Straight from the files marked “Is nothing sacred?” comes the news that a reimagining of 1969s Easy Rider is in development. A group of producers and investors own the rights and they are going for it.
Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Terry Southern wrote the now famous original. The cast included Hopper, Fonda and Jack Nicholson, while Hopper himself directed. The drugs and motorcycles movie is considered a classic, and was culturally significant as it was held to be a window into the radical changes America was undergoing at the time.
Described as a landmark counterculture film, Easy Rider was called a touchstone for a generation that fans claim it captured the national imagination at that time.
Easy Rider explores the societal landscape, issues, and tensions of the time, particularly those felt by the establishment towards young people, with the rise of the hippie movement, drug use, and communal lifestyle. It was considered edgy at the time as real drugs were used in scenes showing the use of marijuana and other substances.
Peter Fonda had become known as an icon of the counterculture after The Wild Angels (1966). Through Easy Rider he is also credited with helping popularize LSD into the mainstream.
Author Katie Mills claims Easy Rider celebrates 60s counterculture, but does it in a way stripped of its innocence, so ran counter to most portrayals on film at the time.
She also made connections back to Fonda’s character in The Trip saying that together the two movies represent a:
“…metamorphosis of the rebel road story from a Beat relic into its hippie reincarnation as Easy Rider, and connects Peter Fonda’s characters in those two films, along with his character in The Wild Angels, deviating from the formulaic biker persona and critiquing commodity-oriented filmmakers appropriating avant-garde film techniques.”
It scored two Oscar nominations and made $60 million off a reported $400,000 budget.
Maurice Fadida’s Kodiak Pictures, Defiant Studios’ Eric B. Fleischman, and the Jean Boulle Group are behind this reboot and the word is out that they are currently seeking writers and directors to update the project for modern times but keep the same edge. Not sure how that will be achieved as drugs are pretty mainstream now, motorbikes stopped being cool pretty much the moment the end credits rolled on Easy Rider, and not even Stone Cold could bring them back. Also…