So you’re a production company executive. You want to make a name for yourself and yet are not quite willing to go out on a limb and let some unknown filmmaker with a questionable, if still viable project set out with some of your cash to either make or break the bank. So what do you do? Well, if you’re the brain trust over at FilmEngine and Benderspink, you jump on the reboot bandwagon and re-tackle one of your more successful genre titles – ‘The Butterfly Effect.’
‘The Butterfly Effect?’ Really?
You remember that Ashton Kutcher oddity from 2004 don’t you? The film where he played a character who could go back in time and alter his life events only to screw up the present in even more unnerving ways…and what a group of horrific past events they were. This story had the That ’70s Show star’s Evan Treborn forced into child pornography by a neighbor, nearly strangled to death by his crazy, mentally ill dad, accidentally killing an infant, and watching his pet dog get burned alive. No amount of Zanax could cure what ails this psychologically scarred adult.
Anyway, the film was a nominal hit, led to two direct to video sequels (neither of which starred Kutcher and had little if anything to do with the original storyline) and now, one of the co-directors and co-screenwriters of the first film, Eric Bress, has been hired to write a new treatment of the property. According to Screen Rant and Variety, this will be a straight forward reimagining, not some attempt at continuing the already established mythology. Also, no director has been hired and no stars are attached, so we won’t be seeing this for a while.
Unlike other reboots, this one has lots of potential. Don’t think so. Well, by example, take David Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly.’ The original ’50s film was a cheesy classic with just the make-up F/X and the final shot (the screaming man-bug’s “Help Me! Help Me!”) the stuff of true nightmares. But when brought up to date by the man who made ‘Videodrome’ and ‘Rabid,’ it become a heartbreaking, horrific ride. In this case, the notion of someone capable of going back in time to right some of the (many)wrongs visited on them as a kid offers endless possibilities, as does the inevitable skewing of the space/time continuum into frightening alternative realities.
As long as they don’t bring Kutcher back, we’re sold.