One thing 2015 has certainly proved is that reboots and remakes aren’t going away. On the other hand, it also showed us that they don’t have to suck. A big part of that revelation comes from the recent trend of casting women as leads. Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Furiosa took center stage, and next year we’re getting an all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Add that news about Rhonda Rousey starring in a remake of Roadhouse, and the paradigm is looking pretty cemented. So here are seven more films that could use the female treatment.
THE LAST STARFIGHTER
The Last Starfighter is one of those enjoyable, if not terribly excellent 80s films that commands more respect through nostalgia than actual quality. The core idea, however — aliens choosing pilots based on video game skill — is pure gold, and could stand up just as easily today as it did 30 years ago. Re-imagining this with a female gamer would make the story feel decidedly more modern. What’s more, the growing cult status around Jupiter Ascending shows there’s definitely a market for female-led space operas.
Weird Science is a quirky 80s comedy about a pair of doofy nerds who make a woman out of science and computers and such. The central idea of awkward teen boys making and… enjoying their sex-bot hasn’t aged well, though Weird Science isn’t as poorly regarded as some of John Hughes’ other reappraised works. This movie is perfectly suited for a skewing towards the female gaze, especially given how successful the Magic Mike films have been. And with the growing trend of body positivity and the normalization of the nerd girl identity, there’s a lot of room to explore this concept in interesting and comedic ways.
THE LOST BOYS
The Lost Boys is a late 80s horror flick that pairs reckless teen youth with vampirism for a winning combination. Of all the films with plots revolving around vampirsim as an appealing condition, it’s easily one of the best, mainly due to the raw energy inherent to youth. I’d love to see that scenario played out with women. Exploring the violent abandon and indulgence of youth through the lens of girls rather than guys is actually still pretty rare, and something like Lost Boys would be a great way to delve into it.
THE TIME MACHINE
The Time Machine is a 2002 film ahead of its time, and its biggest flaw was its lead. Guy Pearce is a fine actor, but by this point, we’ve seen “white man travels through time” in essentially every time travel movie. Swapping him out for a female protagonist would almost instantly make the film more unique and engaging. There’s still a market for Victorian steampunk, not to mention re-imaginings of classic literature, so The Time Machine seems like a no-brainer. Plus, this would be a chance to feature a female lead who’s an adventurer and a scientist, which is all too rare.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Okay, first things first: Back to the Future is an unassailable comedy classic, and the trilogy is one of the best ever filmed. That said, the world of Back to the Future and its core character archetypes are thoroughly worth re-imagining. You don’t have to look any further than Rick & Morty to see there are still interesting spins to be pulled on these characters, and rebooting them as a pair of awesome time-traveling women would make for a great film. It would also open up a whole bunch of new options for the film’s central jaunt through the 50s.
Even though Star Trek was rebooted recently (and has already featured a female captain), I would still be interested in a gender-swapped remake. Specifically, I’d like to see a swap of the original series’ crew. The original series was great in its time, but there’s no denying its character archetypes and gender politics are rooted in the ideals of the 60s. Today, a lot of its ideas might seem antiquated when applied to men, but having a woman who’s as free with her sexuality as Kirk or as emotionless as Spock would be a real shake-up of modern expectations.
E.T. is a major sci-fi classic and a cultural touchstone of the 80s that I’ve never really cared for. There’s nothing wrong with the film’s core concept, but the “boy and his metaphor for childhood” plot is more than a little played out. Like Lost Boys, this is a concept ripe for re-examination through an often unexplored lens: the childhood experiences of young girls. At the very least, such a shift would help a remake stand out amid all the other transparent attempts to ape E.T.’s style we’ve endured over the past 30 years.
Article by contributor Lido Giovacchini.