Nearly four decades ago, dweeb culture took over Hollywood with the release of Revenge of the Nerds, the raunchy 1984 comedy about a group of college brainiacs who quarrel with fraternity jocks. Now, Seth MacFarlane is reigniting that rivalry with his own modern-day reboot of Revenge of the Nerds.
According to Variety, the upcoming feature film won’t be a remake of the original Revenge of the Nerds. Instead, it’s going to be a contemporary reimagining that will “pontificate about today’s nerd culture and what even constitutes a geek in the 21st century.”
MacFarlane will produce the reboot for 20th Century Studios alongside Erica Huggins. Joining them are Keith and Kenny Lucas, twin brothers best known for their scene-stealing roles in 22 Jump Street, who will star in the film in addition to co-writing the script with Alex Rubens (Key and Peele, Rick and Morty).
While the original Revenge of the Nerds was a blockbuster hit during its initial release, going on to spawn sequels like 1987’s Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise and TV movies like 1992’s The Next Generation, it’s since become infamous for aging poorly. The most problematic scene sees Robert Carradine’s character don a Darth Vader costume to trick Betty, played by Julia Montgomery, into thinking he’s her boyfriend Stan and having sex — a creepy blurred line that’s undoubtedly sexual assault. In a 2019 oral history of the movie, director Steve Zacharias said he deeply regrets “the rape scene” and how it was written.
While there’s a few classic scenes that would be funny to see in a modern Revenge of the Nerds remake, it’s certainly for the best that MacFarlane and company are taking a different route with their reboot. Today’s nerds aren’t as easily identifiable or stereotypically disliked as the ones of the past. That might make for a tricky script rewrite, or it could result in cool cultural snapshot of who and what a geek is in this current era.
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