Remake. The word is pretty relevant in the film industry at the moment, with multiple films receiving the remake or reboot treatment, and it seems Hollywood is searching far and wide to bring older material back to the modern generation. They don’t look to be stopping, either. This week, reports have hinted that Ellen Page will take a walk in the afterlife by starring in a remake of 90s thriller Flatliners.
Variety broke the report, revealing that Page is in talks for the remake. Released in 1990, Joel Schumacher’s original movie starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin, and Oliver Platt as curious medical students who are obsessed with stopping the human heart in order to visit and experience the afterlife. The term “flatline” is used for that crucial moment between life and death where they explore the beyond and find redemption for their sketchy, shallow lives. They also discover that meddling in the afterlife has potentially severe consequences.
Page is in talks to play Roberts’ character, Rachel Manus. Her involvement in the project is the first news to be revealed since development began in 2013. As it currently stands, Source Code writer Ben Ripley is still in talks to write the screenplay, one that will be directed by Girl With The Dragon Tattoo helmer Neils Arden Opley. Michael Douglas, who produced the original, will return to production duties on the remake as well. Development is still under way, and no dates or schedules have been announced, so expect news of this remake to trickle through slowly.
Page may be discussing Flatliners, but she’s been busy this week. The Juno actress is currently promoting gay rights drama Freeheld, which opened to limited release last weekend. She stars beside Julianne Moore and Steve Carell, and also has a producing credit. In an interview with Time, Page revealed how the film helped her with her own decision to come out, something that she felt was stifling her career.
“I think it was a bunch of different things. It was my own internal journey—for the most part it was separate from all of this. But when you read Stacie and Laurel’s story, and you know you’re going to tell it, you think, ‘There’s no way you cannot be an actively out gay person if you make this film.’
I remember watching the Pussy Riot documentary and thinking, ‘Oh my God. The courage of these people.’ It’s just like, ‘Dude, come out—just say you’re gay. You’re privileged, you have a family. You have no excuse.’ It kind of got to the point of—I felt guilty, to be honest with you, and I believe I absolutely should have. It’s become kind of a moral imperative to speak up. I know there’s been so much progress, but there’s still so much suffering in America, in Canada, and all over the world.”
Another of her movies, Into The Forest, recently made its debut at the Toronto Film Festival. Co-starring Evan Rachel Wood and Max Minghella, the film was purchased by A24. A release date is yet to be announced. If Page does sign on to Flatliners, many expect a young, fresh cast to follow suit.
Hollywood has been rebooting franchises and movies for years now, with Terminator, Jurassic Park, Mad Max, Spider-Man (twice), and Ghostbusters all getting a modern adaptation, some of which were well received, and others not so much. Sony could be seen as resorting to desperate measures to remake Flatliners, which was a slow-burning cult hit, but only a moderate success at the box-office — it made $61.5 million on a $26 million budget. Reviews also criticised a misuse of the overall premise, one that was daring and original back in the ’90s.
Flatliners doesn’t have a release date yet. The Inquisitr will bring you more details as they come in.
[Images – Columbia Pictures and Getty Images / Neilson Barnard]