It seems like everything from the ’80s is getting remade, in some way, shape, or form. At the very least, it’s getting a comic book. But there’s one property that apparently will be kept in the ’80s, because not even Steven Spielberg can get the rights. Nor could Seth Rogen or Star Wars spinoff writer Gary Whitta.
Yes, The Last Starfighter is apparently remake proof. And it’s not for the reasons you’d suspect, either. Usually when a remake is impossible, it’s due to a messy court battle or nebulous rights making the property toxic until handled by a lot of lawyers. But according to Slash Film, in this case, it’s because the screenwriter of the original holds the rights… and he’s not interested:
It seems the film’s writer, Jonathan R. Betuel, retains the rights to all remakes and sequels. According to [Seth] Rogen, he has absolutely no interest in anything happening with the film. That’s unconfirmed, but you have to imagine pretty accurate. Especially if arguably the most powerful man in Hollywood [Spielberg] couldn’t get the rights.
It’s perhaps not the biggest surprise. Betuel is, by all accounts, incredibly protective of the movie; it’s the rare movie where everybody involves speaks fondly of it and views it as a career highlight, and it might simply be that Betuel doesn’t want to potentially sully those memories. Besides, it’s a bit refreshing that at least one thing from the ’80s isn’t on the remake list. Or the remakes to be rebooted list.