9 Action Movies from the 80s Being Remade

The 1980s were a particularly grand time for box offices. Cult classics were birthed, a new era of lavish Hollywood stars were created, and cinema was changed forever. According to Newsweek, box offices bank on humanity’s need for nostalgia. Whether the remake is a beloved Disney classic like Hercules or murder mysteries like Clue, cinema fans adore remakes. One genre of film stands above the others when it comes to remakes: action movies.

Action movies are the reigning champions of box offices. Studios are cashing in on this by remaking, rebooting, and even filling in the gaps of classic movies. One of the biggest movies of the 1980s, Top Gunrecently released a sequel that raked in $248 million its opening weekend: Top Gun: Maverick. Top Gun was Tom Cruise’s leading role after his Golden Globe win for Risky Business. Considering how well Top Gun: Maverick did practically 40 years after its prequel’s premiere, studios would be foolish not to cash in on remaking other action films from the 1980s. Here’s a list of nine other action movies from the 80s currently being remade.


9 Escape From New York

The cult classic from 1981, Escape From New York, starring Kurt Russell who plays Snake Plissken, is set in a dystopian world where bank robbers are hired to save the President of the United States. Details about the project are still unknown — director John Carpenter has been discussing the project for years now — but Carpenter backs casting Wyatt Russell in place of his father who originated the role.

Related: Best John Carpenter Movies, Ranked

8 fletch

The 1985 movie fletch, starring Chevy Chase, tells the story of a news reporter, nicknamed Fletch, who is on the run from a powerful millionaire. Jon Hamm is taking on the lead role in the remake titled Confess, Fletch. In the film, Hamm is at the center of multiple murders while attempting to retrieve his girlfriend’s stolen art collection, according to Looper. Confess, Fletch is set to release in Fall 2022.

7 Akira

The 1988 anime movie Akira is receiving the remake treatment of Hollywood with some big names and changes behind it. One of the biggest changes to the anime movie is that it will be live-action. This big change comes from Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, who is sure to bring the anime action flick to life in a wondrous way.

6 Command

Originally released in 1985, the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Command is a classic as far as the lead actor is concerned. For the remake, it’s speculated that Schwarzenegger will be involved and wants to bring his Expendable co-star Sylvester Stallone in on the project. While not much else is known about the remake, including the release date, it’s possible the film is delayed due to Schwarzenegger’s busy schedule with other films, as the remake has been in the discussion stage for over a decade.

5 Flash Gordon

The “Savior of the Universe,” Flash Gordon and his friends travel to planet Mongo to take down Ming the Merciless. Another project from Waititi, Flash Gordon‘s remake should be as magical as the original. While the film was originally animated, the remake will now be a live-action flick. For the original, Queen was slated to write the music for the space opera in the 1980s. However, it’s unclear if the band, now led by Adam Lambert, will return to write new songs.

Related: Best Action Movie Remakes, Ranked

4 The Toxic Avenger

The remake of the 1981 classic of the same title follows a janitor who has an accident and becomes a small town’s hero. With Peter Dinklage in the lead role and an R-rating, the remake of The Toxic Avenger should live up to the former horror action flick’s legacy. One aspect about the remake that should be exciting is that 80s icon Kevin Bacon is set to be the film’s villain. The film has completed its filming, so a release date isn’t too far behind.

3 Alien Nation

The 1988 sci-fi action movie Alien Nation starred the last James Caan as a Matthew Sykes, as part of a human and alien police duo, with Mandy Patinkin as the alien cop. The remake from director Jeff Nichols was initially set to be a film starring Michael Shannon, but is now being turned into a ten-episode series. This could work better because science fiction has come a long way since Alien Nation was first released. Story elements can remain the same but more updated.

2 Big Trouble in Little China

A second Kurt Russell movie being remade, Big Trouble in Little China follows a trucker named Jack Burton fighting a sorcerer in Little China. Russell, at this point, is not slated to return for the remake. However, Dwayne Johnson is set to star.

1 Highlander

The tale of an immortal Scotsman set on vanquishing a fellow immortal, Highlanderis being remade with The Witcher‘s Henry Cavill as the famed immortal hero. In addition to Cavill playing another otherworldly character, the director of the iconic John Wick movies, Chad Stahelski, will helm the project.

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