Driver's EDitorial #04: Why Harvey, Why Now?
Our Driver’s EDitorial is a weekly column designed to express our opinion on something going on in Hollywood today. Sometimes we whine and complain about something we wish was different, other times we heap praise on the system for getting it right.
The soul of my inner-child let out a faint cry when I read the news that Steven Spielberg would be remaking the Jimmy Stewart classic, HARVEY, with Robert Downey Jr. attached to star. It’s not that I’m completely against remakes or that I feel HARVEY shouldn’t be remade. To be honest, I don’t care if HARVEY gets remade. Consider me numb to the countless Hollywood remakes and lack of originality and creativity that permeates through the town. I’ve been a movie fan for a long time and I’ve learned to accept those facts and deal with them. I just never thought that The Bearded One would succumb to the notion of remaking a classic film.
Steven Spielberg was a beacon of righteousness for those of us that demanded originality in our films. The man is a genius when it comes to making movies and if you sit down to compile a list of the best movies ever made, he will be on that list more than once. I have no problem saying he’s the greatest filmmaker of all time and his doodles on the back of a napkin are more creative than 90% of the directors working today. For the past 35+ years, he has been the spokesperson for great filmmaking. Face it; most directors would have been crucified for what he did to Indiana Jones last summer. But with Spielberg, we just assumed it was someone else’s fault.
With the remake of HARVEY on the way, it’s clear that something is going wrong. I don’t want to read too much into his choice, but I think there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. Why HARVEY? Why now? Is he out of ideas? Is HARVEY that special of a movie to him that he feels he needs to remake it? Why would the man who can have any script he wants choose to remake a classic movie like HARVEY? Is this Spielberg’s subtle way of telling the world that creativity is officially dead in Hollywood? Or is this his way of telling us that he’s done trying?
It’s hard to say anything negative about your heroes, or at least it should be. The internet is filled with idiot fanboys that want to insult everything and everyone they can. Taking a negative stance just for the sake of taking it is the norm in today’s age of technology. The ramifications of this negativity are that public figures no longer care what the public thinks or says. George Lucas will ignore the internet community because he thinks fans just want to complain. Michael Bay ignores the complaints that his stories don’t always make sense. And Steven will probably ignore people when they tell him remaking HARVEY is a bad idea. But if there’s some chance that he does pay attention and is open to suggestions, let’s hope he follows up HARVEY with an original story that will make us remember that he’s not only a great director, he’s also a great filmmaker.