How do you reward a (relatively) new director hot off a fairly successful film both critically and commercially? How about gift wrapping him a project that is so old, it was first bought before the writer of this article was even born? Seems like a great way of showing affection: “Here Ben Affleck, take this nearly 23 year old project that we don’t know what to do with. Thanks again for The Town!”
The long gestating project in question, Replay, is a fantasy novel originally written by Ken Grimwood that was bought up a long time ago. The story focuses on a 43 year old radio journalist who dies and suddenly wakes up in his 18 year old body, 25 years ago. He is able to relive his life and make different choices, but eventually he keeps dying at the same age and time. With each “replay” he wakes up later and later in his life so he realizes that his “replays” are finite.
Yes, this sounds a lot like a bajillion other movies out there. Sure, Groundhog Day did the whole reliving the same moment, but Harold Ramis cites this novel as an inspiration. Sure, 17 Again did the whole going back to your old body, but Replay has him going back in actual time. Hell, Back to the Future made three whole movies explaining the effects of messing with time travel, but I’m sure this one won’t at least feature a Delorean.
Seriously though, this project has been around for a very long time. Of course, not as old as the Steve McQueen developed Yucitan movie we reported about, but this is still old. And yes, my frame of reference for the oldness of anything is basically if it happened before I was born, it’s old. The novel was published 10 months before I was even born and the rights were sold before that. So yes, it is old. I bet you feel nice and young, don’t you?