Betty into thinking he’s her boyfriend Stan who she thinks she’s about to have sex with. When she finds out it’s Lewis, she’s pleasantly surprised despite the act very clearly being sexual assault. Unfortunately, that kind of scene didn’t feel out of place in an ’80s sex comedy, but during a 2019 oral history of the movie, Revenge of the Nerds writer Steve Zacharias voiced his regrets and directly refers to the questionable encounter as “the rape scene.”
“I regret that,” Zacharias told GQ. “I’ve written a play for the musical and I eliminated the rape scene. I made it that Betty was thrown off the cheerleader squad because she flunked trigonometry and Lewis teaches her trigonometry and then before the rape scene he reveals who he is and she wants to have sex with him.”
Hopefully, MacFarlane has better luck after Fox Atomic pulled the plug on a Nerds reboot in 2006 that would’ve starred Adrian Brody. Yup, you read that right.