'Home Alone,' like everything else these days, is getting a reboot

Twitter users got to work re-imagining the original film. Does the basic premise even work in the era of smart phones and ride-share apps?
Posted at 8:26 AM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 11:27:05-04

If you're fed up with remakes, you're not likely going to be pleased with Disney's plans to take on Netflix. But if you'd like to see an unsupervised child fend off a home invasion for the sixth time in 29 years, you're in luck.

In an earnings call Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the company plans to reboot "Home Alone" — a franchise it scooped up after its $71.3 billion acquisition of 20th Century Fox — for its upcoming streaming service, Disney+.

"We're also focused on leveraging Fox's vast library of great titles to further enrich the content mix on our [direct-to-consumer] platforms," Iger said on the call, during which he also revealed plans to reboot Fox franchises "Night at the Museum," "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and "Cheaper by the Dozen" for "a new generation."

It was not immediately clear if the reboots would end up as feature-length films or series. Disney+, slated to debut in November, will feature movies and shows from Disney's sprawling catalog of animated favorites, as well as popular titles from Pixar, the "Star Wars" saga, the Marvel universe and National Geographic.

The news about "Home Alone" stirred up mixed feelings on Twitter, where scores of users pleaded with Disney to keep its hands off the 1990 original and fans posted GIFs of Macaulay Culkin to express their dismay:

Twitter users got to work re-imagining the original film, starring Culkin as a boy who fight off two thieves after his parents mistakenly leave him behind during a family vacation. The emerging consensus: Does the basic premise even work in the era of smartphones and ride-share apps?

"How you gonna remake when 2019 Kevin can just text his Mom or catch an Uber?" on Twitter user asked.

Brent Lang, an executive editor at Variety, struck a more serious note. He appeared to lament the fact that the revival of "Home Alone" was being pitched as a streaming project instead of a traditional multiplex release.

"Iger notes X-Men, Deadpool, Fantastic 4 are now under Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige's control. Hear from sources that there are debates about whether Deadpool can move seamlessly between R-rated solo outings and PG-13 rated MCU movies," said Brent Lang. "Disney hoping to re-imagine the likes of Night at the Museum, Home Alone, Cheaper by the Dozen, Wimpy Kid as Disney+ programming. Some of biggest franchises in history are now no longer viewed as viable theatrical properties. Times have changed.

The first "Home Alone," a $476 million worldwide box-office smash and a staple of cable television, spawned four sequels — three theatrical releases and two made-for-TV holiday flicks. Culkin, who is now 38, did not immediately respond to the reboot news on his Twitter account.