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Much to the chagrin of some fans, the films of John Carpenter are proving to be fertile ground for remakes and offshoots. Halloween, The Thing and Escape From New York are just a sampling. Along with the developing plans for Escape From New York, there may at some point be a new version of They Live, which originally cast ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper as a man who learns that aliens have infiltrated America’s ruling classes and are flooding commerce with subliminal messages.

At the New York Comic Con, The Thing producer Eric Newman talked about the possible remake, offering up the name of the current writer and noting that the special sunglasses that were key to the original film might be phased out of the remake. Read More »

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They Live Remake

Strike Entertainment is in talks to acquire rights to remake John Carpenter‘s 1988 cult film They Live.

Based on Ray Nelson’s 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning”, They Live was part sci-fi thriller and part black comedy. Pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper played a down-on-his-luck construction worker who discovered a pair of special sunglasses which allowed him to see the world as it really is. He finds that all printed matter contains subliminal advertising and that many humans are actually aliens who in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued. One of the film’s highlights is a five-and-half minute alley fight scene. The movie is also notable for coining Piper’s famous tagline “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

I’m sure the change in economic times could be incorporated in the social satire of the story, and while a They Live remake is inevitable, I’m not sure that it wouldn’t be better served in five or ten years. I’m not one of those delusional people that say you shouldn’t remake a classic, because its going to happen one way or another — that’s a fact. But I do believe that Hollywood should only consider a remake when the original film becomes largely unrelatable to the general public. And you can call me an old, but I think They Live still plays. Then again, I haven’t seen the film in a few years.

That said, Strike’s credits include Children of Men and Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead – so they’re a good company to develop such a project. No screenwriter has been announced. Watch the original movie trailer below:

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/theylive.flv 400 300]

Discuss: Who should play Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character in a They Live remake? Who should direct?

source: THR

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“No way!”

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With one of the choicest “stranded on an island with entertainment center” filmographies, genre or otherwise, director John Carpenter is without a doubt a fave here at Slashfilm. Next month, the man himself will be on hand for two out of four nights to wax awesome on his various ’80s era classics at a film festival presented by non-profit American Cinematheque (nice effort!) and Santa Monica’s Aero Theater. Unfortunately, They Live (probably my fave of his) is not being shown, but one really can’t moan the slightest about such a rare opportunity. Here’s the schedule…

Friday, June 13th, 7:30 p.m.
The Thing
and The Fog
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Saturday, June 14th, 7:30 p.m.
Escape From New York and Escape From L.A.
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Sunday, June 15th, 7:30 p.m.
Halloween and Christine (no speaker, but how sick is this double feature!?)

Wednesday, June 18th, 7:30 pm.
Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13
AOP13‘s Austin Stoker will discuss between films

Hopefully, everyone reading this site has seen these films. If not, make like Chainsaw and Dave this summer and join the club. If you’ll be attending one or more of these screenings with Carpenter shoot us an email after with a report. For more info, go here.

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