Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing the return of some awesome classic film franchises by way of reboots and remakes. They can come in the form of long-awaited sequels that ignore the most questionable instalments, like “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”, or as prequels, like “Bumblebee” that sneakily tidy up the canon and clean the slate to make way for a new direction.
Then, of course, we’ve got Disney coming in with the live-action remakes of our childhood animated favourites from the golden age. Some of them are great and others not so much. Well, come 2023, get ready for a fresh batch of reboots and remakes of some of cinema’s most iconic films. So join us as we run down upcoming films that will have you pining for the good ole days!
1. The Little Mermaid
Revealed at 2022’s D23 Convention, we got our first look at Disney’s live-action remake of 1989’s “The Little Mermaid” with Halle Bailey serenading us with her own beautiful rendition of “Part of Your Word” as she sings below the sea surface as Ariel. Starring alongside Bailey is Jonah Hauer King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle. It’s a star-studded cast for this aquatic fantasia!
Needless to say, the teaser was met with great contention from the online community with some absolutely adoring Ariel being played by a woman of colour and others not so much. We’re excited to see how Director Rob Marshall’s remake will innovate on the original while still staying faithful to the beloved animated musical. Also, the original composer and songwriter for the 1989 version, Alan Menken is returning to give voice to the film with some fresh new songs as well. So at the very least, you know there’ll be some bangers here!
It seems that 2023 won’t simply see Timothee Chalamet play the role of the messiah-to-be in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two”. The rising star will also be taking up the role of the whimsical Willy Wonka in a reimagining of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. The first adaptation of Dahl’s popular children’s book came in 1971 with comedian Gene Wilder playing the role of the quirky and mysterious Willy Wonka. Then in 2005, the role was passed on to actor Johnny Depp in a remake of the film. In 2023, it’ll be Chalamet’s turn to roll up the factory with his bright purple jacket and tall top hat in “Wonka”.
“Wonka” diverges from Dahl’s original story by having the plot focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures before he builds his famous chocolate factory. Joining Chalamet in Wonka is comedian Keegan-Michael Key from “Key and Peele”, Rowan Atkinson of “Mr Bean” fame and Sally Hawkins from “The Shape of Water” along with a host of other delightful British thespians. Paul King, the man responsible for “Paddington 2”, will be directing the film so expect a sweet, fun time! Oh, and did we mention Hugh Grant will be playing an Oompa Loompa in the film? That alone is worth the price of admission.
3. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Indie’s back baby and he’s fighting them dirty Nazis again! After the lukewarm reception to 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”, we thought we’d seen the end of Harrison Ford as Indie. They had planned to have passed the baton over to Shia LaBeouf, who played Indie’s son, Mutt Williams, as the next lead adventurer in the franchise but eventually decided against it. The film was set in 1957. Now after 15 years, Ford makes his triumphant return as the explorer with no son in sight. The film is set in 1969 with Indie looking to foil a deadly plot involving by a former Nazi working with the U.S. government to beat the Soviet Union in the Space Race.
Grindelwald actor Mads Mikkelsen will be playing said former Nazi, Jürgen Voller and will serve as the main antagonist of the film. Some new faces also include Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indie’s god-daughter Helena and Boyd Holbrook from “Narcos” appearing in the film as Voller’s right-hand man, Klaber. One familiar face set to return to the film is the legendary John Rhys-Davies, reprising his role as Sallah. If you’re looking for a whip-cracking, globe-trotting thrill ride, then you’ll want to mark “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on your calendar.
4. Evil Dead Rise
The “Evil Dead” franchise has always held a special place in the hearts of gore fiends and cheesy 80s horror fans. The 2010s saw a revival of the franchise with 2013’s creepy “Evil Dead” remake and the hilarious and spooky “Ash vs Evil Dead” series on Netflix with Bruce Campbell returning as the Deadite slaying jefe Ash Williams! Then like the cursed Book of the Dead, also known as the Necronomicon, the franchise went dormant and silent for five long years, waiting to be unleashed onto a whole new generation.
The wait is over gang because we’re getting yet another instalment to the franchises with “Evil Dead Rise”. A film that ignores the continuity of the 2013 reboot for its original spin. The plot revolves around two sisters, Beth and Ellie discovering the dreaded Necronomicon below Ellie’s cramped apartment which leads to an assault from demonic forces. Ellie is played Alyssa Sutherland and Beth is played by Lily Sullivan. The film is directed and written by Lee Cronin. With fresh talent and faces on-screen, can “Evil Dead Rise” do right by Sam Raimi’s horror legacy? We’ll just have to wait and see.
5. The Exorcist Reboot
What’s the scariest horror film you’ve ever seen? For many, it’s gotta be the original 1973 “The Exorcist”. A cinematic masterpiece that won an Oscar, sparked protests from religious communities and was even censored in a number of countries. Next to perhaps John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, we consider “The Exorcist” to be the greatest horror film of all time. Yeah, we said it. Everything from the atmosphere, to the practical effects to Linda Blair’s bone-chilling performance as the Pazuzu-possessed Regan, all of it is so perfectly crafted. By the end of it, you’re left not only thrilled but emotionally exhausted and psychologically, if not spiritually shaken. It is brilliant.
40 years later, we’re getting a reboot and direct sequel to William Friedkin’s horror magnum opus, one that ignores those awful sequels after the original. This film is meant to be the first instalment in a new trilogy within the franchise. This reboot of “The Exorcist” will be directed by David Gordon Green who just recently concluded the rebooted “Halloween” film series with “Halloween Ends”. Green has a titanic task ahead of him and we pray that he honours the unholy spirit of the original.