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View Full Version : Fritz Lang's Masterpiece "Metropolis" to be Remade



Tuckerfan
2007-Dec-19, 11:24 AM
[Obi Wan Kenobi] I've got a bad feeling about this. [/OBK] (http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117977386.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&p=0)
Producer Thomas Schuehly ("Alexander") has acquired the remake rights to Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and is partnering with Mario Kassar on an updated version of the 1927 silent sci-fi classic.

The Munich-based Schuehly and Kassar are currently in negotiations with a number of top directors to helm the pic, with a final decision expected in the next few months.

Schuehly obtained the rights to the film from Vienna-based publishing group Sessler Verlag.

One of the most groundbreaking films in cinematic history, the influence of "Metropolis" is evident in classic works that have spanned the 20th century, from James Whale's "Frankenstein," "Dr. Strangelove" and "2001" to "Blade Runner," "Gattaca" and "The Matrix."I really don't know about this. I'd like to see a new version of the film, I just don't know if there's anyone out there who could do the film right. One of the things that makes the film so stunning are the special effects (most of them still hold up today), and very few directors out there (and no Peter Jackson is not one of them, IMHO) understand how to use CGI effectively.

Paul Beardsley
2007-Dec-19, 01:30 PM
Granted, I've got a bee in my bonnet about remakes, but the question I would always like to ask is, "Why are you remaking X?"

I will be happy if the answer is something along the lines of, "I don't feel the earlier version(s) of X was true to the source material," [e.g. The Thing] or "The earlier X was flawed or compromised in ways that were obvious even at the time, whereas now we have the technology to do a much better realisation," [e.g. Lord of the Rings] or, "The original was great, but the story is so rich with potential that a complete retelling would be welcome," [e.g. Dawn of the Dead].

I will be unhappy if the reply is, "The original is perfect, and any remake will inevitably be regarded as a travesty, but we're going to do it anyway," [e.g. Casablanca, The Wicker Man], or "The original was rubbish, and we'll aim to lower the bar still further," [e.g. Lost in Space], or "We simply lack the imagination to do anything new," [e.g. most films].

Metropolis is clearly a product of its time. By all means produce something visionary and futuristic, but why not strive to emulate the creative process that produced Metropolis rather than copy the film itself?

Romanus
2007-Dec-19, 02:11 PM
Well, you know what they say about imitation and flattery...

<<Metropolis is clearly a product of its time. By all means produce something visionary and futuristic, but why not strive to emulate the creative process that produced Metropolis rather than copy the film itself?>>

The post of the season!

Paul Beardsley
2007-Dec-19, 02:33 PM
Thank you, Romanus!

Augustus Vox
2007-Dec-19, 02:53 PM
I also agree with Tuckerfan in his voice of concern, as so often the Hollywood media machine will grab hold of something and wring it for all it’s worth. Indeed imitation can be the sincerest form of flattery but that can also be a cop out for someone of lesser talent and large ego. Although after looking up the production accomplishments of Thomas Schuhly (several of which I’ve seen and enjoyed I might add) I’d say he might be able to pull it off and leave the story intact.

I’m just wondering if he’s going to be keeping true to the art deco aspects of the movie.

parallaxicality
2007-Dec-19, 05:38 PM
I only saw Metropolis in its most complete form a few months ago. It was a magnificent yet flawed and preachy film, and even with over half an hour missing, was too long. I wasn't sure about its message about ending class warfare through religion. I have absolutely no idea how its 1920s vision of the working man could be translated in this age when most working stiffs sit behind computer screens. Plus the whole good girl/bad girl thing would seem a bit silly in our cynical age when nobody's perfect.

Jason
2007-Dec-19, 06:52 PM
I agree - the story is basically dated. I can't see anyone wanting to re-do Metropolis except to cash in on the name recognition of the original.

Disinfo Agent
2007-Dec-19, 07:11 PM
You know what, who cares? Let them remake it. I ain't watchin' it. I know why they remake films: the notoriety of the old title always draws in some suckers to the theatres.

I've never watched Metropolis, but I'm sure it's better than any modern Hollywood remake could ever be.

jamestox
2007-Dec-19, 07:29 PM
The easy answer is, "To make a buck."

The complete answer is, "To make a buck on an out-of-date, out-of-context work because we're out of original ideas. Oh, and come see it because it's socially relevant to today's civilization regardless of its context since the story is absolutely timeless (i.e., we need you to help us pay for it)."

Lianachan
2007-Dec-19, 07:48 PM
I wonder who it will star - Will Smith or Tom Hanks. Yet another pointless remake.

mike alexander
2007-Dec-19, 08:13 PM
They're going to do it as a musical.
Can't wait for the big number "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"

http://img223.imageshack.us/img223/3999/marialargeah6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Jim
2007-Dec-19, 08:19 PM
My understanding is that the remake was prompted by the writers' strike. The studio figgered they could just take the existing script of a proven work and reshoot it without having to worry about writers.

Of course, there is a slight flaw to their logic...

