This past weekend, there was The A-Team and The Karate Kid. They were released in a summer that followed one with G.I. Joe and Transformers. Filmmakers are already hard at work on a movie about the Smurfs—check out Hank Azaria’s freaky Gargamel makeup—and there have been threats, I mean rumors, for years that there also will be a big-screen adaptation of The Thundercats.
There’s no escaping the ’80s. As much as you might prefer the ’90s—the decade that brought us good movie adaptation fodder, like Beavis and Butthead—studios are stuck mining the era of slap bracelets and Swatch watches.
Well, if movie adaptations based on cultural touchstones from the ’80s have to happen, they might as well remake the ones I liked, right? Listen up, studio execs. Get to work making movies about these awesome-to-the-max properties.
She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985 – 1987)
Please, ladies. Let’s show these guys how an action movie is really done. (Hint: The power is all in the hair. The hair has to be fabulous. He-Man may have had bigger muscles and a skimpier outfit, but his Prince Valiant bob undermined his authority.) Someone really needs to make a She-Ra movie. I don’t want to have to try and figure out how to acquire the rights and do it myself. I’d be a horrible producer. (Although, can we get Zoe Saldana to be She-Ra? She’s tough and has fantastic hair. Get her people on the phone for me. While we’re at it, let’s get Kathryn Bigelow to direct.)
The Golden Girls (1985 – 1992)
It may be grisly, but I feel like Golden Girls nostalgia is at an all-time high right now. And, it’s strange, but, after her red-hot-in-the-ratings SNL episode, Betty White is box office. Time to strike, before White’s legion of Facebook fans moves on to, I don’t know, demanding that the eTrade baby deliver the next Princeton commencement speech or something. I picture a Golden Girls movie to be like Sex and the City 2 for the blue-haired set—a slight change of venue (perhaps the girls have to attend an out-of-town wedding or a will-reading or something), mild drama, and plenty of bawdy talk and girl bonding. And maybe White can come on and do a cameo playing her character’s mother or something. People can’t get enough of that kind of thing, right?
ALF (1986 – 1990)
It’s a fact: people love puppets. Jason Segal is working on a new Muppet movie. There’s a sequel to The Dark Crystal in the works. There are even plans to make a Fraggle Rock adaptation. Not making a new Alf movie is clearly leaving money on the table. I’d like to see a movie about Alf trying to revive his showbiz career and re-invent his schticky humor for today’s audiences—sort of like Comedian, but with more cat-eating. And, hey, if all goes well, maybe he could be the next American Idol judge.
Duck Tales (1987-1990)
Duck Tales had everything. Adventure. Industry. Ducks that wore coats and spats without pants. As much as I love Huey, Dewey, and Louie, I think an amazing movie can be made about the rise of Scrooge McDuck, based on Don Rosa’s amazing comic The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. It’s an old-timey tale about an industrial titan, but it’s a lot cuddlier than There Will Be Blood. (I’d say that they could also make a movie about a post-recession Scrooge, but everyone knows he didn’t invest in the stock market! He kept his finances in cash in his recession-proof money bin.) If it makes an amazing amount of money, they could follow it with a darker, more realistic take on Darkwing Duck, a la The Dark Knight.
What do you guys think? Leave me your pitches for ’80s movie adaptations in the comments.