Are Film Reboots Necessary?
Is it really necessary for Hollywood to continue to churn out remakes or reboots of familiar franchises? Or is it just a case of that they have run stale and struggling to come up with original ideas? Maybe that is why when something original does come out, it is viewed as nothing short of the holy grail. News has recently come out that they have added to the cast of the the next reboot to the popular Terminator franchise. The film will be directed by Alan Taylor, who is famous for his work on HBO's Game of Thrones as well as Thor: The Dark World, while also casting Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) as John Connor and Jai Courtney (Spartacus, Jack Reacher) as Kyle Reese. Hearing this news made me question, is it really necessary to try to reboot the franchise again? More importantly, we have already seen Robocop rebooted just recently which came out to mixed reviews and a poor performance at the box office, which begs the question. Are reboots really necessary? Other franchises are coming back, but is there even an audience that would welcome a modern day version of something deemed as a classic?
Everyone that has seen the original Highlander will agree that it was not a perfect film, but it was wildly entertaining and very campy. It does however have some very memorable lines that still are used today in the films we watch. In fact, I would not be surprised if someone created a drinking game for Highlander, where you drink every time someone says, "There can only be one!" I mean let's face it, if you were to play that game, there probably would only be one left standing albeit he or she would be rather wobbly. The original does however hold a special place in peoples hearts, but does that warrant a reboot? That remains to be seen as the film itself is still in early production and has just recently found it's director and hired the special effects supervisor from Snow White and the Huntsman. I think it is fair to say the film is still a bit away from seeing life on the big screen, but at some point in the near future I am almost certain we will see a reboot.
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Talks of a reboot to this cult classic had started gaining traction ever since 2011 when Bradley Cooper was attached to star as Eric Draven and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was to direct. However, due to legal battles it went into development hell and both left the project. However, it did not lose traction still. After that, Ryan Gosling and Mark Wahlberg were then attached to star but were only false rumors. James O'Barr then even came out to talk about the possibility of a remake, who most likely shares the same sentiment as a lot of his fans where he said, "I don't have great expectations. I think the reality is, no matter who you get to star in it, or if you get Ridley Scott to direct it and spend 200 million dollars, you're still not gonna top what Brandon Lee and Alex Proyas did in that first ten million dollar movie." However, on May 4 of last year it was announced that Luke Evans was attached to star as Eric Draven and James O'Barr would be the creative consultant on the film. A director is still unknown as of now, but Norman Reedus of the Walking Dead is reportedly up for a role in the film as well. It is hard to tell if this film would do well in box offices today as it is incredibly dark, but that being said, dark films have done well lately.
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Stephen King's It
Of course Hollywood would want to re-create the one thing that haunted my dreams as a child. Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's It was masterfully portrayed by Tim Curry, but also terrified the likes of many children growing up at that time. Lines from that movie still send chills down my spine in fact and their is certain imagery from it that I most likely will never get out of my head. To me, Stephen King's It was and still may just be one of the best horror films to date. That being said, of course it is being remade then. Ultimately, people that remember the original or are fans of the source content will most likely cringe at the sound of this news but from a business standpoint it makes sense. Horror movies make money and are very easy to market. Release a horror movie around October when people want to be scared and it will make money. The reboot already has some talent behind it as they hired Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) to direct while Chase Palmer will write the script.
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Again this all brings me back to my original question, which I am still mixed on. On one hand, I will always have a special place in my heart for the originals and it does get a bit annoying and tiresome to see Hollywood constantly re-hashing the same stories over and over again putting a precedent on making the material more darker or edgier with better special effects. From the business standpoint, it is good business on their part as they have known commodities with a pre-paid audience that will surely still see the film and then if they get a noticeable star in the film, that will likely pave the way for the younger people to go and see the film and then the film would be profitable. Above all else, money talks when it comes to movies. It is a sad truth. A film could be great but it could come out at a poor time or be poorly marketed thus it does not get a good return in the box office which would deem that film as a failure. It is purely the nature of the beast. Making reboots to famous franchises are a safer bet for film studios then original ideas in most cases and that is ultimately what it comes down to, whether that is a good thing or bad thing is subjective. On one side, I do not mind film reboots but when a film like Terminator has now gotten the reboot treatment twice, then that is one time too many in to quick of a time period. The other side, it will still draw an audience and I will still most likely see it as will a lot of other people. However, I think we would all agree that every reboot does not need to be darker and edgier with more CGI as the originals were often so famous due to the fact that they were not always meant to be taken so seriously. Add in a little bit of heart to a film and it helps make the film relatable on a human level as opposed to a big CGI-fest that completely detaches the viewer from what they are seeing on screen.
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