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‘If you are going to remake a film, you may as well remake a classic’ Liev Schreiber

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Why remake? Film studios around the world often remake classic children and adult films this has become an ongoing tradition – using new actors and updating scenery mostly because they have a ready made audience.If you enjoyed the original, you will probably want to see the remake.

The Railway children 1970/2000

Comparisons are easy to make if you have seen both versions! Some stories for children such as ‘The Railway Children’ (1970) adapted from a book by English author Edith Nesbit [1858-1924]. The book was adapted for the screen by British film-maker Lionel Jeffries, who also directed the film. A remake of The Railway Children was released in 2000. This story has also been adapted for television and stage. British actor Jenny Agutter stars as Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury, one of the railway children in the 1970 versions, she also appears as the Mother in 2000.

The story is so well known in the UK and so popular that it has also been a TV show and a live stage performance at Waterloo Station! With an amazing steam train playing a leading role.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 1971/2005

Another popular children’s film that has been remade is ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It is claimed that the author of the original story Roald Dahl didn’t approve of the 1971 film version. In 2005 a second version of the story was filmed, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, this time the film was given the approval of the Dahl estate.

The most controversial part of the original story is the depiction of the Oompa Loompas, the main workers in the chocolate factory. From the beginning there was an outcry that the description of these characters was racist and the Roald Dahl then changed the description of these characters in later editions of his novel. In the films they are portrayed as mischievous, love practical funny jokes and singing.

Photo credit:

Screenshot 'The Railway Children' 1970 and 1999

'The Railway Children' stage performance Waterloo Railway Station

'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' 1971

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' 2005

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