There's absolutely no reason for Disney+ to reboot Home Alone—at least that's the opinion of the director of the original film, Chris Columbus.
There's absolutely no reason for Disney+ to reboot Home Alone—at least that's the opinion of the director of the iconic original film, Chris Columbus. The streamer announced its Home Alone reboot last year, with news that the story would center on a new kid named Max (not Macaulay Culkin's Kevin McCallister) played by Archie Yates (Jojo Rabbit) and also feature comedy stars Ellie Kemper (The Office, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw). Production on the new version was halted during the COVID-19 lockdown, but that didn't stop the studio from announcing the casting of Saturday Night Live stars Kenan Thompson, Chris Parnell, and Mikey Day, who co-wrote the script with fellow SNL writer Streeter Seidell.
While the new Home Alone will be directed by Dan Mazer (Dirty Grandpa), the original was, of course, directed by Columbus, the prolific filmmaker behind Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter movies, among others. While he had success in the '80s as a writer of beloved movies Gremlins and The Goonies, Columbus's first blockbuster as a director was Home Alone, which became the top-grossing movie released in 1990, taking in north of $285 million at the box office—a number previously unheard of for a family comedy. Two years later, Columbus's Home Alone 2: Lost in New York—now known as the movie with the inexplicable Donald Trump cameo—pulled in a blockbuster $173.5 million. The films were released by 20th Century Fox, but when Disney bought Fox in 2019, Home Alone became part of the Disney stable—and ripe for providing new content to Disney+.
Yet a reboot is unnecessary, Columbus said in a new Insider interview celebrating Home Alone's 30th anniversary. Perhaps most shocking, the director revealed he wasn't even asked to participate. Columbus said:
"Nobody got in touch with me about it and it's a waste of time as far as I'm concerned. What's the point? I'm a firm believer that you don't remake films that have had the longevity of Home Alone. You're not going to create lightning in a bottle again. It's just not going to happen. So why do it? It's like doing a paint-by-numbers version of a Disney animated film—a live-action version of that. What's the point? It's been done. Do your own thing. Even if you fail miserably, at least you have come up with something original."
But Columbus didn't exempt himself from that criticism. "I can even be accused of it myself, with Home Alone 2," he admitted. "That movie is basically a remake of the first Home Alone. Does it need to exist? Yes, because some of those stunts make me laugh really hard, but I just don't believe it should be done." The director brought up another film that had previously been in development, saying, "There's going to be a Stoned Alone with Ryan Reynolds. God only knows what that will be—a stoner version of Home Alone? Listen, have fun. I just feel, do something new. Life is short." (With Home Alone now part of the Disney family, the stoner version does not appear to be going forward.)
There's a lot of truth to Columbus' insight—if a movie is already considered perfect and still being watched, an updated version will always pale in comparison. Some of the best remakes are of films where the story idea was great, but the execution was either botched or simply appears dated by modern standards—neither of which appears to be the case with Home Alone. The entire interview is worth a read, if only for the director's story of how the outgoing president bullied his way into Home Alone 2, as well as his memories of how the late, great John Candy improvised nearly all his dialogue in the original Home Alone.