Stephen King’s bank account no doubt sends the movies a birthday card every year. It is hard to think of an author whose work has been adapted so widely. Many even end up being remade and the latest in that line may be Cujo.
Cujo was one of the books King wrote in arguably his best era. It starred a giant Saint Bernard who becomes rabid after a bat bit it. The result in a crazy beast roaming the countryside, soon trapping a mother and her son in their car. The 1983 adaptation was a big hit and three decades later someone wants to repeat that effort. But a few things look different:
What’s interesting about the remake — or reboot, as it’s being called — is the title has been changed to the acronym C.U.J.O., which is said to stand for “Canine Unit Joint Operations” (IMDb lists the movie fully as Cujo: Canine Unit Joint Operation). That sounds like it will be straying more from the King novel, which was published in 1981. Could he be some sort of police dog instead of the one owned by remote car mechanic? Could there be a whole unit of rabid Cujos? Given that it’s referred to as a reboot, maybe Elliott wants a franchise, and so maybe multiple murderous mutts. Or just one really big one who isn’t immediately killed off.
Ugh, I loathe the word ‘reboot’. This is not a reboot. Reboots are when you revive a former movie franchise. The above sounds like a new adaptation of the novel. But all that aside, the idea of a pack of dogs… sounds stupid. The brilliance of Cujo was that most of the focus sat around the trapped pair in the car, creating a claustrophobic vibe. It was also a bit of King genius to make the heroes a vulnerable woman and child facing off a giant, man-eating dog.
I’m not against changing the formula, but I don’t see why they want to do that right out of the gate. Is it in the hope of creating a franchise? Is this what movies have become: instead of focusing on making one great piece of entertainment, we’ll settle for middling concepts just so the studio can squeeze a few more out?
But I will say that it is about time someone revisit Cujo, which could be an excellent thriller made on a relatively small budget. Here’s just hoping they don’t make it about a robot dog or something.
Then again, apparently studios once mulled the idea of a sequel to Se7en, with Morgan Freeman as a psychic detective. You really don’t know how low they’d go…
Last Updated: July 7, 2015