Cujo Remake Takes A Discouraging Turn For The Bizarre


The list of remakes that utterly miss the point of the original runs long, from Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes to Francis Lawrence’s I Am Legend. These films may just about hold together as cinematic creations in their own rights, but they completely fail to capture whatever quality made the original seem remake-worthy to begin with. And now, fans may have reason to be concerned about similar wrongheadedness with regard to the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s Cujo. Plot details have emerged for the redo, and they’re frankly pretty ridiculous.

The new take has been retitled C.U.J.O. I know what you’re thinking and, yes, that is an acronym. It apparently stands for “Canine Unit Joint Operations,” suggesting that we’re either getting a military origin story for the titular hound or that Cujo has been reimagined as some robot creation run amok. Either way, this kinda sucks.

In the original King novel, Cujo was a big, bounding St. Bernard transformed by a rabies virus into a savage monster, who menaced a terrified mother and her son. The evil in the novel was of a primal, ancient nature, something deeply embedded both in nature and in fear itself. Altering Cujo to be some kind of unnatural creation, a product of scientists messing with the natural order or attempting to militarize entire species, defeats the purpose.

Lang Elliot is the mind behind this new take – he’s finished the screenplay and is gearing up for production, with DJ Perry starring. Sunn Classic Pictures, the company behind the 1983 original directed by Lewis Teague, is distributing, with Elliot producing as well as directing.

We’re not exactly holding our breath for C.U.J.O. to be any good, but it’s a shame to see yet another King adaptation come to the big screen in such a distorted manner. This isn’t the story that the author wrote, so why should this movie get to use his name to sell tickets?