Next week they’ll be remaking the US version of “The Office”

Diane,

This morning my ritual cup of deep black coffee was ruined by this news, which – despite the site to which is was posted – is not so cool.  Not so cool at all.  You see, McG is remaking “Spaced.”

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

What’s that?  You have no fucking idea what I’m talking about?  Let me clarify a few terms:

1. McG: the douchebag director who gave us “Charlie’s Angels: The Worthless Movie Version” and also presents himself professionally as “McG”

2. “Spaced”: the great cult TV series (well, cult in the US – pretty popular in the UK) that launched the careers of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, who went on to make “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”

“Spaced” has never been released on region 1/NTSC DVD, which (translated into English) means that most people in the US have never watched it.  You have to know somebody or own a fancy-pants region-free, PAL-to-NTSC* converting DVD player to have seen “Spaced.”  If you know me and my fancy-pants DVD player, though, you’ve probably seen an episode or two.  I watched and really liked the whole run.  It’s not quite “Shaun of the Dead,” but it’s pretty great.

Anyhoo – not only is McD-Bag remaking “Spaced” (a show whose very essence he will surely be unable to replicate in any way, shape, or form), but he also is not consulting the original creators in any way (unlike with the remake of “The Office”) and will not be paying them anything (since they maintain no ownership of the show).  In effect their wax likenesses will be wheeled out to help sell the show, and they will receive nothing in return – not even a congratulatory pat on the back.  Pertinent comments from Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson are here and here.  Nice, innit?  We’re remaking your show, you get no say in it, you get no money, and fuck you very much. 

I urge you to not watch a minute of this thing.

In other remake news – honestly it’s getting hard to keep up with this shit – they are also remaking “Robocop.”  Expect this version to star Vince Chase and be rated PG-13 to bring in the summer kiddie crowd.  Seriously now – “Robocop”?  I don’t know if you’ve seen that movie at all recently, Diane, but it’s actually all kinds of fucked up.  Extremely violent, extremely cynical and satirical.  It’s what all of Paul Verhoeven’s other movies were trying to be (except “Showgirls,” which was trying to be “The Devil In Miss Jones” but came up short in both penetration shots and quality of acting).  “Starship Troopers” wishes it was as dark and mean-spirited as “Robocop.” 

So you can fully expect the new “Robocop” to look a lot more like, say, “Iron Man.”  (Which looks AWESOME, by the way.  Non-ironic use of caps lock there.  Favreau + Downey Jr. + Black Sabbath = WIN.)

And speaking of comic book movies, you heard that they’re also remaking “The Hulk,” right?  The movie that just came out some time yesterday afternoon, if memory serves..?  That’s correct, we are now recycling properties in about the same time it takes them to show up on pay-per-view.  And here’s the trailer for it.  And yes, it looks like ass and The Hulk still looks like shoddy CGI.  My eyes!  The goggles do nothing!  …Actually, I’m being a bit unfair.  It looks like it could be decent, up until the CGI Hulk and CGI Abomination show up and jump at each other with dramatic music blaring.  And then it looks utterly ridiculous, on the same level as if the Hulk dogs from the first movie did a little dance wearing tutus and porkpie hats.  It’s a shame they apparently wasted excellent casting and seemingly high production values by adding these low-rent, Van Helsing-esque effects.  Right now I’d say the chances of this being good are roughly equal to the chances of them getting WETA or some other competent FX shop to redo every ounce of CGI in the movie, which means there is no chance at all.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in my underground bunker watching “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and remembering when mainstream Hollywood blockbusters had some spark of originality and weren’t the cinematic equivalent of this.

* I’m not going to explain PAL and NTSC and region coding.  I just felt like adding a footnote that you’d scroll down and look at.

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2 Responses to Next week they’ll be remaking the US version of “The Office”

  1. beetqueen says:

    Vince Chase is the name of the character Adrian Grenier plays on Entourage. Are they really making the movie or is it one of their fake they use for the show (like Aquaman, Into the Clouds–which was basically Into the Wild–or the Pablo Escabar one)? I’m just checking. Both possibilities are bad, but one I might find funny.

  2. The “Robocop” remake is real, the Vince Chase thing was just a joke. Y’know, instead of crusty old pipe cleaner Peter Weller they put in a fresh young boyish face to bring in the teens… you see what I’m getting at. It seemed funnier at the time than Tobey McGuire.

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