Screenwriter for ‘Fame’ Remake Pledges Not to Make Stinker

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Home Video

It's no secret that Hollywood ran completely out of ideas nearly two decades ago, and, as such, you can expect the parade of remakes to continue unabated. And since musicals are (sort of) hot right now, a redo of eighties Fame is on the fast track, with Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness) attached to direct. Allison Burnett (Resurrecting the Champ) is writing the script and has some strong ideas about the movie’s position in today’s marketplace: "Talk about a commitment to reality," he told us earlier this week. "Watch that movie again and look at the sophistication of how they’re not cartoon kids. They’re real kids with real problems, and when you’re that age, your problems are the most important things — you can’t imagine anything more dire. So we’re sticking to that; it’s not going to be Bring It On versus American Idol, it’s serious."

Ask Burnett about the explosive success of Disney’s sugary, made-for-TV High School Musical movies, though, and a look of only partially swallowed disgust gives an unspoken glimpse into studio feedback sessions. “That … came up and I just made it really clear that those movies are for 6- to 12-year-olds, and that’s not what I want or was hired to write. In my pitch, in my treatment, I said they’re all performances; it’s not like there are two people looking at each other, in love, and they start singing. I mean, it’s actual performances,” said Burnett. “Now, they play Bruno’s music, and the kids start dancing, and they’re playing in the cafeteria, and it’s going to stay that way. I’m going to be pretty loyal to the structure. I’m just going to create eight new characters.” The Leg-Warmers Manufacturers Association of America waits with bated breath. —Brent Simon