If you’ve been following the press releases coming out of Disney, then you know they’ve caught the remake disease, and it’s an even worse case than Hollywood usually comes down with. They have no less than thirteen live-action versions of their animated classics in development, from The Lion King to Aladdin to Mulan. They just announced a live-action version of the one that started everything, Snow White (despite the fact that we’ve had about five Snow White movies in the last few years). And they’re sequeling the ones they HAVE made: Jungle Book 2 and Maleficent 2 are on the schedule, though it remains to be seen if they’ll get made.
You would think the point of desperation would be when Disney tries to remake their 1979 box office failure The Black Hole. But actually, they reached that point years ago and moved past it. Director Joseph Kosinski was once assigned to direct a Black Hole remake and Jon Spaihts was tasked with writing a script.
Spaihts spoke to Slashfilm about the abandoned project and claims the tossed script is a masterpiece. “Black Hole was an amazing experience. That was one of those movies I was stuck on until I cracked the beginning, and suddenly it just started to flow. I loved that script. It sits uneasily in Disney’s world as a dark epic, and Disney is in a very colorful place.”
But being “dark” wasn’t the reason Disney ultimately passed on remaking The Black Hole. When you think for a second, the reason is obvious. And no, it’s not because “The Black Hole was a stupid movie.”
Shortly after work began on Black Hole, Disney bought Lucasfilm and the exclusive rights to all things Star Wars. The Black Hole was conceived in the late 70’s as their response to Star Wars, and now that they had the real thing, they were no longer interested in their imitation. And that was that.
Spaiths says of his script, “I don’t know how or whether it’ll find its way to light of day, but I sure wrote a heck of a movie and was thrilled to do it. It was very faithful to the original but clever in all the ways in that first film was silly, I hope.”