John Carpenter’s cult 1988 sci-fi flick They Live is getting a remake from Universal and Strike Entertainment. This was absolutely coming down the pike sooner or later, considering the recent The Crazies and Nightmare on Elm St. remake announcements, and the already released The Hills Have Eyes and Assault on Precinct 13 films (both of which were at least handled with care). And in the case of They Live – this may be a necessary remake. I loved the original and have it on DVD, however, I always felt the underlying message was much stronger than the production value on the movie itself. I am interested in seeing what Strike and Rogue do with the property also, since they produced a polished Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004, launching director Zack Snyder’s career into the stratosphere. However, Strike is also developing a remake of Carpenter’s The Thing, a near perfect sci-fi thriller, that simply doesn’t need a remake. I had hoped for a kick-ass sequel all through the late 80s into the 90s…but a remake? Anyway.
They Live told the story of a down-on-his-luck construction worker (Roddy Piper), who discovers sunglasses that let him see people being assailed with media and government with messages including “Stay Asleep”, “No Imagination” and “Submit to Authority”. He is also able to see that normal-looking beings are in fact disgusting aliens, that are in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued, using their watches as communications mechanisms. He, along with a fellow construction-worker-turned-revolutionary (Keith David) race against the clock to find a way to stop them.
Film Fetish Trivia: The image attached to the this story is one of three original publicity prints the writer found in the basement of a great “little” antique store called Paris on Ponce, in Atlanta, Georgia, that he hopes to have signed by the actors someday.
Check out the trailer for the original They Live below.