Whatever happened to the Christmas movie? Here are six that need a remake
It's December 2016 - the likes of Home Alone and It’s A Wonderful Life could do with a bit of updating
Kevin McCallister in 1990 with an object known as a magazine
In revamped Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton will cast Johnny Depp as Jack Skellington and Helena Bonham Carter as Sally
The Christmas movie has entered something of a fallow period, with few new entries being entered into the canon of festive favourites in recent years. In a world where movie studios spend $500 million every 18 months to show us how Spider-Man really learned to use his powers, we reckon there’s an opportunity for a few revamped and rehashed Christmas reboots. Here are our suggestions. And no one gets to touch Die Hard because it’s perfect.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Though well-liked at the time, Henry Selick’s gothic comedy could do with a direct reboot by Tim Burton – the mopey, black-clad director who produced the original. In this live action rejig of the stop-motion classic, Burton will feature a whole new cast for Jack Skellington (Johnny Depp), Sally (Helena Bonham Carter), bogeyman Oogie Boogie (Depp), and Halloween Town’s irascible, two-headed Mayor (Carter and Depp). Test audiences were particularly delighted with Depp’s daring combination of artificial teeth and white make-up, and his uncanny ability to theatrically fan his fingers while leering creepily through the gaps.
Kevin McCallister is left home alone by his mother and endures a nerve-shredding seven minutes before she answers her phone and turns the car around. Their house is later robbed and flooded. Hotly tipped to win best short at the 2018 Oscars.
Miracle on 34th Street
Popular department-store Santa Kriss Kringle (Jeff Bridges) becomes embroiled in a legal case concerning the existence, or otherwise, of the fantastical, arctic-present distributor. Things heat up when feisty public intellectual Richard Dawkins (Richard Dawkins) enters the court to deliver a six-day deposition on the unfeasibility of such an improbable character. Despite being generally sound in theory, Dawkins’s arguments are dismissed as he fails to articulate them without being really, really annoying.
It’s A Wonderful Life
Web entrepreneur George Bailey (Paul Giamatti) contemplates suicide after an unwise Kickstarter campaign he launched risks losing the cash of all its backers. But when an angel (Steve Carell) shows him just how important his killer product would have been to the wider public, he comes to realise he’s better off alive.
Make sure to grab some tissues for the film’s tear-jerking finale though, as a newly life-affirmed Bailey finds his backers have all re-pitched the necessary $400 million to fund the life-changing Doggr – an app that knits Snapchat memes on to tiny hats for photogenically grumpy dogs.
Several intermingling stories of wealthy – yet relatable – Londoners come together in a series of heartwarming vignettes on love, laughter and loss in modern Britain. Chief among the changes to this retelling are the travails of a newly sworn-in prime minister (Judi Dench) whose efforts to beguile her cheery, working class secretary (Benedict Cumberbatch) succeed – despite her bumbling missteps, and regrettable penchant for incredibly expensive trousers.
Elsewhere, a man (Eddie Redmayne) declares his love for his best friend’s new wife (Emily Blunt) via a series of terrifyingly cloying title cards, accompanied by a boombox at her doorstep. The film ends with him being quite rightly arrested for harassment and subject to a restraining order as she is consoled by her understandably furious partner. Come for the lovely soft-focus shots of middle class London, stay for the jokes about older people finding it hard to use Tinder.
Bad Santa 2
The charming Billy Bob Thornton vehicle returns to screens with all of the wit and charm removed in place of a leaden slurry of gross-out gags, leavened only by forced sentiment and performances so phoned-in it’s hard to engage enough to even become actively offended. A promising prospect at the development stage, this project is eventually scrapped on the grounds that surely no one would fall for such a crass and reductive cash grab, before going into production in time for the Christmas market.