As director Tim Hill's (Alvin and the Chipmunks, Hop) remake of 1986's Short Circuit moves towards production, Hill himself spoke with The LA Times, dropping a few details about what moviegoers can expect from his updated take. Chief among the proposed changes is an updated Johnny 5, which Hill says will carry a bit more menace than the robot depicted in the original (and in its 1988 sequel).
"I’m tempted to go back and grab the original,” Hill admits, “But I think it has to be closer to what modern design actually is. There are computer models and labs developing real machines like this... You’ve got to find the balance between something fierce and something endearing. The original was cute. But no one was threatened by it."
The new Johnny 5 will also be born out of modern warfare technology, particularly that used in unmanned drones.
“The thing that makes it so relevant is that we live in this age of robots, particularly when it comes to war,” Hill continues. “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 Johnny realizes he’s going to be disassembled and contemplates death, and whether it’s right to terminate someone else.”
On the reverse end of the spectrum, however, is the aging down of the film's human protagonist. Played by Ally Sheedy in the original, Stephanie Speck (potentially with a different name altogether) will now be depicted as a teen or younger.
Drafted by Matt Lieberman, the new Short Circuit is currently without an announced production start, but check back for more information as it develops.