I don’t hate Robert Zemeckis. He directed Forest Gump and Back to The Future. And while one of those movies isn’t depressing as hell, I for one will be happy if ol’ Rob steps behind the camera to direct actual skin and bones actors again. Between my Jim Carrey overload in A Christmas Carol (and severe boredom) and the nude teabagging wrestling scene between Grendel and Beowulf in Beowulf, I’ll be tickeled pink if Zemeckis is stepping away from all the animated horsecrap he’s made over the last six years.
However, I’m not so sure I want him putting his mitts on Replay, a movie based on one of my favorite books of all time. Furthermore, if I read another news report that calls Ken Grimwood’s novel a “time travel” story, I’m going to scream. Clearly these people have not read the book. I can see the misconception and I realize it’s neat to paint Zemeckis as returning to his DeLorean-fueled roots, but Replay is a sci-fi novel about a man who dies at the age of 43 in 1988 and awakens in 1963 in his 18 year-old body. It’s the dream we all fantasize about. Reliving our teenage and early adult years with the knowledge we have in midlife. The problem is, like Cinderella, the clock strikes at midnight and our protagonist dies again 25 years later on the very same day in 1988. He returns again to his 18 year-old body and goes through the next 25 years once again. This happens over and over and what seemed like a fantastic experience at first becomes horribly sad. Imagine living the same 25 years over again, but never forgetting the memories – the lost loves, children, friends – of those lives. Frankly, after Forest Gump and Cast Away, this movie is right up Zemeckis’ alley.
Bottom line: While I would have appreciated Ben Affleck directing this movie, especially after his deft touch with The Town and Gone Baby Gone, I’m okay with Zemeckis taking the reigns and eagerly await any casting news.