The ’80s Movies they SHOULD be Making

The A-Team. The Karate Kid. Smurfs. If movie adaptations based on the ’80s have to happen, they might as well remake the ones I liked, right?



This past weekend marked the premieres of The A-Team and The Karate Kid, which follow a summer that featured G.I. Joe and Transformers. Filmmakers are already hard at work on a movie about the Smurfs — check out Hank Azaria’s freaky Gargamel makeup — and there have been threats rumors that there’s also be a big-screen adaptation of The Thundercats in the making.

There’s no escaping the ’80s. As much as you might prefer the ’90s — the decade that actually brought us good movie adaptation fodder, like Beavis and Butthead — studios are stuck mining the era of slap bracelets and Swatch watches.

Well, if movie adaptations based on cultural touchstones from the ’80s have to happen, they might as well remake the ones I liked, right? Listen up, studio execs. Get to work making movies about these awesome-to-the-max properties:

She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985-1987)
Please, ladies. Let’s show these guys how an action movie is really done. (Hint: The power is all in the hair. The hair has to be fabulous. He-Man may have had bigger muscles and a skimpier outfit, but his Prince Valiant bob undermined his authority.) Someone really needs to make a She-Ra movie. I don’t want to have to try and figure out how to acquire the rights and do it myself, I’d be a horrible producer. (Although, can we get Zoe Saldana to be She-Ra? She’s tough and has fantastic hair. Get her people on the phone for me. While we’re at it, let’s get Kathryn Bigelow to direct.)

The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
It may be grisly, but I feel like Golden Girls nostalgia is at an all-time high right now. It’s strange, but after her red-hot-in-the-ratings SNL episode, Betty White is box office. Time to strike, before White’s legion of Facebook fans moves on to, I don’t know, demanding that the eTrade baby deliver the next Princeton commencement speech or something. I picture a Golden Girls movie to be like Sex and the City 2 for the blue-haired set — a slight change of venue (perhaps the girls have to attend an out-of-town wedding or a will-reading or something); mild drama; and plenty of bawdy talk and girl bonding. And maybe White can come on and do a cameo playing her character’s mother or something. People can’t get enough of that kind of thing, right?

Alf (1986-1990)
It’s a fact: people love puppets. Jason Segal is working on a new Muppet movie. There’s a sequel to The Dark Crystal in the works. There are even plans to make a Fraggle Rock adaptation. Not making a new Alf movie is clearly leaving money on the table. I’d like to see a movie about Alf trying to revive his showbiz career and re-invent his schticky humor for today’s audiences — sort of like Comedian, but with more cat-eating. And, hey, if all goes well, maybe he could be the next American Idol judge.

Duck Tales (1987-1990)
Duck Tales had everything: Adventure. Industry. Ducks that wore coats and spats without pants. As much as I love Huey, Dewey, and Louie, I think an amazing movie can be made about the rise of Scrooge McDuck, based on Don Rosa’s comic The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. It’s an old-timey tale about an industrial titan, but it’s a lot cuddlier than There Will Be Blood. (I’d say that they could also make a movie about a post-recession Scrooge, but everyone knows he didn’t invest in the stock market. He kept his finances in cash in his recession-proof money bin.) If it makes a decent amount of money, they could follow it with a darker, more realistic take on Darkwing Duck, à la The Dark Knight.

Would you guys watch my movie picks? Share the ’80s movie adaptations you’d like to see in the comments box below.

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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