Not sure how I feel about this news.  Universal’s Strike Entertaiment is sniffing around trying to acquire the rights to John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live.  The rights are currently held by Les Mougins, and is one of the best sci fi horror flicks from the 80s.

If you don’t believe me, just watch Rowdy Roddy Piper walk into a bank with a gun and utter the famous phrase “I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubble gum.”  Then there is that awesome fight between Piper and Keith David that seems to go on for ever, and was spoofed almost blow for blow in South Park’s Cripple Fight episode.

The original film, part sci-fi thriller and part social satire, told the story of a down-on-his-luck construction worker (Roddy Piper) who discovers glasses that let him see aliens walking among us and controlling humanity. The man races against the clock to find a way to stop them.

The movie is so classic a remake may actually hurt the spirit of the original.  Imagine trying to remake Army of Darkness just to make it fresh.  Without the original cast and low budget, anyone uttering the phrase, “This is my boom stick!” is just going to look like a fool.

Fortunately, everything is still in the negotiation stage, no writers are attached (what’s wrong with the original script?), with John Carpenter and Shep Gordon attached as executive producers.

I guess when Hollywood runs out of ideas, it’s time to rape the 80s as Hollywood Reporter is also running stories on Fox remaking Romancing the Stone, and Warner Bros. putting Russell Brand in a remake of Arthur.   And if the They Live deal goes through, who would you want to see in the two lead roles?  Maybe they can get Roddy to play a cameo as the “bum” character.  That would rock.

via THR

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

Previous post

Write Now! Ends Run

Next post

Interview: Andrea Romano


  1. December 4, 2008 at 8:08 am — Reply

    No! No! No!


    Past being against the remake at all, This movie would have been so much more appropriate when we were all being brainwashed by propaganda during the ramp-up to the election… Man oh man, I hope this falls apart.

    (Then again, I guess there was a Great Depression going on during the 1st flick, right? Still… No No NO!!!)

  2. December 4, 2008 at 8:53 am — Reply

    Yeah, this remake or “reimagining” can go either way. I have a deep and profound love for They Live, I first saw it when I was 5 or 6 with my dad who made me promise not to repeat anything I heard in it. Despite assurances, I was running around the house with a pair of his sunglasses on threatening to chew bubblegum and kick ass.

    I recently caught this via On-Demand, and yes the production value was horrendous, even by Carpenter standards but the message is still there. It’s a shame this or any other carpenter flick hasn’t made it to hi-def yet … but that’s for another time. Casting will absolutely make or break this movie, they need someone entirely gruff and badass … how about bringing Kurt Russell back? He kicked ass as Stuntman Mike in Death Proof.

  3. December 4, 2008 at 8:58 am — Reply

    @Jon: “first saw it when I was 5 or 6 with my dad”. I’m going to quote Matthew on this one – Up Hill, Both Ways. Jeez, now you make me feel really old.

    As far as Kurt Russell as in the Roddy role – might work, but I always see Kurt in two roles, Jack Burton, and the Computer that Wore Tennis Shoes. ? Yeah, Up Hill, Both Ways. Now get off my grass you kids!

  4. December 4, 2008 at 9:09 am — Reply


    C’mon you’re not that old and crotchety …. yet

  5. Gaumer
    December 4, 2008 at 9:15 am — Reply

    i loved this movie

    i meant to post after it was mentioned on one of the shows

    remember they used the Ghostbusters ecto scanner or whatever it was in the flick??


    but their ruining, i mean redoing everything else

    maybe they can get Justin Styles for the lead :)

  6. HipHopHead
    December 4, 2008 at 10:18 am — Reply

    This is one of my favorite science fiction movies EVER. What they should release is a remastered DVD.

  7. Kurt Fenreer
    December 4, 2008 at 7:24 pm — Reply

    Now I’m double-pissed. Between this and the Highlander remake, I’m starting to think Hollywood just wants to screw up thing I enjoy. I still haven’t gotten over the Brian’s Song remake or the chick Starbuck yet.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section