#62: Recycled thespians

It’s fairly common these says when making a fim to shoot extra scenes, using existing sets, in order to be able to create an instant sequel. This is obviously much less costly than setting up a whole new project but it does require the backers to believe that there is commercial demand for a sequel, even before release of the main product.

Today’s invention is a variant on this theme that occurred to me whilst watching the charming and brilliantly cast Bandits.

Instead of just reusing sets, why not recycle the actors? They are after all, a major cost to any production. My suggestion would be to present the actors the challenge of reshooting each scene with just their characters swapped. Newman plays Sundance and vice versa. (A surprising number of movies apparently had their original cast exchanged in this way before shooting even began).

Creating an alternative version of certain movies, especially those reliant on the dynamic between two major characters, has a certain extra piquancy and could be achieved for a tiny fraction of the price of a remake.

I’d suggest not releasing the alternative version until the first edition has had time to become established. Can you imagine the consumer demand if it were suddenly announced that there was a forthcoming release of ‘More Like it Hot’ or ‘Louise and Thelma’?

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