Norman Lear covers the new issue of Variety. He’s 97 years old. He’s busier than ever. But that’s not the detail from the piece that’s making headlines. What’s making headlines and trending on social media is how Tony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, described Norman’s enduring popularity:
“We have so many people coming to us saying, ‘We want to remake this show or that show,’” Vinciquerra says. “Very famous people whose names I won’t use, but they want to redo ‘The Princess Bride.’ Some people want to do animated versions of some of the sitcoms. Not a month goes by when we don’t have an idea coming from some very big name wanting to do things with Norman.”
Remaking The Princess Bride was not the headline or the story. The story was supposed to be that at 97 years old, Norman Lear is still vital, still a creative draw. So much so that people keep coming up with ideas to pitch to him. One of them, evidently, is a remake of The Princess Bride, which he produced. Unfortunately we’re not told what his reaction was to the suggestion. Everyone online, however, has reacted with horror. That is the correct response.
As Cary Elwes tweeted, The Princess Bride is flawless:
There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world. It would be a pity to damage this one. https://t.co/5N8Q3P2e5G— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) September 18, 2019
That’s also a perfect response. Who the F-CK thinks this would be a good idea? Is it the people who think that they should now CGI the R.O.U.S.es? “Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.” Please, please, please God no. Part of the charm of the movie is that the Rodents look ridiculous and that’s what makes them terrifying …and hilarious! At the same time! Nobody needs to Lion King the R.O.U.S.es.
Also, Andre the Giant was a singular human being. You will never be able to sell me on another Fezzik. Speaking of Andre though, did you ever hear about how he used to fart on set? Cary wrote about it in his book, As You Wish, and it was three pages of fart recollection, specifically ONE fart recollected:
“A veritable symphony of gastric distress that roared for more than several seconds and shook the very foundations of the wood and plaster set where we were now grabbing on to out of sheer fear. … The sonic resonance was so intense I even observed our sound man remove his headphones to protest his ears.”
First of all, I always love a fart story and second, how can you possibly replicate that kind of …chemistry?
Anyway, Norman’s Variety cover is for their Emmys issue and there’s actually an Emmys connection, sort of, to The Princess Bride. Chernobyl, as you know, is one of this year’s major nominees and Cary almost didn’t get the part of Westley because of Chernobyl. He was shooting another project in what was at the time East Germany and the producers were supposed to fly there to audition him but since there were all kinds of warnings about radiation from the nuclear disaster (just eight hours away), they were so nervous about being affected, they almost didn’t get on the plane.
Unless you’re Taylor Swift and you see yourself as Buttercup to Joe Alwyn’s Westley (STOP IT), why would anyone want to do this? It’s such a painful subject. “While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it. We’re closed!”
Yours in gossip,