By Jason McClain (@JTorreyMcClain)
This week, Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted a picture of Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer starring as The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Glancing at Wikipedia, The Lone Ranger started as a radio program, then becoming movies, a TV show, comic books, Saturday morning cartoons and eventually back to a TV show, comic book and a movie. CJ Bunce reviewed the new comic back in February and it sounds pretty good. From our discussion of Alan Moore there is a lot of stuff by good writers that are re-imagining of heroes, new takes or just new stories. It feels weird to think and then write that maybe the remakes aren’t bad. (Credit to CJ for making me lean in that direction from our discussion.)
I have to assume that The Lone Ranger is an iconic American hero because I didn’t really grow up watching the show in syndication like CJ. Still, when you think of The Lone Ranger, you think of the TV show, as the serials have disappeared and no one really listens to old radio shows. If you haven’t seen the TV show or read the comic books, you might not have a warm, fuzzy feeling about the characters. But, if you have, then there will be a strong feeling of nostalgia gripping you as you hear stories about this movie’s approach to the multiplex. If there’s one thing that I think I know, it’s that nostalgia sells.
So, I started to think about the cartoons, movies and TV programs of my youth (thanks to Ruby and Spears and the anticipation of that WonderCon panel sending me down memory lane) and how many have been made into movies or remade or re-imagined. The list is quite extensive. Here are a few along with the length of time to the remake. I want to see if I can find an average of the length of time for the formula: profit = nostalgia times age.
Scooby Doo – started in 1969. Film in 2002. 33 years.
The Brady Bunch – 1969. Film in 1995. 26 years.
The Dukes of Hazzard – 1979. Film in 2005. 26 years.
The Smurfs (American cartoon) – 1981. Film in 2011. 30 years.
Psycho – 1960. Remake – 1998. 38 years.
Footloose – 1984. Remake – 2011. 27 years.
The Karate Kid – 1984. Remake – 2010. 26 years.
I’m going to go ahead and call solution – 26 years is the age for the formula. Let’s just say that given production times, the time to write a script and to get a cast, you need a couple of years of lead-time. I’m going to say I need to start looking at movies and TV shows from 23 years ago. So, if I was to predict the TV shows, cartoons and movies that will be remade, have a sequel made or made into movies in the next couple of years, here is your top ten of TV shows and movies that premiered in 1989:
10. Major Dad (It’s a drama – will he or won’t he go to Iran? It’s a comedy – will he or won’t he offend any natives?! Oops, it’s really both (and probably a bit offensive)!)
9. The Legend of Zelda (If they can make movies from Twilight shouldn’t this be a breeze? Zelda plays a lot harder to get than Bella.)
8. Doogie Howser M.D. (Starring Justin Bieber! Neil Patrick Harris can do a funny cameo!)
7. Coach (Make him the coach at Ohio State or… yeah, don’t go to the other big scandal school. Penn State won’t be funny for a long, long, long, long time. Kind of like Eddie Murphy.)
6. The California Raisin Show (Don’t make an Elton John joke. Don’t make an Elton John joke. Don’t make an Elton John joke.)
5. Saved By The Bell (If I had a dollar for every Saved By The Bell reference I’ve heard, well, I probably would have enough money to get me and several of my friends very hopped up on speed for a night.)
4. Road House (Remember when bouncers used to be cool? Now, it’s all “you can’t wear that to this club” or “you can’t come into this club” or “hahahahaha.” Dalton would never laugh at me (I say as I sob into my iced tea.))
3. Ghostbusters II/Lethal Weapon II (Dan Aykroyd and Mel Gibson will probably pull a Stallone and go back to the only well they have that’s still popular. Aykroyd is almost there already. Yes, I realize using sequels is cheating according to the Pismo Beach/Albuquerque Convention of 2007 governing Internet lists and right turns.)
2. Murder, She Wrote (Yes, I know I am cheating again since this premiered in 1986. Still, it was very popular in 1989. Plus, can you think of a better ironic look at the 80s as a Betty White vehicle than this? You can? A Maggie Smith vehicle? Ok, that works too. Heck, Angela Lansbury is still available. Too bad it wasn’t Murder, They Wrote.)
1. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Hooray, they’ve already got the script. I love this movie. I can’t wait to see this.
You see I’ve already fallen for the nostalgia. If any of these interest you, or you’ve thought of a few of your own, then you probably have as well.
[…] it into blog form. He discusses his views on anything from “Nostalgia sells- The Lone Ranger” (http://borg.com/2012/03/12/nostalgia-sells-the-lone-ranger/) to “Those songs that follow you around” […]