‘They Live’ Again As John Carpenter Remake Moves Forward

To paraphrase They Live’s main character, Nada, Hollywood has come to have original ideas and make movies… and they’re all out of original ideas.
By  · Published on December 4th, 2008

To paraphrase They Live‘s main character, Nada, Hollywood has come to have original ideas and make movies… and they’re all out of original ideas.  Which is why the remake of They Live is currently gathering momentum at Universal.  THR is reporting that the studio alongside Strike Entertainment is in the process of acquiring the rights with plans for John Carpenter to stay on as executive producer only.

I realize it’s a cliche at this point, but a remake of They Live is a stupid idea.  For one thing, the movie was not a commercially popular film, although over time it has come to recognized as a cult classic with quote-worthy lines and whole scenes recreated on South Park.  More importantly, the movie was relevant to the time, to the Ronald Reagan era of the societal elite and the parasitical upper class, to the untrustworthy politicians and crass commercialism shoved down consumers throats day and night.  Today’s America no longer has those problems.

I kid, but even if a remake of They Live can recreate the theme of social awareness and paranoia, it will most likely fail at capturing the charm of the original.  Would they keep the five and a half minute alley fight?  Probably not.  Who could possibly fill Roddy Piper’s shoes (or kilt?)  And don’t say Dwayne Johnson.

And finally, as sad as this news is, it’s the final line of THR’s report that depresses the most.  “Strike is also working on a remake of Carpenter’s The Thing.”  Yeah, we already knew it was coming, but did they have to remind us?

What do you think of a They Live remake?  Who should play Nada?

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.