Most remakes are the descendants of classics, playing the nostalgia card and riding the success of their forefather all the way to the bank, like a trust-fund baby. I, however, would like to see more remakes of horrible mistakes–a chance for an artist to right a past wrong. Steven Spielberg’s backlog is filled to the brim with classics, but between Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark, he released the tragic misfire of 1941.
Despite exploding with comedic talent – the likes of John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and John Candy – and littered with colossal set-pieces, the film is without the connective tissue of human interest. It’s essentially a series of special effects loosely tied together with the bewildered faces of Saturday Night Live alumni. Every great artist will occasionally break a pencil, so, should Spielberg be given a second chance at the film, I’m confident he’d turn a mediocre movie into a great one.
The two saving graces of 1941 are the cast and the imaginative spectacle, so these aspects should certainly carry on into the remake. All that’s left is to attach a talented screenwriter who can write comedy as well as pathos, like the Coen Brothers or Lawrence Kasdan, both of whom Spielberg has worked with before.