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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

will the new ‘Sleuth’ inspire a slew of “remakes”?

Sleuth opens in limited release on Friday — it’s a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, with an interesting casting twist. The original starred Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine as two men who square off over a woman; for the new one, Caine graduates to the Olivier role, and Jude Law comes onboard to play the character Caine played in ’72.

I love this idea. I’m imagining all the other remakes we might see with similar casting stunts. And, of course, since the new Sleuth is more a reimagining than a remake, so can these be:
The Godfather (2009), starring Al Pacino as Don Corleone and Ashton Kutcher as Michael Corleone. It’s a comedy! Think Scent of a Woman meets That 70s Show. When a New York City college student discovers he’s actually the scion of America’s top crime family, he sets off on a wacky adventure with his father … who’s also the Godfather! Watch for the hilarious sequence in which Michael loses the suitcase with the horse’s head.

Star Wars (2009), starring Mark Hamill as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rupert Grint as Luke Skywalker. Join the adventure as a young farm boy discovers he’s really the secret offspring of the most evil tyrant the galaxy has ever seen … and is whisked off to a school where he’ll learn the mysteries of the Force! Mark Hamill reprises his umpteen roles as comic book bad guys to give us a new Obi-Wan: one who went to the Dark Side and never came back.

Lethal Weapon (2010), starring Mel Gibson as Roger Murtaugh and Tyler Perry as Martin Riggs. They’re cops … on a mission from God. Their lethal weapon? The power of Jesus! No villains can escape the long arm of the law — or of the man upstairs — when they’re on the job. No one will be admitted during the riveting execution scene, which consumes the entire last 45 minutes of the film.

The Sixth Sense (2021), starring Haley Joel Osment as Dr. Malcolm Crowe and a Jolie-Pitt child to be named later as Cole Sear. Because federal legislation enacted in 2015 will enforce the lifetime Hollywood employment of all child actors through old age, as well as that of all celebrity offspring.

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