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‘Short Circuit’ Director Explains Why He Thinks We Need a Reboot


Lest you think the upcoming reboot of the Steve Guttenberg classic ‘Short Circuit’ is just another greedy grab for nostalgia-tinged cash, the director opens up in an interview to say that there are deeper messages that will resonate in our era of drone warfare. (At least so he says…)

‘Circuit,’ which came out in 1986, introduced audiences to Number 5, an experimental robot who goes rogue from its program when it is struck by lightning and gains intelligence. The reboot will be directed by Tim Hill, nephew of legendary director George Roy Hill, whose credits include ‘Hop’ and the animated ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ TV series. He talked to 24 Frames about the tone of his family film and said:

The thing that makes it so relevant is that we live in this age of robots, particularly when it comes to war. We have drones that do our fighting for us, do all these jobs men and women don’t want to do. And that’s what makes this so interesting — things like this moment in the story when [Number 5] realizes he’s going to be disassembled and contemplates death, and whether it’s right to terminate someone else. … These are heavy themes for a family movie. But I think they can have their place.”

I agree, if they are handled properly. The original ‘Short Circuit’ had a crucial Cold War element, but it excelled because of the warm chemistry Ally Sheedy made with the innocent robot. Hill’s film will recast the role as a teenager – again, to make this a family film – but the tone still sounds like it’s going to be goofy and fun. Just with a message.

Hill’s new ‘Short Circuit’ will be in theaters in 2013, though most of the lead roles still need to be cast, so stay tuned for more news on this project sometime soon.

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