Posted on Monday, October 18th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
If there’s a film that simply can’t be remade, it could be The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The 1975 musical starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon is the poster child for ‘unlikely iconic cult film.’
A piece of cinema adapting the British musical play of the same name, Rocky Horror bombed upon initial release, but developed a midnight following and became the film that best represents the notion of audience participation with film. It might be the longest-running film ever, as there are cinemas that have shown it at midnight on Saturday nights without fail for many years. There’s nothing quite like it, and creating a Rocky Horror from scratch would be next to impossible. A film can only develop this sort of reputation organically.
So, naturally, a studio wants to remake it. Glee creator Ryan Murphy just finished shooting a Rocky Horror-themed episode of his show, and now he’s rumored as director for the remake.
Deadline says that Fox 2000 is courting Mr. Murphy to helm the remake. The producer/director hasn’t signed yet, and he’s got not only Glee to deal with, but the film The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo. And he’s got a deal with Sony to work again with his Eat Pray Love star Julia Roberts.
More than anything else, however, I’d hope that Mr. Murphy likes Rocky Horror enough to realize that remaking it is a fool’s errand. At best it might be an inspired riff on the original film, and one would think he’s already tried to do that with the upcoing episode of Glee. Assuming that’s any good, mission accomplished.
I say this not even as a fan of Rocky Horror — I’ve seen properly projected a time or two and appreciate it for what it is, but can’t imagine I’ll ever go see it again — but as someone who thinks that shamelessly trying to co-opt the cultish popularity of a film like Rocky Horror is just an asinine idea.