September 29, 2005
Body Snatchers: No Longer Invading, Just Visiting
Warner Brothers is set to produce yet another remake of the 1956 sci-fi film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which in its original version starred Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The movie made a campy reappearance in 1978 starring Donald Southerland and Brooke Adams. In 1993 it returned once again named simply Body Snatchers, starring Terry Kinney and Meg Tilley.
Now, Nicole Kidman takes the lead in a version that producers have renamed twice. First, it was changed to Invasion. I think the reluctance on the part of Warner to stick with the Body Snatchers title might be due to the fact that the name has been used and spoofed so many times: Invasion of the Girl Snatchers (1973), Invasion of the Body Stealers (1969), and more recently, Invasion of the Space Preachers (1990) and Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers (1992) starring none other than Bugs Bunny. It might also be due to the fact that the 1993 film, which was directed by Abel Ferrara, may be simply more intelligent than what's been scripted for 2006.
Alas, Warner Bros. soon discovered that the title Invasion was already being used in a new ABC drama so the Kidman movie, which is still in pre-production, has been rechristened again and will be called The Visiting.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a movie name that virtually everyone knows and sci-fi audiences have a huge loyalty and long memory. The original versions have all been reissued in DVD format so they are very much out there.
But The Visiting, while a much less-used name, is nowhere near as effective. It's inaccurate as well. In this movie, the aliens are not just visiting, they're here to stay.
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