With the many prospective reboots and remakes in the pipeline right now, it comes as no surprise that discussions continue to crop up about loyalty to and respect for the originals. Last week, ABC and Universal TV announced plans for creating a TV version of John Hughes’ 1989 film Uncle Buck, which starred John Candy as the titular family member who arrives to take care of his brother’s kids and turns their lives upside down. With the announcement of the TV series comes the inevitable critical response – how can you remake a classic? – and, perhaps a bit more surprising, an appeal from the families of both Hughes and Candy against the very idea of an Uncle Buck TV series.
In a statement to Deadline, the families expressed their extreme displeasure at being “blindsided” by the announcement of the series; apparently no one even told them before details were released to the media.
Here is their full statement:
Disappointment has been expressed by both the John Hughes and John Candy families over the conduct and decision by the ABC Network and Universal Television to develop a comedy series based on the feature film Uncle Buck. Rather than either entity providing advance information to the Estates, the families learned of the project’s potential via the media.
The families feel a strong attachment to the original film which symbolized the great and unique collaboration between Hughes and Candy. Recalling that the director was displeased with first Uncle Buck TV show effort which failed on CBS in 1990, it is well expected that he would not be supportive of this current attempt.
The statement also reminds us of how terribly the first attempt at an Uncle Buck series turned out, and how Hughes was really not a fan. That seems like grounds enough to think that he’d be less than pleased about this version.
The displeasure of Hughes’ and Candy’s families at the series does not mean that ABC will think twice. They have no say in what does or does not get remade, but they certainly have the right to make their views public. This kind of outcry has affected remakes before: Angela Lansbury objected to a new version of Murder, She Wrote that would have starred Octavia Spencer, and Cameron Crowe made a big stink about Fox producing a follow-up series to Say Anything. While neither of those directly forced the studios to think twice, their outcries certainly attached a stigma to the projects.
We shall have to see what happens with the Uncle Buck series. As always, we’ll let you know any further information when we hear about it.