Whether it’s a reboot or a sequel, the 2017 entry of Flatliners finally has something concrete for us to see and, no matter where the film fits into the original’s canon, one thing is for certain: it looks damn good.
The plot of Flatliners 2017, taken from the wrap sheet, is right in line with the original, which nods towards it being a remake of the original:
Five medical students, obsessed by the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife. But as their experiments become increasingly dangerous, they are each haunted by the sins of their pasts, brought on by the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.
With Ellen Page as the character Courtney, taking on the leadership role that Kiefer Sutherland once had as Nelson in the original, and a supporting cast that includes Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), James Norton (Grantchester), and Kiersey Clemons (Dope), this version of Flatliners seems to continue the theme of a supernatural thriller of the mind that made the original so provocative and helped create a whole thriller genre that includes Jacobs Ladder, Session 9, and The Machinist.
But the question still remains: is it a remake or a sequel? It is believed that Kiefer Sutherland plays a role in Flatliners 2017 by his own accord as well as IMDb. However, his name is nowhere to be found on the wrap sheet. This could mean nothing more than that Sutherland won’t be playing a starring role, but it’s interesting that the biggest draw for fans of the original wouldn’t be included. Sutherland is definitely not in the trailer. At least, by face.
So let’s put aside the conspiracy theories and say that Kiefer Sutherland is in the film as believed. It would make no sense for him to play any character other than Nelson. But who is Nelson in this entry? Is he some sort of Jedi professor who gives Courtney, purposefully or accidentally, the idea to continue his research into the afterlife? Or is he one of the characters’ deceased father, haunting that character to keep them from continuing these experiments?
Flatliners 2017 hits theaters September 29, 2017. Our questions should be answered then.