KaiYeves
2007-Dec-19, 08:30 PM
Who was it that said:
"Don't remake good movies- remake bad ones!"

Disinfo Agent
2007-Dec-19, 09:21 PM
I'm sure they'll turn Maria the robot into a Terminator-like, bike-riding, indestructible killer cyborg that roars like a lion (while showing a great deal of cleavage).

But a fearless marine armed to his teeth comes along, shoots the robot down (three times), frees the girl and marries her.

Anyone wanna hire me while the writers are on strike? ;)

(P.S. I've only just noticed how much C3PO looks like Maria.)

Jason
2007-Dec-19, 11:38 PM
That's robot Maria before she is transformed into a look-alike. C-3PO doesn't look much like the real Maria.

"Don't remake good movies - remake bad ones". So say we all.
There was no bigger waste of celluloid than the remake of Psycho.

There is already an anime "remake" called Metropolis, but it's not much like the original.

KaiYeves
2007-Dec-20, 01:04 AM
(P.S. I've only just noticed how much C3PO looks like Maria.)
That was intentional, something Lucas told the painter of the concept paintings to do.

Maksutov
2007-Dec-20, 03:33 AM
They're going to do it as a musical....Metropolis: The Tribal Rock Video Musical

1. Overture, Underture, and Rotwang.

Act I

2. Abraham, Martin, and Joh.
3. If I Were a Freder Rich Man.
4. The Bonnie Banks of Moloch Lomon'.
5. How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
6. It's a Grot Day of Spying for Shills.
7. Bend Me, Shape Me, I Am Still Your Robot.

Act II

8. Sheik Yerbotty.
9. That Ol' Metro River.
10. Bot Scratch Fever
11. Se Ya Later, Mediator!

Augustus Vox
2007-Dec-20, 04:15 AM
You know, the question I have is how they’re going to address the issue of transferring Maria’s ‘soul’ into the robot. That’s what the ‘mad scientist’ did in the original pict. I mean the entire issue of soul transference seems to have a tremendous religious or spiritual connotation. Like a latter day techno version of The Exorcist.

Now if they decide to do this as a musical we’d have all the makings of a classic Bollywood production. Action, adventure, romance, abduction, spiritual crisis and a little choreography done to some snappy dance tune… Yep, definitely Bollywood.

Rift
2007-Dec-20, 05:05 AM
Oddly enough, I just watched the Japanese anime "Metropolis" yesterday, and while it admits it was only inspired by Fritz Lang's movie, I bet it's a lot more faithful to the original then this remake. It is a great version, actually.

Parallaxicallity- I'm afraid i have to disagree with the original being to long... The fact that 30 minutes is missing is one of the great tragedies of movie history. The hack job basically changed the whole story to 'Frankenstein' and the 30 minutes missing change the whole movie.

Tuckerfan- As for Peter Jackson NOT being able to direct cgi, i also have to disagree. He's one of the few that uses cgi as just part of the scenery or another actor and unlike Speilberg or Lucas doesn't go "oooo, lookie what I can do". If Fritz Lang could do it without cgi (although he is probably the best director in history) I can't see how Jackson would have problems with cgi.

MG1962A
2007-Dec-21, 09:06 AM
Yeah I have grave doubts - The charm of Metropolis is it is a film of its time - To be relevant for todays audience, it will need so much updating as to be totally irrelivant to its pedigree.

As someone said - Let Metropolis be an inspiration and grandious stepping stone for new challenging ideas in Science Fiction - Dont simply rebuild a 90 year old film.

Anyone out there think Brigette Helm was a total babe

http://silentladies.com/Helm/Helm26.jpg

Maksutov
2007-Dec-21, 09:39 AM
[edit]Anyone out there think Brigette Helm was a total babe...I always have (http://www.bautforum.com/small-media-large/17364-hottest-female-sci-fi-movie-2.html#post385397).

80 year old film BTW.

Tuckerfan
2007-Dec-21, 10:16 AM
I can't see how Jackson would have problems with cgi.I can. The film would 16 hours long with every danged square inch crammed with CGI, even when it would be cheaper to use physical props. Jackson should have quit filmmaking after Dangerous Creatures, IMHO.

parallaxicality
2007-Dec-22, 02:41 AM
You mean "Heavenly Creatures"?

And LOTR used plenty of physical props. Thousands, in fact. Often in two sizes. And scale miniatures big enough for people to walk through. In fact I'm not sure why you said that.

Tuckerfan
2007-Dec-22, 02:46 AM
You mean "Heavenly Creatures"? Yeah.


And LOTR used plenty of physical props. Thousands, in fact. Often in two sizes. And scale miniatures big enough for people to walk through. In fact I'm not sure why you said that.

And King Kong was almost completely CGI. Even the cars on the streets were CGI, heck, they didn't even bother to vary the model of car in many of the scenes, just the colors.

Noclevername
2007-Dec-26, 11:59 PM
Who was it that said:
"Don't remake good movies- remake bad ones!"

Hear, hear! No need to redo what they already got right the first time!

Tuckerfan
2007-Dec-27, 12:44 AM
Hear, hear! No need to redo what they already got right the first time!

