Throwback Tuesday: My Take on the Remake of Romancing the Stone
Throwback Thursday has been an online trend for a number of years now, so I thought I would create a new monthly column called “Throwback Tuesday” [a slight twist on the popular hashtag, of course) where I will focus on past pieces I have written here at NiceGirlsTV, posted at my own site Rueben’s Ramblings or new pieces where I will take a look at some of my favorite TV characters, musicians and the like from past decades.
The first piece in this new column is an article I posted at Rueben’s Ramblings back on September 6, 2011 when there was quite a bit of talk within the entertainment industry about the 1980’s movie Romancing the Stone possibly getting remade.
The following was my take on the remake:
There has been a lot of talk, especially recently, about a remake of the 1984 box office film Romancing the Stone. For quite some time there had been talk about remaking it on the big screen with Grey’s Anatomy alum Katherine Heigl and Phantom of the Opera actor Gerard Butler rumored to be considered for the lead roles. But now the most recent news is that NBC has picked it up with plans to make it into a weekly TV series.
As many will remember, the original film starred Kathleen Turner as romance writer Joan Wilder who sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, soon finding herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure alongside a swashbuckling American bird exporter played by Michael Douglas.
The network’s plan for the TV adaptation is to have the story follow a successful but unfulfilled woman who teams with a risk-taking adventurer to take on weekly missions while on a larger quest to find her missing brother.
Now that sounds all fine and well to me, but the keys to this adaptation succeeding will be the right casting, the right creative team and making the show an action-packed, fun and interesting series that TV viewers will want to watch every week. Without those key components, the show will crash and burn like so many other TV shows before it.
But I have to admit that I have been tossing around an idea for a Romancing the Stone remake of my own for about the last 9 months or so. And with the news of the NBC pick-up breaking last week, I just had to get my own idea down in print. It won’t make any difference in the long run, but it sure will, at the very least, make me feel better, knowing that my idea is out there for anyone interested in reading about it.
So, without further ado, here is my idea for my Romancing the Stone remake:
In the world of gaming, Maggie Harding and Jake Wood, who have been step-brother and step-sister since Maggie’s mom and Jake’s dad married when they were little kids, are the new dynamic duo; Maggie creates the fantastic worlds contained within their international hit video game Phantasma while Jake is not only the mastermind behind the development of the game but also the entire business end of their worldwide enterprise. Maggie serves as the face of the business because of her outgoing personality and vivacious (often out of control) nature while Jake tends to be the wallflower, struggling with personal insecurities and phobias as well as an enormous clumsy streak. But when Maggie gets in deep trouble with Zane Randall, an incredibly powerful businessman, who actually turns out to be a deadly drug lord in Japan, Jake has to overcome all of his phobias in order to save his “little sister’s” life.
After receiving an encrypted text from Maggie, Jake sets out for Kobe, Japan to retrieve a valuable ‘family heirloom’ which Randall alleges Maggie swiped (she’s a klepto, by the way) from one of his luxurious hotels during a high-profile video game conference. But once Jake gets there, he makes a fateful mistake, taking the wrong mountain road and running smack dap into the stalled jeep owned by Jacqueline “Ace” Calder, a former Marine drill sergeant and current international bounty hunter.
Ace is on the trail of Jun Yamaguchi, a Wakagashira [the loose translation for a First Lieutenant, which is second only to the boss within the Yamaguchi family] one of the deadliest members of the Yakuza, the organized crime syndicate in Japan which is based out of Kobe. Jun is wanted in connection with a number of grizzly and unsolved murders in the United States and Mexico. Jake is now thrown into her hunt in exchange for her help getting him to the center of the city to retrieve the heirloom and save Maggie.
Their hunt for Jun takes them across most of the wards within the city of Kobe, putting Ace and Jake through adventures for which neither of them are prepared. Jake starts to overcome his phobias and Ace starts to let down her barriers in order to survive; and in doing so, they unexpectedly find common ground and slowly begin to fall for each other. But, can they track down the heirloom, which turns out to contain a zip drive of all Randall’s illegal deals, that will eventually save Maggie’s life and catch Jun before he kills again?
The main cast of characters would include the following:
Actor Ryan Sypek would play Jake Wood. Ryan is best known for his role on the ABC Family series Wildfire, he has also appeared in How I Met Your Mother, Greek, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and the made-for-TV movie Christmas Cupid.
Actress Arielle Kebbel would play Jacqueline “Ace” Calder. Arielle has appeared in episodes of Gilmore Girls, Life Unexpected, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.
Actress Angela Sarafyan would play Maggie Harding. Angela has been seen in episodes of The Good Guys, In Plain Sight, The Shield, 24 and Lincoln Heights.
Actor Paul Blackthorne would play Zane Randall. Paul has appeared in The Gates, The Dresden Files, 24, Lipstick Jungle, Big Shots, ER and Presidio Med.
Actor Ken Watanabe would play Jun Yamaguchi. Ken is best known in the US for his roles in the box office films The Last Samurai, Batman Begins and Inception.
Other members of the cast (not referenced in the description above) would include:
Actor Ken Leung would play Zane Randall’s right-hand man, Seung Lee, a Korean master of martial arts. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business, allowing him to make Randall’s business enterprise look 100 percent legitimate. He is tasked to meet Jake upon arrival at Kobe, but Jake’s clumsy streak not to mention his lack of directional skill, fouls that plan. He tracks Jake and Ace during their adventures, reporting all details back to Randall.
Actress Miracle Laurie would play Cassie Grant, the on-again off-again girlfriend of Jake, who is unsuccessful in convincing Jake not to go to Kobe. She works for Jake and Maggie’s enterprise in Research and Development. She will appear in the beginning in various scenes at the company’s office and in several flashbacks as Jake and Ace share stories of their past.
Actor Patrick Fabian would play Hank Todd, the man who discovered Maggie and Jack’s talent, molding them into the dynamic duo and providing the initial capital to get them started. Hank was also unable to keep Jake from going to Kobe.
Actress Jennifer Beals would play Sarah Harding-Wood, Maggie’s mom and Jake’s step-mom, who will appear in flashbacks in the beginning of the film showing Maggie’s and Jake’s younger days and will be featured briefly in the final scenes.
Actor Jonathan Silverman would play Gregory Wood, Jake’s dad and Maggie’s step-dad, who will also appear in the same flashbacks at the beginning and briefly in the final scenes.
Actor Enver Gjokaj would play Marine Captain Barry “Moose” Walinski, the only guy Ace ever got close to while in the service. He will appear in flashbacks as Jake and Ace share stories of their past and he will appear in an unexpected twist ending.
So, there you have it my version of Romancing the Stone the remake for the big screen, for better or worse. I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you like the storyline? Like the casting? Or, maybe you have a better idea for either the storyline or casting. Please share.
That’s it. Until next month!