I have very strong feelings about reboots and sequels and remakes and reimaginings and spinoffs and revivals. Most of the time I’m like “why, no more please and is this the best you can do?” Studios: “yes.”
Because there is a lack of material and no one is writing anything fresh (ahem, ahem) and how will original ideas perform overseas? Whatever. The last couple of years have gifted us an unsolicited glut of superhero movies AND a disappointing number of uninspired new properties. The excuses for not developing new material from talented, diverse writers are becoming increasingly invalid (see previous awards season.) There is also a wealth of new media avenues cropping up almost daily, giving fresh ideas a plethora of places to land. I give Movie Pass eighteen months before they’ve jumped into content creation.
But anyway, the remake of certain beloved films seems inevitable while the mere thought of others is sacrilegious. Robocop- obvious; The John Hughes catalogue- don’t you effing dare! There is a certain group of beloved 80s dance movies that have already been cursed by Hollywood’s creatively bankrupt hand: Dirty Dancing (what was that Havana Nights tomfoolery?), Fame and Footloose. I watched the previous three reincarnations exactly once and under duress because HOW COULD THEY???? And why? Why mess with gloriously cheesy, soft-focused, pop-filled 80s perfection? And during each of those pained viewings I said to myself “They'd better not touch Flashdance.”
Flashdance holds a special place in my heart for reasons that are too numerous to list. Though I'm neither a welder, exotic dancer nor professional ballerina, I get Alex. For years I fervently prayed to the movie gods to never allow my precious Flashdance to be mangled and misinterpreted by modern filmmakers because my formative years were so tied to this silly paean to dance-chievment. But one day I thought, weeellll… because one has to face facts. And after wrestling with myself- because thoughts about a Flashdance remake involved internal struggle- I realized that if there’s going to be a Flashdance revival, I should write it… and also star in it.
Hear me out; I have facts. When literary projects aren’t a high priority and not expected to perform particularly well, studios are more willing to farm them out to lesser-known writers. They pay them less, they market less and either they don’t really lose money, or the projects overperform. Execs are pleasantly surprised and everyone wins. Who better to rewrite an arguable classic than someone who lurves it and has watched it no less than 20 times? I came to this conclusion much as a delusional parent who decides their kids should drink in their home instead of elsewhere. But seriously, if anyone else brings Flashdance into the 21st century and makes it all about Alex sending nudes to Nick Hurley on Snapchat, we are going to have a motherfucking problem!
As for me portraying the young weldress in this foolhardy venture, again, I have facts. When Jennifer Beals was cast she was relatively unknown and yet Flashdance did exceptionally well at the box office. She’s gone on to have a substantial career and really, I would do it just for the chance to relive the magic sweatshirt/bra scene. There’s also the matter of her appearance. I know we live in a world where trolls will boycott films because of racial alterations to characters in fictional universes, but being woke is cool now and if anyone still doesn’t know, Jennifer Beals is half black. Yes, she’s the definition of ethnically ambiguous, but she’s definitely mixed so casting someone who is obviously of color wouldn’t be a huge stretch.
“But wait,” someone is thinking, “we’ll need a really strong dancer to pull off this role.” No you won’t. See widely known history of Flashdance. Luckily for me, I’m a mildly talented dancer, a past and current ballet student, and I’m pretty, pretty good at picking up choreography. We might not need any petite men in wigs to double for me, but between my acceptable dancing ability and the magic of editing, I think we’ll make do. And if anyone needs more convincing of the authenticity I’d bring to this part, well, umm, I used to live in Pittsburgh and I can ride a bike. There. I think I’ve pretty much won my case. If we must recycle the perfectly preserved world of synth beats, Top Gun high fives and the Reagan administration, let it be done by someone who loves it dearly. That’s it. #whatafeeling