It’s been about five years since Sony announced its plans to remake Joel Schumacher’s psychological horror flick Flatliners, during which time you could be forgiven for thinking it was just another proffered remake that would ultimately collect dust on some producer’s shelf. But the project began to show new signs of life last fall, when Ellen Page was cast as one of the medical students whose experimentation with life and death isn’t an official part of the curriculum. Page was soon joined by Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, and Kiersey Clemons in the proposed blatant disregard for institutional review boards.
The remake got a little more cachet when erstwhile flatliner Kiefer Sutherland boarded the film early last month. His role wasn’t disclosed at the time, probably to leave room for the possibility that he was a ghost all along. Don’t worry, we haven’t spoiled the remake for you, because it turns out the production is more of a sequel than anything. In an interview with the U.K.’s Metro, Sutherland reveals that he’ll be playing a “professor at a medical university” in the new film. Sutherland says he was eager to return to the world of unsupervised experiments and repressed childhood memories. And while it might not be explicitly stated, he believes he’s playing a contemporary version of his original character, Nelson Wright.
It is never stated but it will probably be very clearly understood that I’m the same character I was in the original Flatliners but that I have changed my name and I’ve done some things to move on from the experiments that we were doing in the original film.
Sure, it’s more than a little disconcerting to learn that a (presumably) prestigious medical school doesn’t probably vet its faculty members, but it sounds like the new film will give Sutherland a chance to help a whole new generation of med students determine if it’s a good day to die. And at least we can now move Flatliners over from the “unnecessary remakes” column to the “unnecessary sequels” one.