“Papillon’s” Arrival In UK Cinemas Sees It Join A Group Of Esteemed Movie Remakes

Most Hollywood remakes completely miss the mark of the original. They remind audiences of Hollywood’s tendency to completely wring out every penny they can from anything that works. But once in a blue moon comes the exception to that rule.

Those select few breathe new life into timeless classics and reintroduce those stories to a brand new audience. To celebrate the release of Papillon, a heart wrenching tale of love, loyalty, and redemption in cinemas now, below is the list of the top movie remakes of all time.

Papillon - remake

Based on the autobiography of Henri Charrière, from screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) and executive producer Danny Dimbort (The Wolf of Wall Street), comes Danish Director Michael Noer’s international feature debut Papillon, an eponymous modern take of one of the greatest escape films of all time.

The original Papillon stars Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen as they attempt to break free from a French Penal colony in South America.

The 2018 remake finds Charlie Hunnam (Son’s of Anarchy; Pacific Rim) and Emmy Award Winning – and strong contender this year’s Best Actor Oscar – Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody; Mr. Robot) in the exact same situation after they too are wrongfully convicted of murder and forgery – what are the odds?! These challenging characters gave Malek and Hunnam the chance to deliver two unforgettable performances that will surely blow audiences away when it hits cinemas this Friday.

A Star Is Born

Who could forget the chemistry between Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristopherson in the 1976 version of A Star is Born? Having been remade 4 times, we wouldn’t blame you if you did. The original original dates back to 1954, starring Judy Garland and James Manson – big shoes to fill but who else than Bradley Cooper and idol, legend, and star Lady Gaga to take this on? Critics raved about the film, marking Gaga’s transformation into a fully fledged big screen icon.

The Ring

No one does horror better than Japan, but what would the early 2000s have been without Naomi Watts and her particularly well spoken son. As the turn of the millennia came, VCRs weren’t going down without taking a few poor souls with them. I haven’t answered the phone in years solely because of this movie.

Planet Of The Apes

Franklin J. Schaffner smashed it the first time around with the original Planet of the Apes, but in 2011 came The Rise of the Planet of The Apes franchise. Ditching the fully body prosthetics for CGI maybe took away some of the lovable campiness of the original but made audiences actually believe that James Franco was right there in their living room – amazing!

Casino Royale

It’s hard to compare apples and oranges, or in this case apples and grenades. These two films couldn’t be more different that calling it a remake is a bit of a stretch. They’re both brilliant in their own right but the 2006 version cemented Daniel Craig’s position as one of the best Bonds of all time – for slow motion ocean exits alone. You have not lived until you’ve cried blood in a casino so let this film be a guide on how to live your best life.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Daniel Craig is just brilliant, isn’t he? Though the original has the benefit of being an authentic Swedish thriller based in Sweden, in Swedish, the remake holds its own and delivers powerful performances from the two leads Daniel Craig and a heavily pierced Rooney Mara. I’ve also heard the books are good too but why would you do that when you have 2 perfectly good adoptions at your fingertips/

Freaky Friday

A cinematic masterpiece, though I doubt the target audience of this film at the time would have known that it was a remake of a 1977 version starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris, let alone would even know who Barbara Harris is. This mother / daughter body switching classic reminds audiences of a simpler time when the worst thing that Lindsay Lohan could do was wear a studded belt and pick up an electric guitar.


Amilia Totten
About the Author
Amilia Totten is a freelance writer, photographer and erstwhile time-waster. Her eclectic film favourites include the latest Hollywood blockbuster to European avant-garde and the joys of Bollywood.

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    Mark Fraser Reply

    One suspects the original screen version of Papillon may be looked over by revisionists given it wasn’t directed by Altman/Coppola/Scorsese/Lucas or any of the others from the 1970s New Hollywood brigade. But my God it is an entertaining movie – and a sometimes unconventional one at that.

    Not sure I’d class the James Franco-led reboot of the Apes franchise as a remake of the original Schaffner movie – it seems its starting point was really number four of the original series (Battle for the Planet of the Apes). The remake was arguably that Tim Burton directed effort in the early 2000s starring M Wahlberg and Tim Roth … the one in which the astronaut finally gets back home to discover the Lincoln statue has been replaced by an ape.

    I’ve always thought Tom Savini’s remake of The Night of the Living Dead was pretty interesting; ditto the Elijah Wood-led Maniac, in which the sweet faced boy plays Joe Spinell. It’s not a particularly pleasant film, though. Evil Dead II is also a possibility – it’s not really a sequel, and it is IMO better than the first one ….

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