Every few years, someone threatens to remake Logan’s Run and every few years, a new Logan’s Run fails to emerge. X-Men director Bryan Singer tried to shepherd a new version to the big screen for a few years and more recently, Ken Levine, Alex Garland, Will Beal, and Christopher McQuarrie have all taken a shot. The latest piece of news finds Colony co-creator Ryan Condal coming on board to rework a treatment that Simon Kinberg wrote last year into a full-fledged screenplay. Someday, someone is going to make a new Logan’s Run movie.
And this is a good thing, because Logan’s Run is one of the great science fiction films of the ‘70s and a movie whose themes have only become increasingly relevant with time.
The weird thing about director Michael Anderson’s original film is that more people are familiar with the concept than have actually seen it. Set in a distant, utopian future where everyone lives a life of luxury and seemingly get to live forever because they are “renewed” when they turn 30, Logan’s Run tells the story of a man (the titular Logan) who learns that the renewal process doesn’t allow them to be reborn – it kills them. No one in this supposed paradise is allowed to live past that point. Naturally, he flees, discovers a large, post-apocalyptic world beyond his city’s underground walls, and fights to bring the truth to everyone else.
Although occasionally hokey by modern standards (this film comes from the era of jumpsuits and bad haircuts), Logan’s Run still packs a powerful punch. The goofy scenes now act as a distraction from the film’s strong emotional core. You may giggle at the early scenes, but you’re transfixed by the developments in the back half. What begins as a fun sci-fi adventure concludes as a condemnation of blind faith and call to open your eyes to history and the world around you. Living in a bubble (literal or not) only harms you and puts blinders on your eyes. The truth, and the wisdom that accompanies age and experience, may not be fun, but they are vital.
It’s impossible to say how Condal and Kinberg will update this material, although there are rumors that their Logan will now be a woman. However, the 40-year old themes of the original film rings especially true today. In the age of social media, children grow up faster than ever. People form online cliques. They only seek out information that will back up their pre-existing views. Time honored concepts have dissolved as the digital age takes hold. Journalism is dying. History is seen as a chore. The youth control their own destinies in a way they never have before, but priorities always seem to be changing. There is always a distraction.
A cynic would say that the internet has become like the underground utopia of Logan’s Run. The young people cheerfully go about their business in a digital paradise while the world burns down outside their walls. It’s time for a new Logan’s Run because this is a dynamic worth exploring and dissecting. It’s not too late to save the world. It’s not too late to open your eyes. Life exists beyond the age of 30. There is a beauty in growing old.