Johnny 5 is alive, in the planned remake for Short Circuit

3 min read

Strangely, this is one digging up of an old movie that doesn’t perturb me too much. Johnny 5, the stiffly-animated robot from the Short Circuit film is indeed returning, although this time, he’s going to find his tank treads caught between a tale of robitc warfare, sentience, and some innocent young girl that he has to save.

While the original film starred Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy, who engaged in various wacky hijinks with the original Cold War robot, the remake from Tim Hill will have the director also co-writing the project, as he looks to bring the infamous droid into a more futuristic setting.

Speaking to the 24 Frames Blog about the project, Hill said that;

The thing that makes it so relevant is that we live in this age of robots, particularly when it comes to war. We have drones that do our fighting for us, do all these jobs men and women don’t want to do.

And that’s what makes this so interesting — things like this moment in the story when Johnny realizes he’s going to be disassembled and contemplates death, and whether it’s right to terminate someone else.

Kind of a few heavy themes there for a family film there, Mr Hill. After all, it’s not as if Herbie Reloaded had a sub-plot about drug addicition, did it? As for the new protaganist who happens to be a few years younger than the original, Hill says that this will work as an enticement for the younger members of the audience, as a “wish fulfillment” angle.

As for the more modern touch that Short Circuit is going to have, Hill said that there would be elements of the original film in there:

I’m tempted to go back and grab the original. But I think it has to be closer to what modern design actually is. There are computer models and labs developing real machines like this. We want to do something like that.

You’ve got to find the balance between something fierce and something endearing. The original was cute. But no one was threatened by it.

Hopefully they’ll have a Johnny 5 that looks like less like a tall Wall-E, and more like an ED-209 with a fancy one-liner chip embedded. Better watch out for stairs!

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Last Updated: April 12, 2012

Darryn Bonthuys

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