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Short Circuit Remake

Bad Idea of the Week No. 2: Johnny 5 Alive Again?

It looks like we have some bad ideas bookending this week as we kicked off with Monday's news of a rumored remake of Casablanca and now we have another doozy: the possible remake of the 1986 hit Short Circuit.


While the rumor has floated around for several years, Variety now reports that the film rights have been acquired and the writers are hired, which means this train has officially left the station.

My initial reaction when I learned about this was: Stop messing with my childhood! My second thought was that if anyone truly misses Johnny 5 that much, isn't Wall-E kind of filling the void? The more I think about this remake, the more pointless it seems. There just doesn't seem to be a good reason to do it, but a lot of reasons not to.

To see why I think this lovable robot should remain in our memories and in our DVD shelves, read more.

The original Short Circuit was about a robot (Number 5) built by the military as an intended weapon. Surprisingly, the robot develops human qualities like emotions and a consciousness and with the help of a "spunky" young lady (Ally Sheedy) escapes the lab and seeks out the man who created him (Steve Guttenberg) to convince him that he is in fact, alive. Hence the famous '80s line, "Johnny 5 is alive!"

What I think made the original so special was that it tapped into the national zeitgeist at the time which was an underlying uneasiness among Americans at how strong and imposing NASA and the Pentagon were when the arms race was in full swing. Johnny 5 was something magical and comforting for audiences at that time, but I think our generation deserves something a little more relevant than a recycled version of this 1980s story.

Also, in this technological age, is a piece of technology that speaks really that crazy or interesting? Seriously, what is the point of this?

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