If you’re anything like us you’ll have become somewhat numb to the word “remake” in the news by now. Long have we suffered through endless reinterpretations of all our favourite movies from yesteryear, and even when they announce new projects based on the few remaining – GREMLINS, WEIRD SCIENCE, TOXIC AVENGER to name but a few – it really doesn’t come as much of a surprise anymore. But JACOB’S LADDER?! Now THAT’S a head-scratcher. Yet, it’s happening. THR were the first to break the news, reporting that LD Entertainment are moving forward with a remake of Adrian Lyne’s under appreciated psychological horror film, with Jeff Buhler (THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN) being brought in to pen a new draft of Jake Wade Wall’s earlier script. (Wall also wrote the remakes of THE HITCHER and WHEN A STRANGER CALLS. Gulp.) Since we were completely in the dark as to this earlier script’s existence, we’re growing concerned that there might actually already be secret standby screenplays knocking around for remakes of EVERY film ever made, just in case the mood strikes.
If you’ve never seen the superb 1990 original, then we urge you to grab a copy right away (links below) so you can just ignore this new version when it eventually rears its ugly head. It tells the haunting tale of Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins), a man struggling to cope with his life post Vietnam (and a particularly disturbing incident of which we’ll say nothing), who begins to become tormented by strange entities and a fracturing reality. Are these things real, or is his mind starting to unravel? That would be telling, and those of you who have seen it can probably appreciate why we’re being so vague. To go into too much detail would rob this existential and very singular story (there’s zero franchise potential here, unlike the vast majority of remakes) of its power.
The remake will apparently contemporize the characters and setting (so it’ll be the Iraq war then), but it will no doubt follow the same beats as the original… including ‘that’ ending. Again, it’s far too easy to spoil by going into much detail, and we know it’s been twenty three years, but we honestly just recommend experiencing it as fresh as possible. Harrowing stuff. But in a good way.
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