The Kid remake

Charlie Chaplin‘s 1921 silent film classic The Kid is getting the remake treatment. That information alone is unexpected, but brace yourselves, because that’s just the beginning. The new film will be an animated science fiction movie called The Kid: An Animated Adventure, starring Jacob Tremblay (Room, The Predator, the upcoming Good Boys) as the young protagonist who discovers a robot named Chaplin who possesses a human soul.

I’m sorry…what?

The Kid Remake

Deadline broke the news about this bizarre-sounding remake, and the outlet has a rundown of the new movie’s plot:

[The Kid: An Animated Adventure] is set in a futuristic New York City which has been flooded and split vertically into two distinct regions. Tremblay’s eponymous character is a young boy living with his mother in Uptown, a boring, artless place of overprotective safety. When he runs away seeking adventure, he winds up in the mysterious and dangerous Downtown and encounters Chaplin, a robot with a human soul. Together, the two embark on adventures to discover the secret mystery behind Chaplin, while pursued by police, the Kid’s mother, and a colorful cast of modern circus performers.

So is the robot’s name Chaplin, or does he actually look like the actor Charlie Chaplin? Or is it both? I’m so confused.

In the 1921 original movie (which was Chaplin’s first full-length film as a director), a young baby is abandoned by his mother and discovered by The Tramp, one of Chaplin’s signature characters, who takes him in and raises him as his own. The mother has a change of heart, but it’s too late – five years pass before she meets her son again, although much has changed during that time. The mother is now famous, and the kid and The Tramp are pulling small cons to make ends meet. I don’t want to ruin what happens, but you can watch the entire movie below:

Here’s the thing: remaking a classic silent film seems like an odd decision, especially with the change in genre. But I’m not quite ready to write off this The Kid remake just yet, because the original movie has its fair share of tonal variations and stylistic flourishes – there’s a lengthy dream sequence near the end in which Chaplin and several other characters (including a dog!) fly around wearing angel wings. So who knows – maybe this will end up breathing new life into an old story. And be honest: how many of you have actually carved out time to watch the original movie, outside of a film class environment? If nothing else, maybe it’ll draw some attention back to Chaplin’s original work. Speaking of Chaplin, this movie “has been developed with the support of the Chaplin Estate.”

The Kid: An Animated Adventure was co-written by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who’s also on board as an executive producer. He wrote the script with author Boris Starling (Messiah) and Christian Volckman, the latter of whom is also directing this feature, which is the first animated effort from FilmNation. Here’s the trailer for Volckman’s 2006 film Renaissance, another animated sci-fi feature:

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