Not only is Hollywood settling for another remake of a classic film, but this time it’s a classic that has been remade many times before. According to Deadline, John Davis and writer David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2) have joined together on behalf of Warner Brothers to create yet another adaptation of the 1956 classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Based on the 1955 book The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, the story centers around a town that has been secretly invaded alien pod plants that grow exact replicas of human beings. These “pod people” slowly replace the town’s inhabitants, mimicking their physical characteristics and personalities yet lacking in any human emotion. Their secret is eventually discovered by a local doctor who attempts to foil their plot, despite his inability to distinguish the real humans from the pod people.
The original Invasion of the Body Snatchers film received critical acclaim upon its release, acting as something of a political allegory to the Red Scare and rise of anti-Communism paranoia. It was later remade in 1978 with a cast consisting of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimoy, also receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences. Considered by many to be one of the best remakes ever made, it’s a great example on how to update a movie while retaining the themes that made the original so popular. The film was remade two more times but with less success: 1993’s Body Snatchers by Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) and the ultimately forgettable 2007 re-imagining The Invasion.
Because each Body Snatcher adaptation has included some form of social commentary, perhaps Davis and Johnson’s film could exceed expectations. Johnson’s experience in the horror genre, alongside the current American political climate, would definitely make for a unique combination. Should they properly utilize 21st century fears within the updated pod people, it could possibly lead to a successful remake in the vein of the 1978 film.