Universal taps Adam Berg to direct ‘Videodrome’ remake

Wide Screen

Two words this blogger has never wanted to type in the same sentence are "Videodrome" and "remake," but it appears as though Universal is pushing ahead with a planned contemporary re-imagining of the classic Canadian film, despite the reservations of David Cronenberg fans.

According to Deadline, the studio is currently in talks with Swedish commercial and music video director Adam Berg to helm a remake of the surreal 1983 Cronenberg film. Universal reportedly wants to adapt the property into "a large-scale sci-fi action thriller" involving nano-technology. The film would likely be in the vein of another recent sci-fi remake, Sony's "Total Recall." Because that one worked out so well!

The original Cronenberg film followed Max Renn (James Woods), the president of a Toronto television channel called CIVIC TV — a station specializing in risqué and controversial subject matter. In an effort to further push the boundaries of television, Max begins airing a violent show called "Videodrome," which seemingly focuses on the real-life torture and murder of people who appear on it. The more Max watches "Videodrome," the more he -- and the world around him -- begins to be corrupted, mentally and physically, by it.

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Universal's concept for the remake seems to vaguely touch on some of the themes found in Cronenberg's film — our perception of reality through the media, transhumanism, etc. — but it's doubtful that any of those themes will meaningfully make it through to the final film. One reason for that is the fact that Ehren Kruger — the man responsible for penning the last two "Transformers" movies — is writing the "Videodrome" script. Michael Bay's brain-dead and explosion-filled "Transformers" films are about as far as movies can get from the highly disturbing and thought-provoking original "Videodrome."

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It's a safe bet that the film will at least look good, though. "Videodrome" may be Berg's feature film debut, but there should be no doubting his filmmaking chops. The director's visually stunning 2009 advertisement "Carousel" (produced for TV maker Philips) won numerous ad awards, including the grand prize at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Perhaps the fact that Berg comes from a commercial and music video background will give him an interesting angle for "Videodrome's" twisted subject matter, or maybe it will just ensure the film will blow things up in the flashiest way possible.

While the "Videodrome" remake is still very early in development, hiring a director is usually a pretty serious sign that a studio plans to push ahead with a project.