Are you ready to rock around the…DIGITAL clock???

Writer-director George Lucas is gearing up to revisit his 1973 coming of age classic, American Graffiti, but with a twist. Using the vast array of digital technology at his disposal, he will be updating the film for a modern audience and changing its setting from 1962 to 1987.

Some of the changes include:

  • Gone the 1960’s clothing, the old-school American diners, the classic cars and the rock & roll soundtrack. Now, the kids are wearing batwing sweaters, leather ties and stonewashed denim. 
  • Modesto will be alive with neon lights and porno theaters, with DeLoreans, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Plymouths cruising the strip. 
  • And the musical bedrock of the film now reverberates to the sounds of Wang Chung, Def Leppard, Duran Duran and Madonna. 
  • Wolfman Jack’s voice will also be replaced with Howard Stern (TBC).

Lucas explains, “The events of American Graffiti take place over a single night in 1962. But when I originally wrote and directed the film, I had always wanted to set it the 1980s, but the technology wasn’t yet available to enable me to do this. Now, forty years on, it is the ideal time to revisit the movie and update it for a whole new audience who are now nostalgic about the 80s. I also wanted to alter the fates of the core characters, so that they are more in keeping with that decade. So, for example, the title card at the very end of the film will no longer tell us that Toad disappeared in Vietnam, but that he lost a fortune on the stock market and jumped out of a window.”

George Lucas yesterday

Special Edition producer, Rick McCallum, who has rejoined Lucasfilm especially to oversee this project, sighed, “It’s George’s thing. He can do what he wants with it, I guess.”

Asked to comment on the changes, cast member Ron Howard said, “He’s doing WHAT?”

The special effects wizards at Lucas’ own Industrial Light & Magic have already begun the mammoth task of updating the film. Zak Jones, 39, has spent the last five months painstakingly replacing Richard Dreyfuss’ famous check shirt with a “Smiley face” t-shirt, frame-by-frame. Jones said, “I saw Star Wars when I was a young kid and ever since then all I ever wanted to do was work for ILM on a George Lucas movie! And now I want to die.”

When asked if he’d be giving American Graffiti‘s lesser-known 1979 sequel, More American Graffiti, the same treatment, Lucas responded, “I don’t think so. NOBODY would want to see THAT!” He then paused for a moment and cut short the interview to make an urgent phone call.

American Graffiti : The Special Edition will be in theaters as soon as is humanly possible.

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