Oh, Mickey, You’re So Pretty, Can’t You Understand How Exciting a ‘Lollipop Chainsaw’ Remake Is?
SHE'S COMING BACK!!!
The cheerleading zombie huntress Juliet Starling is returning in a remake of Lollipop Chainsaw, a hack-and-slash video game that has no right to be as charming as it is. This news was previously hinted at by the game’s original producer, Yoshimi Yasuda, and by hinted I mean “pretty much explicitly stated that something was coming.” In an article by Ryan Dinsdale over at IGN, a tweet from Yasuda was shared in honor of the game’s ten-year anniversary that said, “Lollipop Chainsaw is back by Dragami Games. Please look forward to it.” Dragami Games is Yasuda’s new game studio. He was originally the CEO of Kadokawa Games, which published Lollipop Chainsaw in 2012.
What the heck is Lollipop Chainsaw?
Lollipop Chainsaw was like playing through a fun, campy fever dream in all the best ways. You took control of Juliet Starling, a cheerleader who’d just turned 18 and who was getting ready to introduce her perfect lettermen jacket-wearing jacket boyfriend, Nick, to her parents. Nick was nervous, but not as nervous as Juliet, who hadn’t exactly told Nick the truth about who her family was. Zombies force her hand when they attack the school, leading to Nick getting bitten in his attempt to protect her. He apologized for ruining her birthday like a total after school special dreamboat, then he waited for his story to end during the prologue of the game.
Juliet, realizing that she was in a game that had folks like Suda 51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes) and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad) at the helm, took matters into her own hands (or rather, chainsaw). She chopped off Nick’s head and performed a magical ritual to keep him alive, which was how he found out that his girlfriend was a zombie hunter who came from a family of badasses.
The game was completely absurd but absolutely owned that shit. All the rainbows, glitter, and decapitating zombies to “Oh Mickey” by Toni Basil was just a normal-ass Tuesday for Juliet. The hack-and-slash gameplay was fun, the animation was like a pastel-stickered trapper keeper, and the story was delightfully bonkers. It also, according to James Gunn in this interview with Steve Weintraub for Collider, inspired some of the work he did in The Suicide Squad—particularly, he credits the game for the “Harley vision” in the film where flowers and birds come out while she’s fighting.
“In that game, which I did was with Suda in Japan, I always loved the way that the hearts and beautiful little things came out of people mixed with blood. So, a lot of it goes back to that, the aesthetic of mixing this horrible gore with Harley’s starry-eyed way of looking at life and creating Harley-vision basically. So that was something that came on very early. It was in the first draft of the script.”
I never realized the inspiration behind that fight scene, but damn it makes a whole lot of sense when I think back to how Juliet would slaughter her opponents and leave a year’s worth of planner decorations in her wake.
What do we know about the remake so far?
So far, we know that the remake is planned for a 2023 release. According to Joe Skrebels over at IGN, the game will have “a combination of development staff from the original version, including Yasuda as producer, and new development staff from Dragami Games.” Whether that includes Suda 51 and James Gunn is unknown at the moment.
UPDATE: James Gunn has confirmed that neither he nor Suda 51 are involved with the remake, nor were they approached about it.
I neither endorse nor condemn it! I simply don’t know anything about it. But as articles are starting to slap our names on there, I think it’s important to make clear no one ever approached us about it. https://t.co/yPOT76AeWp— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) July 5, 2022
While we don’t know what platforms the game will be released on, we do know that Yasuda wants to take advantage of what consoles can do now with “a more realistic approach to graphics.” Hopefully, that means we still get the bubblegum pink aesthetic as we saw zombies in half. The original was released on PS3 and Xbox 360, so I can only imagine what this would look like on PS5 or the Xbox Series X.
The bad news with the remake is licensing issues with the soundtrack. Skrebels writes, “Less welcome for fans will be the news that music licensing issues means that, as opposed to the first game’s 16 licensed tracks, in the remake, ‘aside from a few licensed tracks, the soundtrack will consist of new music.'” While that is a bit of a downer, I’m still excited to see what happens with the remake, and Yasuda seems just as excited.
“Unfortunately, various factors resulted in things making it so that fans can no longer easily play Lollipop Chainsaw, and it has been some time since players have not been able to access the game on current consoles.
We, the original development staff on Lollipop Chainsaw, think of the game as very precious to us, and did not want to leave it in limbo, where players who want to play it cannot. As such, we purchased the Lollipop Chainsaw intellectual property from Kadokawa Games, and decided to develop a remake. We have already contacted Warner Bros. about development, and are being supported by them in this endeavor.”
Seriously, if you missed out on this game ten years ago, this will be a great time to get into it.
(featured image: Grasshopper Manufacture)
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