Last week, the great (and tragically absent from the screen) Gene Wilder made a rare public appearance at New York’s 92nd Street Y, discussing his retirement from the movies, his distaste for modern “dirty” movies (an odd comment, coming from the co-star of Blazing Saddles), and what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp had done to his most famous role. “I think it’s an insult,” he said of Burton’s 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Johnny Depp, I think, is a good actor, but I don’t care for that director. He’s a talented man, but I don’t care for him doing stuff like he did.” Wilder isn’t the only actor or director to speak out against remakes of their work; more on that story, and a few more examples, after the jump.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
When Tim Burton shot his version of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book in 2005, the filmmaker took great pains to label his film as an adaptation, and not a remake of Mel Stuart’s 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. ”A lot of people are huge fans of the movie and hold it in awe,” he told Entertainment Weekly. ”I wasn’t one of them.” Come to find out, that disdain runs both ways. When the film was announced, Gene Wilder, who played the title role in the early adaptation, voiced his displeasure: “It’s all about money. It’s just some people sitting around thinking ‘How can we make some more money?’ Why else would you remake Willy Wonka?” His recent comments would seem to indicate that he wasn’t any happier about the end product than he was about the concept.