1986 Sci-Fi Film Short Circuit Is Getting a Remake, For Serious This Time

From the original Short Circuit.
From the original Short Circuit.
Image: TriStar Pictures

The only thing I know about the original Short Circuit is it’s the origin of the name Johnny 5. Maybe I’ll learn more when it’s remade, a prospect about which there have been rumors for a while.


As reported by Deadline, Short Circuit is getting a remake courtesy of a collaboration between Spyglass Media Group and Project X Entertainment. (The two companies are also working on the Scream remake.) The remake will be a family film with a screenplay by the writing team of Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman. Cisneros has written Instructions Not Included, and Shuman wrote Half Brothers. According to Deadline, the two were hired to “put a Latinx twist on the screenplay,” which presumably (?) means the film will be written through a lens of Latinx cultural experiences for Latinx actors.

The original film, I am told by people who were alive in the 1980s, was about an experimental military robot that gains sentience from a lightning strike and stars opposite Ally Sheedy, who was really in vogue in 1986. That movie was directed by John Badham. No word yet on who will be directing the remake, or how faithful it will be to the original. It’ll be produced by James Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein, and William Sherak from Project X Entertainment.

The new Short Circuit is in pre-production. 

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



The only way I can see a Short Circuit remake that does justice to the original (sans Fisher Stevens brownface) is to make Johnny 5 one of the few computer platforms affected by the Y2K bug. He crashes and is from all indications is ‘dead’ and unrecoverable. His company Input, Inc., fails without his presence and is sold off when his rights as a sentient individual are revoked by the government. He’s put into a storage unit at some point and is forgotten until the present day, when his unit is sold at auction and is discovered by the child of the bidder, who, with modern technology, reboots J5. Hilarity ensues.