Disney has found much success with its live-action adaptations of earlier animated movies. But when it comes to rebooting or remaking their own classic live-action movies from the 70s and 80s, they've had a far less impressive track record. Tron: Legacy teeters on being considered an outright bomb, and this led to their planned Black Hole remake getting indefinitely shelved. But there may have been bigger issues behind The Black Hole's delay than the lackluster performance of Tron 2.
Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski had actually teamed up with his producer from that movie, Sean Bailey, to start developing the Black Hole remake over seven years ago, which would have revamped the 1979 sci-fi thriller. Passengers screenwriter Jon Spaihts was hired to come in and do a rewrite. Though that project never moved foreword, Spaihts did stick with Disney, and has since co-written the screenplay for this weekend's Doctor Strange.
/film caught up with Jon Spaihts to find out why The Black Hole has never moved out of development hell. Gary Neslon's original was always considered Disney's answer to Star Wars. And now that Disney fully owns Star Wars, one might think a Black Hole remake might feel redundant. But that's not why it hasn't happen. According to Spaihts, the pitch black thriller might just be a bit too 'dark' for the usually colorful Disney to handle at the moment.
The original movie followed a space exploration team who butt heads with a crazy scientist named Dr. Hans Reinhardt. He is the sole human aboard a ship he plans to fly directly into a Black Hole. And as fans will recall, the end is almost as trippy as anything seen in Doctor Strange, though done with the special effects of the day, which makes the climactic impact feel a little less special than perhaps it should. Of all the movies getting a remake now, The Black Hole is definitely one of the better candidates for a redo. Here's what Spaihts had to say about Disney shelving The Black Hole.
"Black Hole was an amazing experience. That was one of those movies I was stuck on until I cracked the beginning, and suddenly it just started to flow. I loved that script. It sits uneasily in Disney's world as a dark epic, and Disney is in a very colorful place. They already have multiple big space epics going, so I don't know how or whether it'll find its way to light of day, but I sure wrote a heck of a movie and was thrilled to do it. It was very faithful to the original but clever in all the ways in that first film was silly, I hope."
It sounds unlikely that The Black Hole remake will get off the ground anytime soon, but there's always a chance it could be revived. There has been talk of a Tron 3 for years now, and just recently Disney sparked new interest in the project by posting photos on their official Tron Facebook page. James Gunn helped spurn the rumors when he was photographed with a Lightcycle at his office, but he has since confirmed that he is definitely not directing Tron 3. He's currently in post-production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And that space franchise may poiunt to yet another reason why Disney is in no hurry to get Black Hole off the ground.
If Disney does decided to move forward with their Black Hole remake, they'll probably seek out a whole new team, including a new director and screenplay. While remakes are quite often frowned upon, Disney found modest success with its redo of the live-action/animated adventure Pete's Dragon this summer. But that was another reimagining that took a colorful franchise and turned it down a slightly darker corner.