We all know the standard practice of American production companies buying up the rights to small, charming, witty British TV series and turning them into brash, dumbed-down, slap-stick fart joke shells of what they once were. They did it to 'The Office', they did it to 'Red Dwarf', and now they're doing it to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's 'Spaced'.
That's right, Warner Bros. is about to start shooting an American remake of the series. No surprise there. But like a giant public slap in the face, Warner Bros. has not consulted or even contacted Wright, Pegg, or co-creator Jessica Steveson about the remake, and yet are using both Pegg and Wright's names for publicity purposes. Also, one of the executive producers is that hack McG. Yes, I'm serious. Get more details about the show and the remake after the bump.
For those of you who don't know, 'Spaced' was one of Pegg/Wright's first projects before 'Shaun of the Dead' that aired on Channel 4. The show has never been released in the states because of usage rights from the music in the show, so The Feed watched it illegally online, and seriously, it's really, really great. Pegg is hilarious as a video game obsessed comic book artist who lies about being in a relationship with his struggling journalist female best friend in order to get a deal on a cheap apartment. Stir in some latent sexual tension, the quarter-life crisis struggle of becoming an adult, and mix it up with an assortment of neighbors, friends, and significant others and you have a recipie for comedy genius. We could go on about all the wonderful characters and episodes and moments in this series, but we know you won't read it all, so either take our word for it or go find out for yourself.
Because of Pegg and Wright's international successes, Warner Bros. has been using their names to sell their American remake of the series even though they have not and will not have any involvement or association with the production. The Guardian UK quoted Pegg as saying this displays "a sheer lack of respect" in "respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know".
Wright has written about the remake on his website, saying "That show was very personal to us. It's about Simon and Jessica, not just some format or high concept," and that he has been having "a terrible recurring dream of being burgled in broad daylight (no joke, and no dream analyst required)." Variety Magazine recently described the new American remake as "single-cam half-hour revolves around a young man and woman who pose as a couple in order to rent a cheap apartment", to which Wright responded "It pains me to see it reduced to this."
Even Jessica Stevenson (now known as Hynes), who's name hasn't been dragged into the public arena is warning people to stay away from the American remake on her blog. She also suggests that there should be a British remake of McG's 'Charlie's Angels' called 'Charlie's Angles' "about three female architects who love to design buildings, make biscuits and wear button-up cardigans". Oh you cheeky Brits, even when you're insulting people you're charming and hilarious.
Obviously this subject is near and dear to The Feeds heart. I mean, we wrote you half a novel here. Bottom line, we all need to boycot this abortion of an American remake. I don't care if people tell you it's hilarious and just as good as the original (like that BS they fed you about the American remake of 'The Office'), they are liars and you should stomp on their toes until they stop talking and walk away. Support artists, not the industry.