One of my super reliable sources has just informed me that the Writers Guild (WGA) is having a debate whether or not ABC's "V" is a remake or not. According to my source, Warner Brothers is now claiming that ABC's "V' is NOT a remake. In other words, WB has retracted everything they've stated about a re-imagining of the original "V." Why? Most likely it all boils down to money. If the ABC Pilot & Series are ruled NOT a remake, Ken Johnson would be denied the "Created By..." credit which he has had on all previous incarnations of "V." If there is no "Created By..." credit, then no royalty payments have to be made to the creator. WB has therefore forced the WGA to begin a special "remake arbitration" where three anonymous writers will be sent KJ's original screenplay and the new pilot script to rule on whether the new one is or is not a remake. Interesting how WB waited until after Comic Con to announce their new position.
So the way things stand is that there are three arbiters at the Writers Guild of America who will decide whether or not this "V" is a remake of the original. Apparently if the arbiters decide that the new version of "V" is different enough, the term "remake" kicks in. The Guild defines remake as a motion picture that contains "substantial similarity" to a previous motion picture with respect to principle characters, general setting (including an updated setting), plot, storyline, tone, events and structure." Should the WGA decide that the new show is different enough, basically the creator ends up with no royalties. And to add insult to injury, the creator cannot even address the Guild on the matter (which is different from a regular arbitration). Additionally, the results are not allowed to be questioned or argued against.
While we're kind of appalled that ABC would consider arguing that the new V is unrelated enough from the original to be a new series, we're not as surprised as we wish we could be. That said, is there really any chance that the Writer's Guild would say that this isn't a remake?