Vintage Era SciFi movies gave us Universal Studios wolf man, vampire, Frankenstein's monster, as well as irradiated monsters, creatures from other planets, blobs, and even an arctic vegetable man in "The Thing From Another Planet," but none of them struck our hearts quite like the 1954 Gillman from "Creature From the Black Lagoon." And, (gulp) Universal Studios plans to remake this beloved classic -
(LINK) Ricou Browning, a professional diver and swimmer, was required to hold his breath for up to 4 minutes at a time for his underwater role as the "Gill Man." The director's logic was that the air would have to travel through the monster's gills and thus not reveal air bubbles from his mouth or nose. Thus, the costume was designed without an air tank. In the subsequent films, this detail was ignored and air can be seen emanating from the top of the creature's head.
For those of us who find the original 1954 Gilllman to be one of the best movie monsters ever, it makes us anxious to think Universal Studios would try to remake this.
(LINK) There is one positive sign so far in that they hired Aquaman writer, Will Beall, to write this one. What I like about this concept is that he will likely have a scifi nerdist's adoration for the original film as we all do. Still, he will be writing it for what Universal Studios wants to cast and what special effects they juts have to sprinkle into it to make it an action film. One star being bantered about is Scarlett Johansson; a notable box office face. Big mistake.
In 2010, when doing "The Wolfman" remake, the studio had an abysmal turnout. The movie had a fair atmosphere but miserable reliance on CGI, a poor script/plot, and a lead character we didn't particularly care for.
So, what do they do when they decide to remake "The Mummy" (release this summer)? They ignore complaints of a lead character we don't particularly feel empathetic toward and choose an actor who can only play characters no one feels connected to - Tom Cruise.
Given that the studio is releasing Tom Cruise in "The Mummy" remake this summer, I am close to giving up hope! Other than the fact most of the public is sick of Cruise and a good deal of us think he's an utter tool, once again they went for a box office known.
We need new faces. We need to carve out new stars. No wants to see a classic redone by an acting hack that is way overseen in the industry in an extremely limited and robotic type of roles. When Tom Cruise steps into a character, we already know exactly what his range is. Do I need to remind y'all???
Universal Studios needs to completely clean house in the monster department and hire some older wiser folks instead of young pups wanting any excuse to use their CGI skills and are so shallow as to adore overused actors, like Tom Cruise in "The Mummy."
The PR for this series of remakes should have given homage to the old era ones that depended on atmosphere, mood, and actors with actual acting talent, ones who could transform in front of us.
The Studios should have given us a classic trailer to produce the creepy tingles that make us want to curl up with a blanket and watch instead of over the top characters and computerized trickery that in no way represents the mood and atmosphere of the original and is a huge plot change from it, as well.
An even better PR feature would have been to pull interviews with the actors from decades back who played the roles in the original movies. Vintage old-time reel of them in the 30s, 40s, and 50s with them talking about making the making of the movie could be shown before the new one is played on the screen in the theater; a nostalgic nod to the era of news reels shown before movies. It would have gotten both generations in to see it!
Universal Studios needs to get away from the bloated egos in Hollywood that the majority of the population are boycotting. These types opened their mouths one too many times until we really thoroughly disliked that they believed their opinion on politics and the world mattered. And, most of us are quite tired of the whole Hollywood ego train, the arrogant actors and the underfed actresses who have a shelf life of 40 years.
That being said, give us unknowns with no baggage and faces we haven't seen emote and roles we have never seen them engage in. We can watch them without assuming how they will react to any given situation. I think most of us can see a movie with Nicholas Cage and pretty much assume how he gets mad, how he gets concerned, how he gets defeated. But, a lesser known actor could give us no preconceived notions of what they might do or become.
The real quality about the original Gillman feature was we didn't assume a character because we recognized a face and an acting range of someone familiar. They grew on us as it moved along because we had no preconceived notions of their range. And, let's not forget Tom's range -
a little more puzzled....
I'm definitely NOT seeing "The Mummy" or anything with Cruise in it and it looks horrible just from the trailer alone (OMG - miserable!) -
Please, let's remember the magic of the original "The Creature From the Black Lagoon" and pay tribute to it properly. The Gillman is one of our most beloved characters ever.
Here's the schedule plan for releases and I don't see one on the list I want THEM to remake - (LINK)
"The Mummy" June 9, 2017
"The Invisible Man" April 13, 2018
(as of yet untitled, possible Bride of Frankenstein) February 15, 2019
"Dracula Untold 2"
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"