Retelling the tale of True Love and remaking The Princess Bride
I won’t lead with a ramble here. If you saw that title and got curious, that’s nice. If you read the title and got confused, upset or pissed off that someone could even contemplate something like this, you’re where I am with the film industry in general. Rebootts, retellings, remakes? It’s like the studios can’t come up with something original and just go with properties that already made them money. To do that with the 1987 Rob Reiner classic? Oh God, ugh!
My idea is not like that, but it is like that. It’s like a sequel, but it’s the original film too.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a baby boomer or one of the later generations (Generation X, Y, Z, a millennial, whatever), The Princess Bride has its own place in cinematic history. It’s something fun to watch and savor. So why the hell can I have a thought that the film should be redone?
The answer is Fred Savage.
See, there’s a second story in The Princess Bride that happens to be the way we ever get told the story of Princess Buttercup, Wesley, Inigo Montoya, Count Rugen (the infamous Six Fingered Man), Prince Humperdink and all the various other characters in the story about True Love. The second story that enables the film is about a sick grandson played by Fred Savage. He has the story of The Princess Bride told to him by his grandfather played by Peter Falk.
That second story, the narrative of The Princess Bride, what to “reboot”, that’s what to film again, that’s what to write an original tale about: A story where a now adult grandson tells The Princess Bride to a child or multiple children at once. It comes off like a sequel in that concept, or a reboot because it’s The Princess Bride over again more than 30+ years later done with its own distinction.
Yet while there would be a new narrative and Savage’s character telling the tale, everything else would stay locked-in unless unseen footage from the original film gets edited it; that’s up to the film crew to decide – and I think only Reiner and the original film staff should be making this decision.
In short, the reboot/remake/sequel concept is just a modern retelling of the original film.
That formatting of the film that I just pitched might be more acceptable to those who read the title and had the typical sickly reaction, but it still doesn’t truly say why the hell would you do something like this? It’s not like kids today can’t enjoy the movie in its original format with all the original film and la-de-da. And yet, drawing that conclusion is the adult in you talking. A bedroom scene in the 1980s with a 1980’s actor and a child actor… What you see there is different than what you’d see today and youth could sooner associate with. It’s minor, yeah. It brings a film shot so long ago into the moment we live in and more accessible to youth of today.
Arguments can start here about how the film lacks CGI special effects and it makes the whole concept a folly. The Princess Bride works as it is and why mess with it at all? My answer is what made the title of this piece something that could turn your stomach: If you didn’t reshoot the movie in such a minor way as I’m pitching, would it be so foreign for the film industry to try redoing the movie in total with a new cast? You know that concept is very much on the table because of how cinema works these days. I sure as shit would rather see a minor change that preserves the film as we know it than see things redone in entirety to ruin what was and is a classic tale of True Love.
Can my concept even fly, though? Miracle Max said it best:
“It’ll take a miracle. Byyyyyyyye!”