Oh, but this time we'll do it righter! Trust us! ;)

Gillianren
2007-Dec-27, 03:03 AM
Very seldom is a remake of a bad movie actually worth watching, either.

Noclevername
2007-Dec-27, 03:12 AM
Very seldom is a remake of a bad movie actually worth watching, either.

True, but at least there's a chance it'll be better. When you try to top a classic, it's almost always worse than the original, sometimes by quite a lot. If they can't come up with something original, which is most of the time, at least they should try to improve on something that could be better.

(Actually, now that I think about it, today's Hollywoodites may actually think that adding more explosions, car chases and gunfights and less character development and psychology is an "improvement". Certainly they add them to everything else.)

mike alexander
2007-Dec-28, 12:25 AM
Yeah. Imagine "Casablanca" with no cigarettes but with a creeping artillery barrage, Ingrid Bergman manhandled by the Nazis and Bogie clinging to the tail of the plane as it roars off into the fog.

Or they could add a mysterious character who turns out to be a chess mastrer and call it "Capablanca".

Maksutov
2007-Dec-28, 06:27 AM
Or they could have the Paul Henreid character killed by the Nazis, who then returns as an angel who guides and protects Rick and Ilsa through perilous adventures on their way to America, where they marry and settle down, Rick becoming a bank president who sees that poor people are given mortgages to buy their homes, sowing the seeds of the sub-prime crisis.

Yup, it's Caprablanca.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Dec-29, 01:40 AM
Right, we should stay at one version of every movie, otherwise we'll see nothing but badly regurgitated pap.

The only Frankenstein's monster is Charles Ogle not Boris Karloff.
The only real Dracula is Paul Askonas not Bela Lugosi.
The only real Dorothy is Violet MacMillan not Judy Garland.
The only real D'Artagnan isn't even named since the movie's from 1903 where they didn't bother remembering who played who and is not any of the bazillion others who played him.
The only real Catherine is Colette Brettel not Merle Oberon.

I could go on for a long time on this:)

Noclevername
2007-Dec-29, 06:56 AM
Right, we should stay at one version of every movie, otherwise we'll see nothing but badly regurgitated pap.

The only Frankenstein's monster is Charles Ogle not Boris Karloff.
The only real Dracula is Paul Askonas not Bela Lugosi.
The only real Dorothy is Violet MacMillan not Judy Garland.
The only real D'Artagnan isn't even named since the movie's from 1903 where they didn't bother remembering who played who and is not any of the bazillion others who played him.
The only real Catherine is Colette Brettel not Merle Oberon.

I could go on for a long time on this:)

No one was talking about going back in time and undoing old remakes, but about what's being done now. Which is mostly badly regurgitated (and folded, spindled and mutilated) pap.

Chip
2007-Dec-29, 08:07 PM
The political overtones and overall visual backdrops representing capitalism upstairs verses socialism downstairs, all run-amuck, found in Fritz Lang's earlier films will I suspect be lost in the remake of "Metropolis".

Also Lang's depictions of criminals with blurred moral edges, some blatantly evil, others with redeeming sides as in the gangs in "M" or culminating in another great (and weird) crime drama masterpiece, "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" completed just before he left the newly elected Nazi Germany, might be replaced in the "Metropolis" remake with simple graphic novel heroes and villains. Or, on the other hand, they might try for Lang's symbolism and blow it.

Anyway, maybe doing a very different take on the original and making it into a musical, perhaps with a score by Tom Waits or Al Kooper, would be cool, (and I'd be happy to contribute any needed industrial factory orchestral music I've written for the concert hall.)

Maksutov
2007-Dec-31, 06:53 AM
[edit]others with redeeming sides as in the gangs in "M"You ain't just whistling "In the Hall of the Mountain King"! :whistle:
or culminating in another great (and weird) crime drama masterpiece, "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse" completed just before he left the newly elected Nazi Germany...Rivals "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" as a "who has committed what/whom" conundrum piece.

OK, you do the music, I'll supply the lyrics, but only if the music allows the production to be advertised as "The First Musical Entirely in 7/4 Time!"

Chip
2008-Jan-02, 07:52 AM
...OK, you do the music, I'll supply the lyrics, but only if the music allows the production to be advertised as "The First Musical Entirely in 7/4 Time!"

7/4? Sure - Bartok could dig it. He'd barrow that Romanian "wheel that's heavy on one side" rolling rhythmic propulsion in 7/4 but notated and articulated with 8th notes beamed unevenly, dividing it up as:

3+4
8

Maksutov
2008-Jan-02, 08:06 AM
Yeah, I could see ol' Bela getting down with that.

But based on what I've heard from the B'way folks, all you need is love to make such a musical, preferably in
2+2+3
--4
time.

After all, there's there's nothing you can do that can't be done...

Celestial Mechanic
2008-Jan-02, 06:17 PM
And after Metropolis -- the Remake and Metropolis -- the Broadway Musical the only thing left will be: Metropolis -- On Ice! :eek:

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! :lol: