Okay, guys, the jig is up. You're just picking random movies out of a box to remake, aren't you? And that box is a box of DVDs at a WalMart, home to popular movies that no one really cares about, and one of them is Cliffhanger. Cliffhanger, probably the ninth or tenth most beloved Sylvester Stallone film, is up for a redo, because Cliffhanger is somehow a marketable title that brings back memories of an unforgettable theatrical experience. And now, the new Cliffhanger has a writer, which suggests some strong forward momentum on the project. Hold on tight. Don't look down.
Deadline reports that Joe Gazzam, a terrific magician's name, is onboard to script the redo. Gazzam has no official writing credits to his name aside from the spec script Shadow Run, but apparently he made a pitch for the remake that trumped any other ideas from competing screenwriters. Ideally, this was in a cage match, and now Gazzam has some blood in his hands from the screenwriters he had to murder. Joe, lay low for awhile, because you're probably wanted for murder.
Sylvester Stallone's 1994 thriller Cliffhanger is, in all honesty, a pretty enjoyable action movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon. Stallone plays Gabe Walker, who must venture out into the snowy mountain peaks to rescue a lost bag of money belonging to a sniveling British villain played by John Lithgow. It features a brilliant opening, insane stunts, a great villain performance, and Stallone impales a dude on a stalactite. It also has an absolutely incredible trailer (sneakily featuring a few shots NOT in the actual movie) that they'll NEVER be able to replicate today.
But let's be real here: Cliffhanger isn't a classic. Few films from the 90's that are getting remade (Stargate?) really are. It's not exactly a decade where you can mine for nuggets of gold, unless you were redoing some of the iconic independent films of that era (and you really, really shouldn't).
This is also Neal Moritz and Original Films getting involved. Yes, this is the same inappropriately-named studio that's brought us Cruel Intentions, The Fast And The Furious, The Green Hornet, 22 Jump Street and (gulp) Total Recall. What exactly is original about remaking a second-tier Stallone film? Particularly when Stallone is still out there kicking ass? If the Cliffhanger brand was so ready to be exploited, a theme park ride would probably be a better option, while also emphasizing that this central idea just isn't enough to carry two movies.
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