The 1981

road movie was the biggest Kiwi film of a generation. Now it's getting a rebore.

It's being directed by Matt Murphy, son of the original's director Geoff Murphy. (Not Paul Murphy the son of Geoff Murphy who directed the hit Second Hand Wedding and Rhys Darby comedy Love Birds. Though Paul did have some input into the script written by Matt, who worked on the 1979 original as a teenager.) "Our remake would be a Mini that finds itself on the wrong side of the law with three inhabitants in it," Matt Murphy told TimeOut in 2014. "But the story itself would need its own legs, otherwise you are making the same film that has already been made."

Didn't Dad say he wasn't sure about it? Fairfax quoted Murphy senior at the weekend saying "I find the concept confusing because I can't see how to remake it." That was followed by an official statement from production quoting Murphy senior: "We granted the adaptation rights to Matt with our absolute blessing. We're chuffed that the Blondini legacy is to be continued."


It stars No one as yet. Casting is in its final stages "will be announced in due course". Hmm. Does that James Rolleston have a licence?

Will it go from Kaitaia to Invercargill again? Yes, says the production.

But aren't Minis a bit flash now? Yes, they're made by BMW, not the cheapie British Leyland models of the original. Matt Murphy has worked on advertising campaigns for the 21st century models.

It starts shooting next month in Wellywood. Then heads to the South Island.

It's due out next summer.

Is it a good idea? That may depend on whether you were 15 in 1981 or you are 15 now. Producer Tom Hern of Four Knights films says: "That wild sense of adventure, rebellion and breaking free from conformity that was so strong in Geoff's original that it is just as appealing today as it was back then."