A POSITIVE PROGRESS REPORT ON THE NEW LOGAN FILM
from William F. Nolan
On August 4, 2000, here in Los Angeles, I spent three hours with Skip Woods, the writer/director of the new LOGAN'S RUN. Our talk was intense, detailed, and enthusiastic - and I can happily report that I'm extremely pleased with his plans for the remake. Skip Woods brings real passion to this project. He loves and respects the original novel (having read it "countless times") and he hopes to dramatize as much of it as possible.
Skip Woods began as a stage actor (at the age of 5). Now 30, he's a 25-year show business veteran and this lifetime of experience will serve him superbly in directing the young cast of LOGAN'S RUN And "young" is the operative word, since Woods plans a return to the novel's "death-at 21" theme. (MGM moved the death age up to 30, to ease the casting problems they faced back then, which greatly diminished the intrinsic shock value of the original Logan concept.) Woods is also going to add a number of positive scenes to his script, returning the film concept to a vision much closer to that of the original novel:
* He will dramatize the gradual breakdown of this all-youth society, deprived of mature guidance and wisdom, as projected in the novel. (MGM totally ignored this aspect of the book.)
* He will provide Logan and Jessica with a real Sanctuary.
* He's going to utilize the "homer" --- the nerve-destroying bullet that tracks a runner's body heat.
* Box will be presented in the film as originally conceived: a half-flesh, half-metal menace.
* Crazy Horse and the vast, below-caverns Thinker will be recreated.
* Woods has come up with a marvelous new future city idea that will replace MGM's domes and replicate the "mile-high-complex" described in the book.
* And he will carefully "arc" the character of Logan. That is, he will dramatize Logan's transition from stone-cold killer to life-loving runner.
Many of the same things that bothered me about the MGM film bothered him (particularly in terms of logic) and these will all be rectified.
Hey, fans, don't get me wrong. I admired, and continue to admire, the MGM film. I've seen it many times and enjoy each new viewing. It will always have a special place in my affection - and I realize that the MGM movie is the main basis for Logan fandom. This being said, however, there are several vital sequences in the novel that never reached the screen.
Back in 1994, when I met with Michael DeLuca at New Line Cinema, he said that he wanted to redo LOGAN'S RUN "as it should have been done." DeLuca told me: "The book has barely been touched." (That was almost six years ago, when Ted Turner owned the Logan film rights. Things move slowly in Hollywood.)
Skip Woods agrees with DeLuca. His film version will be darker, deeper, and harder-edged, while retaining the key Logan-Jessica romantic relationship. Logical dramatic action and in-depth characters ... this is the blend Woods intends to achieve.
The central question remains: when will we be able again to see Logan run again? When will the new LOGAN'S RUN be released?
At the moment (despite the fact that he's made "a ton of notes"), Woods has yet to begin his screenplay. Thus, there is no cast or start date. But he assures me that the project is front-and-center with Warner Bros. and that Joel Silver will produce this one. We can count on it.
My guess, based on long years of observing the progress of major studio productions in Hollywood, is that Logan will be in theaters by the summer (or Christmas) of 2002. Which means we must all wait another two years.
But the wait will pay off. Skip Woods is a true Logan enthusiast and is motivated by an abiding passion for this project. I have no doubt whatever that he will deliver a powerhouse remake.
He and I agree on the basics; we're on the same wave length. I will continue to bring you updated reports as things move forward.
Hang in there, Loganites.
The best is yet to come.
Copyright 2000 - William F. Nolan. Used with permission.
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