25 years ago, the cult sci-fi classic 1992 film “The Lawnmower Man” transported audiences into a thrilling narrative built on virtual reality. In it, a young man with mental disability (Jobe Smith, played by Jeff Fahey) uses VR to evolve intellectually at an incredible pace. The film takes an incredibly dark turn, though, and essentially turns into a science fiction recreation of the classic horror film Carrie. JauntVR, one of the leaders for 360-degree video content, has announced at the Sundance Film Festival that they’re working on a line of VR films for 2017 with a re-imagined Lawnmower Man being one of them.
“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992,” says Jim Howell, one of the holders of the rights for the film, in a press release for the announcement. “Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realization of the film.”
It’s frankly a little surprising that there hasn’t been a direct remake or reboot in the 25 years since the film debuted. Marrying the film’s ideas with actual VR headsets will hopefully produce a top-quality remake.
JauntVR also announced a handful of other VR features at Sundance. They’re working with Robert Schwentke, the man responsible for The Time Traveler’s Wife and the Divergent series of films, on a 12-episode sci-fi/thriller called Luna. They are also teaming with the director of Harold and Kumar 3D, Todd Strauss-Schulson, for a stoner comedy called Bad Trip that will recreate drug-induced hallucinations for the viewers.