Hollywood, Please–Stop the Insanity!

the *best* buddy western ever. isn't that enough?
the *best* buddy western ever. isn't that enough?

As if directly influenced by our recent post about remake mania sweeping Hollywood, rumors are now swelling that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid could next end up on Remake Row … if Tom Cruise has anything to say about it. According to The Guardian, “If the rumours are true, Tom Cruise is set to fulfil his childhood dream by remaking Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Cruise would take the Robert Redford role – apparently one of his favourite cinematic performances – with his friend and fellow Scientologist John Travolta filling Paul Newman’s boots. Newman apparently gave Cruise his blessing for the project before he died last year.”

Dear God.

The article goes on to whimsically suggest ideas for Cruise’s remake of the iconic (ie, BEST LEFT ALONE) film:

The bicycle ride In a whimsical musical interlude, Butch/
Travolta takes Sundance/Cruise’s girlfriend (Katie Holmes, in a flouncy white dress) for a ride on his throbbing Harley Davidson. How Deep Is Your Love plays on the soundtrack. She laughs from a hayloft as Travolta pulls wheelies before comically crashing through a fence. In bursts Cruise, in a leather jacket and aviator shades, astride an even more throbbing motorbike. The music switches to Highway to the Danger Zone as he swoops in and takes repossession of Holmes (not that he’s controlling or anything).

The cliff jump Mid-heist, the duo are ambushed by a trainload of paparazzi. They attempt to lose them by riding together on Cruise’s motorbike, which he affectionately calls “ol’ Ron Hubbard” – just to hammer the metaphor home. They are cornered in a canyon, but luckily they find a giant sofa. Recreating Cruise’s famous Oprah moment, they jump excitedly off it into the river below. Separately, though – jumping together would look a bit too “Brokeback”.

The comedy heist Exiled to somewhere foreign, Cruise and Travolta attempt to hold up a nearby theological conference. “Psychiatry is destructive and wrong! We can bring peace and unite cultures! Give us all your money!” screams Cruise. Everyone else scratches their heads in utter incomprehension.

The famous ending Their mission at an end, the lovable outlaws take refuge in a luxury spa resort, totally surrounded by the media, autograph hunters and a posse of internet protest groups. Unaware that the game is up, they discuss a possible remake of The Sting, incorporating elements of Battlefield Earth, before rushing out into a devastating hail of negative publicity.”

You may laugh … but I fear, the Guardian’s sensastionalistic ideas might well be closer to the mark than they intend if this project gets the green light.

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Film writer and social media marketing professional. 2019 Social Ambassador for the 10th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival. Previously: social media associate at Warner Archive and script writer for Turner Classic Movies. Working on a Montgomery Clift biography due late 2020.

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