You know what they say, “You can’t keep a good experimental military robot that was struck by lightning, gained human intelligence, and then escapes to learn about the world down!”. And yes, despite what you may think, the folks in Hollywood really do say that. Multiple times, in fact, as yet another attempt to remake Short Circuit is now in development.
Released in 1986 and directed by John Badham (Wargames, Saturday Night Fever), Short Circuit saw the aforementioned robot codenamed Number 5 being found by Ally Sheedy’s Stephanie Speck, who proceeds to teach it about all aspects of human life. The film also starred Steve Guttenberg as the designer of the robot – eventually nicknamed Johnny 5 – who is ordered by the military to retrieve it and break it down for study. The film was a charming delight and earned over $100 million worldwide on just a $15 million budget prompting a less successful sequel in 1988.
Two decades after that, a Short Circuit remake went into development with Robot Chicken writer Dan Milano scripting. However, the production struggled to get going as first Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) and then Tim Hill (Hop) was attached to direct. The last we heard about this reboot was 2012 after which it apparently died. But now Variety is reporting that a new remake is in the pipeline from Spyglass Media. The production house has tapped Mexican writing duo Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman to pen the screenplay, which will reportedly introduce some form of Latin-American/Hispanic-American influence. Just what that implies is anybody’s guess for now.
Before it got stuck in development hell, the Milano-scripted remake actually had some interesting ideas with Hill revealing in 2012 that the plan was to touch on the use of weaponized drones in modern militaries. That remake had also planned to age down the character of Stephanie Speck from a twenty-something animal caregiver to a young pre-teen girl. Again, just how many of those elements will be kept for this new remake, if any, is unknown.
Spyglass Media is co-producing this remake with Project X Entertainment, with the two production companies currently also producing the upcoming Scream soft reboot set for release in 2022.
Last Updated: November 16, 2020