Yes, they're remaking Starman, and they've even got a director

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Apr 1, 2016, 6:34 PM EDT

No one saw this coming, but it's not really surprising, either.

The Hollywood Reporter (via Collider) has revealed that John Carpenter’s 1984 sci-fi romance Starman is being remade, with director Shawn Levy at the helm. The script is being written by Arash Amel, who wrote a pretty poorly received Nicole Kidman movie called Grace of Monaco, and as of now there are no actors attached to the project.

The original followed an alien being who comes to Earth and inhabits the body of a dead man (Jeff Bridges) after his ship is shot down by a missile. With agents of the U.S. government in pursuit, the alien coerces the man's widow (Karen Allen) to help him make his way to a meeting point, where another spacecraft from his world will pick him up.

Levy is best known for the Night at the Museum franchise and has also directed several comedies, but he has also delved into sci-fi before with the underrated Real Steel. That picture starred Hugh Jackman as a former boxer who manages an android fighter in a future society where boxing has been banned. Based on the Richard Matheson story (which also inspired a Twilight Zone episode), the movie was actually a fairly satisfying sci-fi melodrama.

Starman, on the other hand, is a minor classic. Carpenter directed the film as a way to expand his range beyond horror and action, delivering a genuinely moving romance wrapped in the trappings of a sci-fi thriller. Jeff Bridges was outstanding in the title role, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actor -- a rarity for a sci-fi film and the only time a Carpenter movie has received an Academy Award nod.

So now, of course, a remake is coming. Levy has the chops to do it, but it all comes down to the tone and who he casts. Topping Bridges will be tough for fans of the original, but a whole new audience may yet fall in love with a brand-new Starman.

No production start or release date has been confirmed yet. Do you think Starman is ripe for a remake?