In today’s inadvertently good news, Universal has put the brakes on a remake of Clue. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief, because no studio should ever get close to anything vaguely resembling a board game with six guests, six weapons, and murder in a mansion. Unfortunately, Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) still wants to adapt the story, but move the action onto a “global” scale. That sounds like some sort of spy caper — and it’s still not good enough. Nothing will ever match the genius of Jonathan Lynn‘s quotable comedy from 1985, starring Tim Curry as the butler who leads six strangers through the strange murders that take place at their dinner party.
The smartest thing that Lynn and his collaborators did was take Clue‘s script away from the board game entirely. Obviously Mr. Boddy’s mansion remains the same, but the writers set the mystery against 1950s McCarthyism, setting up conspiracy theories about Washington, D.C. and weapons of mass destruction. No, I was wrong — the very smartest thing was making the familiar names of Mr. Green, Mrs. White, etc., into the guests’ pseudonyms and giving them secrets they’d kill to keep quiet.
There’s not a single person in this movie who isn’t a hilarious character. From Michael McKean as stuttering, gay Mr. Green to Eileen Brennan as the squawking Mrs. Peacock to the unruffled Wadsworth (one of the best roles of Tim Curry‘s career), it’s one of the strongest ensemble casts in film. I’ll stop gushing and just post the trailer:
And for those of you who’ve watched it so many times that you can repeat Mrs. White’s “flames” speech, here are the movie’s best moments.
If Gore Verbinski wants a spy thriller, he should adapt Spy Web: You have a grid where each square represents a major city. From your stack of spies, you arrange them so that one is planted in each city. Each spy is pointing at, listening to, or talking to a spy on any side of him/her — your goal is to ask the other player, “Who is Stingray listening to?” or “Who is Leech pointing at?” Verbinski and co. could have a lot of fun especially with the visual medium of film.