Oh God, Now They’re Even Remaking ‘Clue’

Clue is one of those classic movies that rarely ends up on Top 10 lists, but has nevertheless been universally accepted. Jonathan Lynn’s witty, clever adaptation of the popular board game was a slick homage to Agatha Christie yarns, and featured a house packed full of beloved character actors – Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Lesley Ann Warren and Colleen Camp – who run around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to figure out who murdered their host and who has been blackmailing each and every one of them.

Fast-paced and spry, Clue now plays like a minor miracle. The film takes a silly idea – adapting a board game in the first place – and populates it with unforgettable characters, quotable dialogue, smart-but-absurd plot points, and adds the rather novel idea of having multiple endings. The film was originally released with three different conclusions, so that audiences didn’t know which version they were going to see until the final reel rolled around. On home video, all three endings are incorporated into the running time (as opposed to merely popping up on the special features), with only the most ludicrously complicated conclusion being treated as the “real” one.

Clue is a comic feat that has rarely been topped since its release in 1985, and no, I don’t think that’s hyperbole. And so naturally it’s being remade. 20th Century Fox is teaming up with Hasbro to produce a new cinematic version of Clue that, according to The Tracking Board, will probably “move the story out of the parlor and make it a game of ‘worldwide mystery’ with action-adventure elements, potentially setting up a possible franchise that could play well internationally.”

At least they’re not trying to do the exact same thing, but one can’t help but wonder why you would acquire the rights to Clue if you’re planning to make a movie that doesn’t take place in a parlor and features action-adventure elements. That may or may not turn out to be a fun movie, but it sure as hell doesn’t sound like Clue, either the game or the original film.

To be fair, Hollywood has tried remaking Clue before, previously under Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker Gore Verbinski, who admittedly has a strange and distinctive sense of humor. (The Tracking Board isn’t certain whether Verbinski is still involved with the project in any capacity.)

Look, life will go on whether or not a new Clue gets made. Everyone has beloved movies that are getting put back through the Hollywood remake machine, sometimes good (Pete’s DragonThe Jungle Book), sometimes bad (Point BreakRed Dawn). We all need to agree not to be jerks about it. But it’s okay to say whether or not we’re happy about the news, or so mad that flames… flames, on the side of my face, breathing, breathle… heaving breaths. Heaving breaths…! Heathing…!

Top Photo: Paramount Pictures

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.