In a year where original sci-fi films like ‘Oblivion’, ‘Pacific Rim’ and ‘Elysium’ are making it known that there are creative screenwriters with unique ideas in the industry, studios still continue to feel the need to take sci-fi movies from the 80s and 90s and remake them. Not too long ago, it was reported that ‘Gremlins’ was getting the reboot treatment, now add Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ‘Timecop’ to that list.
A reboot has been in talks for several years now. Back in 2007, Dark Horse Entertainment (same company that brought ‘Hellboy’ to the big screen) in conjunction with Universal was hoping to get a reboot in production before the writer’s strike hit but unfortunately, that fell through. Then in 2010, Universal indicated that they were envisioning a big budget sci-fi treatment for ‘Timecop’ with a “major star”. They had anticipated a release in 2012 which never came to fruition.
Granted, ‘Timecop’ wasn’t a big blockbuster as some of the other films currently in remake mode, but it was one of the most successful ones that Van Damme starred in. The 1994 film was set in the near future when time travel was possible and centered on a police officer named Walker (Van Damme) whose job was to regulate timelines and prevent criminal’s from messing with the time stream for their own personal agenda, hence the title ‘Timecop’. Unfortunately, Walker uncovers a plot by a crooked politician (played by Ron Silver) who has been using time travel to further his political career to become president. The film spawned a straight to DVD sequel and a short lived TV series on ABC but did give movie goers a great scene of Van Damme’s flexibility as he did splits in the kitchen:
So while the project is still in development, it apparently is further along than it has been in the past. Producing the film is Marc Shumeger who is also the producer of ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks’ as well as the remake of ‘Scarface’. He will be joined by Tom McNulty (‘Date Night’) who is also listed as producer. The project currently has no director and is now being shopped out to writers.
While the film did help make Van Damme a household name, he will not be involved in this remake.
Oddly, the original ‘Timecop’ was set in the year 2004 and as time travel is still elusive in 2013, maybe that’s why the film is undergoing a “re-imaging of the concept”? Any thoughts?
The perfection of time travel brings with it new opportunities for criminals. The government sets up a special police force (Time Enforcement Commission) to ensure the new technology isn’t abused. Max Walker, one of these timecops, learns of a corrupt politician’s plot to become president using the device. Senator McComb discovers Walker on his trail and the real action begins–in Walker’s own past!