Ryan Gosling is Sandman Logan 5

Ryan Gosling is Sandman Logan 5

Logan's Run - Poster for the 1976 movieLogan’s Run (1976) must be the poor cousin among Hollywood’s remake candidates. Considering much of the blockbuster fabric was made of sequels, franchises and remakes in recent years, I kept wondering why the science fiction classic with Michael York and Jenny Agutter hasn’t gotten its contemporary version yet.

Now, after 15 years of news from the rumour mill, a deal seems to be close. According to Deadline, Ryan Gosling (All Good Things, 2010, top image) will be the new Logan 5, and Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, 2008) will direct the remake set to hit the screens in 2012.

This remake shouldn’t be too remake-ish though as both director and actor are known for their very own styles – more or less outside of mainstream cinema. I think if the Powers That Be aren’t too tough on them, we might get to see an interpretation of Logan’s Run that has more to it than just a modernized outfit and cutting-edge special effects and, last but not least, betters the original movie.

Michael York and Jenny Agutter in Logan's Run (1976)The plot of William Nolan’s 1967 novel anyway allows for enough creative variations and nuances without crashing its idea. The story’s about a future where people are put down once they reach a certain age (21 in the novel, 30 in the movie). This rule is policed by Sandmen hunting everyone who tries to escape the fate of dying young. Logan 5 is one of the Sandmen, until his expiry date approaches and he himself becomes a runner. Apart from its untimely end (which is “sweetened” with the prospect of Renewal, a reincarnation of sorts) this future life is an idyllic one, where “mankind lives only for pleasure”.

In 2002 Nolan said (complete interview here):

“MGM took eight years to produce their version of Logan’s Run, so it maybe several more years before we see the new Logan picture in release.”

Apparently that was already about 5 years after the project was brought up at Warner Brothers. It has seen quite some writers and directors come and go, Bryan Singer and Joel Silver among them.

The CarouselThe rather strong political and maybe even religious undertone of the story might be a reason why Logan 5 never really had a run on big or small screens. The MGM original looks rather silly and over-cliched by today’s standards, and the TV spin-off (1977/78) lasted only for 14 episodes.

It looks like the story has been attractive enough to filmmakers yet overwhelming given all the possible themes (population control, mortality, ageism, obsession with youth, euthanasia, living in a “fake” paradise…) – I think Logan’s Run has the potential to be a big hit in terms of storytelling and filmmaker bravery, and on this note the way cast and crew finally shape up is more than promising.

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  1. I hope they don’t Tron it up. Please, tell them to stay away from 3D because I’m worried they’re gonna cheese it up with all these cheap gimmicks. Just stick to the story and Logan’s Run will be fine in my opinion.

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