There’s an ancient Zen koan you may have heard, it goes like this:
One day a Student asked his Master, “Master, how do you interest the managing editor of Giant Freakin’ Robot in an unnecessary remake of Logan’s Run?”
The Master thought for a moment. Then he threw scalding hot tea into the Student’s face and screamed, “The Internet hasn’t even been invented yet, you idiot!”
It’s possible I may have made that all up. Either way, the answer the Master should have given is “Hire the guy who created BioShock to write the script.” Clearly Warner Bros. knows that truth, because they have indeed signed Ken Levine, the writer of the video game BioShock, to write a new script for the long-in-the-works remake of 1976’s Logan’s Run.
A Logan’s Run resurrection has been in the works for ages, with X-Men: Days of Future Past’s Bryan Singer keen to helm a reboot that never quite came together. He finally left the project in 2006, after years of trying to get it going. More recently the project had attracted director Nicolas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling, but Gosling backed out last fall. Now it’s back to square one, but as far as foundations go, hiring Levine is pretty damn solid.
Levine is the creative director and co-founder of Irrational Games, the folks behind BioShock, one of the best games in history. While many non-gamers like to dismiss the medium as nothing but guns, flash, and arrested development (no, not that kind), BioShock proved perhaps more eloquently than any other example that gaming has the potential to tell truly smart, effective stories in an interactive way that other mediums lack. Rooted in Ayn Rand-style Objectivism, BioShock served up a complex, mature narrative that examined the very nature of gaming, not to mention a twist that dropped many a jaw.
While Hollywood’s love affair with reboots and remakes all too often results in disappointment, there are some properties that could genuinely benefit from a fresh take. Logan’s Run is a fondly remembered cult classic for many, but I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s a perfect film. Plus, it is very much a film of its era, and enough time has passed that many mainstream audience members have probably never even heard of it. Bringing Levine on board to find a way to make Logan’s Run interesting and relevant again? Would you kindly sign me up?