Remakes have long been a depressing indulgence on the part of Hollywood. The first remakes were silent films remade as talkies, whereas now, films are remade largely to capitalize on the success of older films.
Hollywood usually avoids remaking its most iconic films, but there are exceptions. Alfred Hitchcock is usually a verboten subject for remakes — even clueless producers seem to realize they can’t find anyone to do his films better — but Gus Van Sant’s Psycho remake taught us that not even Hitchcock is entirely forbidden in pursuit of the money machine.
Another iconic Hitchcock film, The Birds, is being remade with Naomi Watts. Now Tippi Hedren, the original star of The Birds, is lashing out.
“A couple of years ago, when they were first thinking about it, they called and asked what I thought about a remake of ‘The Birds,’” she said, her voice rising. “And I thought ‘Why would you do that? Why?’ I mean, can’t we find new stories, new things to do?”
Hedren then declared that a Birds remake at all was a recipe for failure, regardless of its quality. Huh? Perhaps this line of argument would be more convincing if Hollywood hadn’t been remaking successful films for most of the last century. And, hey, wait a second. Isn’t the actress now begging Hollywood for a return to Hollywood originality the same woman who starred in the execrable mid-90’s sequel, The Birds II?
So let me if I’ve got this straight: it’s okay for Tippi Hedren to dip back into the Hitchcock well for a crappy direct-to-video sequel to one of the suspense genre’s most beloved films, but not for Hollywood? Cute.
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