Howard the Duck (Ed Gale), Beverly (Lea Thompson),
Source: Howard the Duck; Credit: Lucasfilm
Howard the Duck is an underappreciated property that would make a fantastic reboot movie. I know, the words Howard the Duck are synonymous with disaster and failure, but it wasn't always so. I actually was a big fan of this movie as a kid. It's only once you get older that you realize how awful it really was. But if anything, that makes me want a reboot even more. There was an announcement in 2012 about a remake, but that was an April Fools' joke. Well, this is no joke. Here's five reasons why.
Howard the Duck, Source: DC Comics
1. Howard the Duck is a great comic. The movie had almost nothing to do with the original comic. The original comic was existential, and contained sly parodies and satires of pop culture, movies, and comic books. The movie chose to ignore all of the inspiration from the comic and kept only the talking duck. No wonder it didn't translate. The new movie could embrace the original sense of absurdity and social commentary.
How to make a CGI cartoon character
2. The biggest problem with the movie is the little person in a duck costume. But CGI was made to bring animated characters to life. Garfield, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and the Smurfs have all had CGI versions of themselves interacting with human beings. With the revolution of computer generated effects, Howard could really come to life on screen.
Red Dawn, Charlie's Angels, and Robocop all got terrible reboots
3. Most reboots are of movies that were great to begin with. The remake always has to live up to the original, and someone always asks the question of why remake it in the first place. Hollywood should be more focused on remaking movies that weren't good to begin with, but had potential. Howard the Duck is an example of a movie that deserves a second chance.

4. The movie version of Howard the Duck still has fans, even in its flawed form. The sight of a wisecracking, cigar-smoking, foul-mouthed duck overcame all the other problems with the movie. I'm one of many kids who grew up on Howard and wished they could see a movie that had all the positives and none of the negatives. Joss Whedon can be counted as one who publicly called for a new version. We would be a built-in audience, and could lead to crossover appeal.

Is Howard the Duck any crazier than this?
5. At the time Howard was made, it had to straddle two worlds. The original comic was aimed at adults and featured lewd humor, smoking, and cursing. But when the movie was developed, they couldn't imagine targeting adults with a talking duck, so they tried to make it a children's movie. The combination of adult (duck nudity) and childish humor didn't work. Times have changed, and the idea of an adult-oriented anthropomorphic duck movie has a precedent with the foul-mouthed stuffed bear movie Ted. With the new version, Howard the Duck could be rated R, the way it should be. With the gun-toting warrior Rocket Raccoon set to hit the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy, the idea of a wise cracking duck with a human girlfriend seems less crazy.

Would you watch a new Howard the Duck?

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Pat Dilloway said...

I never read the comic book so I don't know how good more faithful adaptation would be.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

With the current reboot record, I'd say it's a bad idea. Yes, Guardians has a raccoon, but what if it turned out more like Garfield? (Which was not a good movie.)


I liked the movie, but to be honest I was young when I first saw it.
Why not have him in the Marvel Movie Universe. He could have a cameo in a movie like Guardians Of The Galaxy. Then have him have his own movie. He has shown up on the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.

Tony Laplume said...

And nowhere is Howard allowed to utter the word "Aflac!" "Affleck," maybe, however.

jetblac said...

I think someone knew something before most of us knew something. So now in hindsight, this article is genius.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I wish i could say I had inside knowledge, but I didn't. It's really just that Rocket Raccoon made me think of my other favorite Marvel anthropomorphic animal. The cameo was awesome!

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Damon R. said...

Howard the Duck is not from DC Comics. It's from Marvel Comics.


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