Home Alone’s Director Takes Aim at Disney’s ‘Paint-By-Numbers’ Remakes

Home Alone’s Director Takes Aim at Disney’s ‘Paint-By-Numbers’ Remakes
Tale as old (and new) as time. (Image: Disney)

Disney is getting ready to do a reboot of the classic holiday film Home Alone, but one of the key figures behind it is not on board. Director Chris Columbus is not only speaking out against the remake for Disney+, he says it’s part of a larger problem of the studio doing safe reboots instead of something original.

In an interview with Insider, Columbus addressed the upcoming Home Alone, which is set to star Archie Yates (Jojo Rabbit), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), among others. Columbus, who said he was not consulted about the reboot, called it a “waste of time” and compared it to recent Disney live-action remakes like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, and Mulan and Lady and the Tramp, the last of which actually debuted on Disney+.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The Christmas Chronicles 2 director did note the irony in his statement, given how he made what’s essentially a paint-by-numbers sequel to Home Alone with Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (though he maintained it still deserves to exist). But he said Disney and other companies should be focused on creating original content instead of remaking things that were already done, most likely better the first time around.

“I can even be accused of it myself, with Home Alone 2. 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,” he said. “Listen, have fun. I just feel, do something new. Life is short.”

Disney currently has at least 16 live-action remakes in the works. Some of them are reinterpretations of characters from previous works, like Emma Stone’s Cruella, while others are straight-up remakes like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Robin Hood, and The Sword in the Stone. There are even some planned sequels (or prequels) for live-action remakes that Disney recently produced, namely for The Jungle Book and The Lion King.

It’s clear Disney thinks it’s a winning formula for many years to come. But not everybody agrees.