4 Brilliant Directors (Who Accidentally Remade Their Own Movies)
A lot of movie fans worship famous directors like Steven Spielberg, or Martin Scorsese, or that guy from the champagne commercial outtakes. But even cinematic geniuses aren’t totally immune from borrowing pre-existing ideas – and as we’ve mentioned once or twice before, sometimes great filmmakers even steal from themselves, and end up repackaging their old work in subtle ways. Well, we’ve found a few more examples; SPOILERS for movies such as …
Last Night in Soho is Every Edgar Wright Movie Smooshed Together
Edgar Wright has made some great movies over the years, from Shaun of the Dead, to Hot Fuzz, to the version of Ant-Man available on Disney+ in an alternate, less crappy timeline. His most recent, Last Night in Soho, is basically a giallo-style horror movie, by way of the ‘80s network time travel drama Quantum Leap.
While it certainly boasts a unique premise, Last Night in Soho also remixes several plot elements from Wright’s earlier movies. Like the fact that the protagonist is obsessed with vintage music thanks to a connection with their dead mother, which is straight out of Baby Driver.
And Eloise from Last Night in Soho is eventually pursued by a horde of zombie-like ghouls (AKA the ghosts of a bunch of horny dead guys) which recalls both Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End.
And in one memorable scene, a character is just about to spill some key information to the protagonist, but is horribly killed – which also happens in Hot Fuzz. Then, in the end, the killer is revealed to be a sweet old lady which, again, is a thing that happens in Hot Fuzz – although in the latter film, it’s a whole town of homicidal seniors.
And ultimately, Eloise has to defeat this elderly murderer as a building burns down around her; similarly The Winchester pub is on fire at the end of Shaun of the Dead before he is triumphantly saved.
Presumably all the scenes in which Eloise beats up Toronto indie rockers were cut for time.
Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is The Last Jedi (Minus All The Star Wars Stuff)
After making a hit Star Wars movie – while also ensuring that he should never, ever type his name into a YouTube search field for the rest of his life – Rian Johnson wrote and directed the beloved murder mystery Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig as a legendary Southern detective with the drawl of a six foot tall cartoon rooster. Although Knives Out seemed at the time to be a complete 180 from The Last Jedi, the two films aren’t as wholly dissimilar as you might think …
After all, both are about a young woman who befriends a cranky old man who also happens to be a living legend; Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and acclaimed mystery writer Harlan Thrombey.
And both feature Rashomon-esque flashbacks from multiple perspectives to the old man’s past. The old man dies for the greater good; at the beginning of Knives Out to protect Marta, and at the end of The Last Jedi to save Rey and her friends. The protagonist eventually befriends the handsome bad boy outsider, who is related to the old man.
They forge a connection, and she believes that he is misunderstood by his family – but in the end, both men reaffirm their villainy.
And if all that wasn’t enough, in both movies a Frank Oz character randomly pops by in the middle of the story.
Although no one bails on the Knives Out murder investigation to check out a casino, thankfully.
Ivan Reitman’s Junior is Ghostbusters With Babies
Presumably in an attempt to one-up the ethically-dubious biological experimentation at the heart of Twins, Junior, late director Ivan Reitman’s 1994 re-teaming of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, finds the pair literally stealing a colleague’s ovum in order to impregnate the future Governator. It also features a terrifying early use of CGI that puts most horror movies to shame.
And it is basically just the plot of Ghostbusters, just with way more babies. Both stories open with academics being fired for their wild ideas.
So they go into business for themselves; but instead of Ghostbusting, Danny DeVito decides to test his new fertility drug on Arnie. Weirdly, these wacky schemes both involve making scenes at swank hotel ballrooms.
But their plans are complicated when a meddling pencil-pusher shows up with the cops and tries to shut them down.
But in the end, our heroes’ wacky project is a proven success; they perform a miraculous feat behind the closed doors of a private building while a crowd gathers outside.
And, to be honest, while they’re ultimately victorious, all of these scientists probably belong in jail.
Peter Jackson’s Get Back Is Not Unlike the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Really)
Peter Jackson’s Get Back is an expansive, intimate look at the creative process of one of the greatest musical acts of all-time, revealing iconic Beatles moments ranging from Paul McCartney’s writing the classic song “Get Back,” to the band’s legendary rooftop concert, to the time Ringo proudly ripped a huge fart.
While this was Jackson’s first documentary project, it bears some resemblance to his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Seriously. For starters there’s the fact that he structured Get Back, which was originally supposed to be just one feature-length film, in three super-long chunks. And both series involve four shaggy-haired youths from a small town who are destined for greatness.
And by the way, we aren’t the only ones to notice this potential similarity between the Fab Four and Tolkien’s Hobbits; as we’ve mentioned before, The Beatles wanted Stanley Kubrick to direct them in a big screen Lord of the Rings adaptation – although only Paul and Ringo would have been Hobbits, George was supposed to play Gandalf, and John wanted to be Gollum.
In whittling down more than 60 hours of footage, Jackson’s film flows in a way that mirrors The Lord of the Rings. The first part, for instance, ends like The Fellowship of the Ring; with a member of the group (Frodo and George) leaving to go off on their own.
And both stories build to a climax in which the heroes have to ascend to great heights: Mount Doom and the studio rooftop.
The forces of evil scramble below, but are held off by friends of the Hobbits/Beatles.
Maybe Jackson will use The Hobbit trilogy as a template if he ever makes a documentary about Wings.
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Top Image: Lucasfilm