So far it sounds like Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter and many others are on board with Kevin Hart’s decision to remake the cult classic Scrooged. The original movie that starred Bill Murray and several other notable actors became a cult classic over the years and a staple of the holidays since it was loosely based around A Christmas Story, the old Charles Dickens contribution to the season. But does this movie really need to be remade or is this just another attempt at trying to outdo or update something that can still stand on its own? It’s kind of obvious how some people (hand raised) feel about this since the version with Murray is pure comedy gold and is still funny no matter how many times it gets watched or played on various stations. During the Christmas season it’s one of the many shows that gets featured over and over and rarely gets old. But with the trend of remakes and reboots being so prevalent in Hollywood these days it does seem like it was just a matter of time before such a thing was bound to happen.
So far as Patrick Hipes from Deadline has indicated the project is still looking for a writer and despite the bad karma that might come, one can only hope that they don’t find someone willing to trounce all over this classic in an attempt to make a funnier and possibly more interesting, updated version. As you can guess it always comes down to the idea that they’re not trying to obliterate the original and won’t be attempting to make fans any less interested in the 1988 version, but instead want to bring that kind of humor back into the modern era. And if you believe that I’ve got a skyscraper in New York to sell you.
Just when one voice seems to be getting silenced and all hope is lost however Scott Wampler from Birth.Movies.Death speaks up and reaffirms what hopefully many people will recognize and agree with, and that’s the fact that remakes do not erase originals. If they did then Ghostbusters would have already fallen off the map before 2017 ever came around, and various other movies would have quietly slipped into oblivion. But Wampler is another individual that thinks remaking Scrooged is a terrible idea since not only is it a common movie to see during the holidays, but it’s Bill Murray, let me repeat that, BILL MURRAY. Kevin Hart is funny when he’s got a healthy number of people around him to push the movie forward and his acting and comedy chops are nothing to sneeze at, but despite all the arguments that might come forth to say otherwise, he’s no Bill Murray. Even if he’s not in the film and decides to produce, direct, or otherwise take part in making it come to life, the mere act of trying is almost enough to make fans of the original movie grind their teeth in frustration.
It might sound elitist or as though people don’t want history to change, and it won’t to be honest, but there are simply some movies that don’t need the attempt to improve on them or offer a different twist. People could have easily said this about A Christmas Story as well and yet obviously many upon many movies and TV shows, including Scrooged, have taken the same tactic and done what they could to modernize the tale. But there are moments when it seems that this practice has hit a period of perfection where it simply doesn’t need to be touched upon any longer. Scrooged was an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ immortal story that was in many ways far more crass, vulgar, and upsetting than the original could ever be, but it was updated and gave a sense of humor to the tale that many would agree was necessary in that era. While Kevin Hart’s attempt might be claiming to do the same thing it just doesn’t seem like it would capture the same magic or feeling three decades later. Kevin Hart is an accomplished actor and comedian but as of now he’s still not in Murray’s league, and trying to do anything that Murray made famous to begin with is flirting with the kind of box office disaster that people can see coming a mile off but don’t seem to heed.
Some folks might get behind the movie and claim that it has a great chance, others like myself might just shake our heads and groan as the beast of an idea makes its way to Hollywood to be born. In any case if it does get made, and it’s still an ‘if’, it would seem that a new Scrooged isn’t going to be received very well by the older crowd that still remembers the genius and comedy of Bill Murray. If it does, then oh well.