About three years ago, Universal decided it would attempt to remake "Videodrome." The studio commissioned Ehren Kruger to write a script, but the project eventually just fizzled out and disappeared. Yesterday, however, Universal resurrected the project with the news that it's attached Adam Berg to direct that same script.
Berg is a highly decorated commercial director who recently won the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and has been responsible for several other ads. Kruger's credits include "Arlington Road," "The Ring," "Reindeer Games," and the two "Transformers" sequels, and reports about his script three years ago indicated that he would attempt to turn "Videodrome" into a sci-fi action thriller in an attempt to "modernize" the concept by tapping into the use of nano-technology.
Of course, about the only thing that's really dated about David Cronenberg's original film is that it hinged on analog video mediums. Other than that, the film remains strikingly prescient about our media intake and our passive relationship with it. The film is heady and psychology disturbing as it charts a TV president's (James Woods) journey into a dark underworld of conspiracy and snuff films.
One can almost see how that might lend itself to being transformed into some high-concept thriller, but its effectiveness really hinges on how it burrows into your mind and leaves you with indelible, horrifying images. "Videodrome" isn't as thrilling so much as it's creepy and smart, so it'll be interesting to see if Kruger and Berg can find a balance between all of these approaches.
Given Berg's commercial background and the film's capacity for intriguing visuals, it might be in good hands visually, and hopefully the film won't shy away from the strange bodily mutilations that defined Cronenberg's film.
Oddly, it almost sounds as if they're attempting to turn "Videodrome" into "Total Recall," a film whose remake is currently fizzling out at the box office. Furthermore, Universal hasn't had much luck with remaking horror properties lately, as both "The Wolf Man" and "The Thing" under-performed at the box office, and both of those films have a higher brand recognition than "Videodrome." Maybe the third time will be a charm.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Ehren Kruger
- David Cronenberg