Well, the crystal embedded in my palm has started blinking red, which mean I only have a very limited time to tell you about a very highly-anticipated remake. And if you understood what the hell I meant by that, you’ll get that I’m talking about the latest in the very long line of false starts and name-drops that is the second screen version of Logan’s Run. Something of a ‘classic’ – and I can’t emphasis those quote marks enough – mostly due to its intriguing concept, partially its high levels of ‘70s cheesiness and possibly its sizeable amount of Jenny Agutter nudity for a film rated PG at the time, there’s been talk of a remake for not just years but decades now, with seemingly any filmmaker showing any capacity for handling propulsive action with an underlying social component linked with the gig.
For those not in the know, Logan’s Run is the story of a futuristic society where everything is perfect and everyone provided for but the citizenship has an enforced lifespan of 30. Once you reach that age, you’ve got two options: try to a second shot at life in a ritual called Carrousel, which tends to end in a fiery demise for all concerned, or go on the run, in which case you’re targeted by a lethal, ruthless ‘Sandman’ like our hero Logan. When the powers that be learn of an underground railroad helping old fogies elude the authorities, Logan’s few remaining years are wiped off the board and he’s forced to become a runner himself to lead his former allies to the resistance.
Now maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like a cool premise for a thriller. (Damn shame the 1976 version botches the bejesus out of it.) And with what seems to be an increasing focus on society on extending adolescence and worshipping youth – excuse me while I yell at some kids to get of my lawn – it’s got some potentially resonant underpinnings. (Grouchy but often astute online movie pundit Devin Faraci suggested that Justin Bieber would be perfect casting as Logan in a remake. He might be onto something.) Anyway, Bryan Singer was tentatively attached as director as far back as the release of the first X-Men movie, but as of late it’s been shuttled between the likes of Tron Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski and hot commercials helmer Carl Erik Rinsch as all involved have tried to strike a deal.
But some big steps were taken recently, with producer Joel Silver (Die Hard, Predator, the Matrix movies and general awesomeness) declaring that Ryan Gosling was attached as the lead and Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn was aboard as director. Given their indie cred, it’s a fairly unexpected move and one that indicates that this new Logan’s Run might stand out from the crowd. (And in something that outs me as geeky beyond repair, I actually fan-cast Gosling as Logan during some online brainstorming a few years back. Combine that with me calling Henry Cavill as the new Superman before it was officially announced and I’m two for two, y’all! Bow down! Or just pity me.)
Refn is perhaps best known for his Tom Hardy prison drama Bronson and his bold, surreal medieval headtrip Valhalla Rising (coming soon from Madman, and starring Mads Mikkelsen as the baddest motherfucker of all time), but both he and Gosling seem keen to use their arthouse bona fides to crack the mainstream their way – they’ve already collaborated on a car-chase flick called Drive with an eclectic line-up of co-stars including Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks and Bryan Cranston. I was already keen to check it out but as a potential trailer for what this duo might do with Logan’s Run it’s now become a must-see.