When Easy Rider hit theater screens in 1969, it shocked many moviegoers. The drug-fueled road movie gave many Americans their first look at the rising counterculture in America. More than that, the film sparked the New Hollywood movement. It also helped to boost the profile of a young Jack Nicholson. Even today, the movie’s title conjures images of the classic “Captain America” bike and the freedom of the open road. Now Easy Rider is getting a reboot.
Variety broke the news of the Easy Rider reboot yesterday. According to the report, a group of stakeholders and producers own the adaptation rights to the cultural touchstone. The group includes Kodiak Pictures, Eric B. Fleischman of Defiant Studios as well as the Jean Boulle Group. They’re looking to bring the magic of the original film to modern audiences.
The original Easy Rider brought in a box office total of $60 million on a $400,000 budget. Additionally, it landed two Oscar nominations and competed for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or Prize. Today, critics hail the film as one of the greatest American movies ever made.
This seems like the perfect time for an Easy Rider reboot. When the film premiered, the world was in a place of transition. The hippie culture was on the rise. Across the country, the youth and older generations were holding on to an uneasy truce. The film showcased this ever-changing social landscape in ways that few films of the time could. Looking at society, it is easy to draw parallels between the late sixties and today. The youth are breaking away from social norms upheld by their elders and pockets of youth subcultures are popping up around the world, aided by the long reach of the internet.
Producers on the Easy Rider Reboot
Currently, producers are looking for “bold” writers and directors to bring the Easy Rider reboot to life. They hope to create a film with the same fringe spirit as the original while also updating it for the modern era. Variety reports that the filmmakers looked to Creed’s relationship with the Rocky franchise as their guide.
“Our goal is to build upon the counterculture and freedom narrative the original left us with, and give the youth of today a film that pays serious attention to their own countercultures and challenges,” said Maurice Fadida of Kodiak Pictures. “What the young viewers of today are experiencing in their every day lives may seem crazy to older generations, but it can very well become the societal norm, as was the case with the cultural shift of the late 1960s. We are hoping to play a part in that shift.”
Time will tell if the Easy Rider reboot has the same lasting effect as the original. At this point, the groups who own the rights to the property are still looking for someone to bring the idea to life.