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This ‘Flatliners’ Remake Might Not Suck

Sony hires the writer of Source Code to reimagine Joel Schumacher's 1990 supernatural thriller.

More remake news (getting a little sick of writing that sentence fragment, but whatever): Flatliners is on track at Sony for a new "reimagining" from Source Code writer Ben Ripley. Deadline announced that the project is part of Ripley's new development deal with Sony. And for once, we're actually really excited about the possibilities here.

There are so many remakes getting made (or at least announced) lately that it's getting difficult to keep track. But of all the movies getting "reimagined" lately, Flatliners might actually make the most sense. Joel Schumacher's original 1990 thriller boasted a then-clever premise – medical students experiment with near death experiences, but bring something back from the beyond in the process – and a stellar cast that included then-ingenues Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland, along with William Baldwin, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt. But it wasn't actually a great film. Each character had their own supernatural subplot, but only Sutherland's – about a malevolent boy ghost whose death the 24 star accidentally caused – was actually scary. The rest were mostly guilt-a-thons about picking on a little girl back in grade school, or videotaping sex with your girlfriends without telling them. Yawn.

So a remake might actually have an opportunity to fully capitalize on the nifty conceit by upping the ante throughout the whole film. Ben Ripley's a talented individual, as his clever screenplay for Source Code proved (a film we loved). Although most of his screenplays have been for such forgettable projects as Species III and Species: The Awakening, you can't always pick your earliest projects, and we're particularly interested to see what he comes up with here.

CraveOnline will be back with more Flatliners news when it's "a good day to die."