Hollywood is tapping into the stagnant well of sequels and remakes
The practice of remaking movies is as old as film-making itself. Silent films were remade into talkies once the technology allowed it, and some of the most memorable films fall into the category of reboots and remakes.
Many movies are actually remakes, including Al Pacino’s classic Scarface—is actually an ode to an earlier original. And the seminal rom-com You’ve Got Mail recycles the plot of 1940’s The Shop Around the Corner, but with a modern twist.
The problem is that these reboots and remakes are completely unnecessary. I’m talking about movies that only come to fruition for those dubious capitalist reasons. As of Jan. 8, 2016, there are 105 reboots and remakes that are being planned according to Den of Geek, a website that reviews television shows and movies.
This means movie-goers will once again be bombarded by recycled remakes and reboots—this raises the question: “Why?” Well, they have a built-in audience who will purchase a ticket for the sake of nostalgia. This sentiment is a powerful force that Hollywood has ultimately capitalized on, realizing that the formula can reap great financial success.
Who didn’t love watching the Power Rangers after school in the ‘90s? The beloved show about teenagers with colorful costumes fighting giant monsters is getting a reboot slated for release Jan. 17, 2017. And you know what, I bet you it’s going to make a TON of money—more money than you will see in your life.
It doesn’t matter if it’s going to suck or not. Twentysomethings are going to eat that up. There’s already a bunch of people on social media hyping up for this movie, and a trailer hasn’t even been released.
Take a look at the latest Star Wars installment.
A month before the film premiered in December, pre-sale tickets broke records, making over $100 million, according to Forbes. This is not a shocker though, the franchise is 38 years old. The fandom contains multiple generations, all curious about the fate of their beloved characters, there was no way the movie would fail financially.
The worst culprit of these crimes against original movies is the ubiquitous superhero genre. Everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock in the past 50 years knows the origin stories of Spiderman and Batman.
The sagas of Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne have acquired a permanent space in the public’s imagination. The last movie of each franchise came out less than five years ago, with the newest addition hitting theatres in the month of March.
Yet Sony already has the release date for their third Spiderman relaunch (July 7, 2017, for those who are interested) and there are rumours swirling about Ben Affleck directing and portraying a new solo Batman by 2018 according to IMBD.
This is absolutely ridiculous, I have reboot fatigue.
The worst part is that Hollywood does not learn from its mistakes. Take the Fantastic Four franchise. The original movie came out in 2005 to middling reviews. Despite the lackluster results, the film released a sequel two years later.
Once again, the sequel failed to live up to expectations and Fox decided to cut future sequels. In 2009, talks of a reboot began. Fast forward to August 2015, a new Fantastic Four film was released. It failed miserably with audiences and critics alike, losing an estimated $80 to $100 million according to hollywoodreporter.com. I would not be at all surprised if the studio announces another film in the works.
Look, I am exhausted by these derivatives. I do not need to see uncle Ben die again, or witness Godzilla destroy another bustling metropolis—the latter of which is getting a sequel in 2018 while Dirty Dancing is getting the T.V.-movie treatment.
Does the audience need these remakes? No. Are these movies going to leave an indelible mark on movie history? Definitely not. Will audiences flock to these films? Probably not.
Will these movies make money off of cheap nostalgia and aggressive marketing? Absolutely. Inessential remakes are like junk food: comfortable, easily accessible, and relatively harmless.
I for one, am sick of being fed junk and am ready to cut the fat.