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’70s Mystery ‘The Last of Sheila’ Gets Update from New Line

Written by on June 19, 2012 

I suppose you really can remake anything. Sure, very few would be able to simply recall anything crucial about 1973’s The Last of Sheila — sorry if I’m a tiny bit hard-pressed to believe it has “a minor cult following” — nor do you ever hear it discussed in, well, any capacity. In that sense, the movie just got a big boost.

THR has learned that New Line, producer Beau Flynn, and his FPC are giving the original film their own update — not the sort we’re entirely privy to right now, however. One can still get a basic idea, in terms of plot, when reading about the original film, a seaside caper written by Stephen Sondheim and Anthony Perkins, or “the most eye-raising writing pair I’ve ever encountered.” The Last of Sheila takes place at a boat party hosted by “a wealthy Hollywood producer” whose wife passed away about a year before; a gossipy scavenger hunt is, initially, the order of the day, but it becomes “a deadly cat-and-mouse exercise as secrets are revealed.” James Mason, Ian McShane, James Coburn, and Raquel Welch all starred for director Herbert Ross, and it even compelled Bette Midler to record a song.

Taking a gander at the story specifics, though not in too-great detail, actually make Sheila sound like a pretty fun time — who knows, I might even get around to renting it — and I don’t think a remake is actually a terrible idea. (Enough rejigging of and adjustments to the original idea should be an interesting writing exercise, nonetheless.) It’s just a slightly surprising film to dig up and give another go-round.

Have you seen the original Sheila? Is there anything worth exploring in it once again?

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