The movie world is awash with remakes lately. For better or worse, people are taking films we loved and having another go at them, with varying degrees of success. And, at least to the casual observer, it seems like the more beloved the franchise, the worse a remake is received - taking things like the Disney live action movies, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cats as just a few examples.
It’s not even that all these films are bad. But especially with cult classics, it’s hard for lightning to strike twice. Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter is such an iconic and impressive performance that it’s hard to separate from Curry himself, and that makes it hard to cast anyone else in the role.
Still other filmmakers attempting remakes try to duck around bad production value or impress with lots of unnecessary CGI and lose the heart of the story and the charming nature of the original world built from painted backdrops and foam bricks. Bombastic soundtracks and practical effects get replaced, and you’re left with this uncanny valley feeling of looking at something you’re supposed to recognize and it’s not quite there.
All that to say it’s an uphill battle pleasing fans of any genre of films with remakes. It can definitely be done, but it takes impeccable casting, attention to detail and a real love for the source material.
That, or Muppets.
Recently, the internet has dreamed up the perfect treatment for a cult classic that we at Culture Combine are very protective of ourselves: The Princess Bride. Every so often someone talks about trying to reimagine The Princess Bride, and every time, I shake my head. It’s crazy enough that William Goldman’s book was able to be translated to an amazing film the way it was - it already breaks the lightning rule - but it’s near impossible to imagine anyone else but Peter Falk reading to Fred Savage or Cary Elwes tumbling down a hill and wrestling ROUSes in the fire swamp. NO ONE can recapture the wit, heart, camp, and action of that film…
Except maybe Kermit and crew.
Recently in a Princess Bride Inconceivableposting group on Facebook, we found something so compelling, it’s taking the internet by storm. A poster named Brian Quintin shared the brilliant concept, crediting the original idea to someone on Tumblr known as komakesthings.
By now, you may even have already seen it, but it bears mentioning that The Muppet Princess Bride is probably the only acceptable reimagining of such an amazing cult classic film. Can Muppets swashbuckle? See Muppet Treasure Island. Can Muppets stay true to the original source material and still work their magic to transcend even “straightforward” retellings and become the gold standard for the remake? See Muppet Christmas Carol, which recently took the throne for best Christmas film of all time. And can the Muppets handle incredibly witty comedy and slapstick hijinks? See EVERY MUPPET FILM EVER.
What’s even more exciting about this imaginative mashup is that they brought proof of concept, in the form of these amazing mockups. There’s Kermit as the Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley, Piggy as Buttercup, the Swedish Chef as the priest, and the proof of concept even puts a bow on it with Elwes in the great Peter Falk’s role, reading Goldman’s book to Tad.
It’s something we didn’t know we wanted until right now, and to be honest, we wouldn’t mind if the magicmakers who still handle Henson’s legacy at least took it for a test drive.