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5 Movie Subjects That Need Not Be Rebooted, Remade, or Recycled

Updated on July 16, 2016

One way there could be an acceptable remake is if they made a mash up of a number of these subjects into one epic movie.

Parody poster based on previous material by Jim Gleeson
Parody poster based on previous material by Jim Gleeson

The new Jungle Book movie, which I was initially skeptical of, recently came out and my view on it ultimately turned positive upon seeing it. Going in though, I was resistant because we already had a Jungle Book, why do we need another redundant version of the Jungle Book?

What changed my mind is that Favreau's Jungle Book is a well made updated version of the classic done in live action. Sometimes, as we all know, CGI “enhanced” adaptations can go bad, but the CGI in Jungle Book is astonishing in that it isn't distracting, it’s not gratuitous, and it really serves the story. By that I mean, there isn’t so much CGI going on that it makes the story hard to follow. There isn't a clutter of images as seen in the special edition of Star Wars: A New Hope when they enter Mos Eisley spaceport or some of the action sequences in the Transformers movies.

That being said, there are things In life, that don’t need to be recycled. I had a friend who cleaned out cans of motor oil and was using them to to guzzle Sprite. There are people who choose to bicycle to work and take the highway to do it. Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should. In some cases, it might even be illegal to do so.

In a similar fashion, every few years, and the frequency seems to be increasing, the Hollywood well dries up on ideas and the suits decide it needs to fill up the tank with old ones. They probably have that one guy attending a pitch meeting wearing a vintage suit asking “Hey, what congealed warmed over room temperature convection can I nuke for thirty seconds to bring it back to life?” On internet forums, bringing back a dead posting thread is called “necroing”. In a similar fashion, Hollywood is “necroing” material that was new back in the turn of the century or when powdered wigs were the rage.

So, they go back to the well, the tried and true; the known and the safe. The old mill starts up, and they crank out another reanimated version of what we’ve already seen scant years ago. I’d rather be doused in flame and forced to run through a oil refinery than to see these movies once again in the premiere queue at a local theater. So here are the top five movie subjects that they can stick a fork in, they are done, have been refrigerated for decades, and no longer need another sequel/prequel.

One: Tarzan

Greystoke the Legend of Tarzan went the fish out of water direction although in the end it is seen that Tarzan is the more "brutally civilized"
Greystoke the Legend of Tarzan went the fish out of water direction although in the end it is seen that Tarzan is the more "brutally civilized" | Source

Do we really need to see ever again another Tarzan movie? Yet, here we go again. He’s raised by Apes, he loves Jane, he is a feral man who comes to live in civilization. The premise was a good one the first time I saw it, back in the seventies, and even back in that time it had been around since the silent film era. That’s right, Tarzan was silent when it first came to the big screen. It felt warmed over then, it feels a little tired now doesn’t it?

If you’re going to do this, why not put a new spin on it instead of just adding that “cool new CGI’ to the pre-existing story and reboot it. I get it, you have new toys to play with, but toys do not a movie make. In fact, I would argue that new special effects, if done for any other reason than to support the story, only dilutes it, and detaches us from the characters and emotional center of the story. But for the most part I think the only reason they are thawing out this leftover is because many people recognize the name "Tarzan". That and some guy saw the Planet of the Apes movies recently and said "hey, you know who else hung out with apes, Tarzan!"

At least with Planet of the Apes they re-imagined the story, and gave the apes ironically more sympathy than if they were just prosthetic covered humans. I was thinking maybe Tarzan could be abducted and raised by aliens, and then reintroduced to our society as an ambassador of sorts. Regardless, can we give Edgar Rice Borroughs a rest? Or, maybe make him edgy as an Showtime/HBO original series. We don’t have to go over the top edgy like in Tarzan, the Ape Man, but maybe make it a bit more like the Revenant. Leonardo DiCaprio as Tarzan might be a good choice, based on his mewling and groaning noises in the Revenant.

Two: Peter Pan

1991's Hook introduced us to a all grown up Peter Pan played by comic genius of Robin Williams.
1991's Hook introduced us to a all grown up Peter Pan played by comic genius of Robin Williams. | Source

I've grown up on a steady diet of Peter Pan since early childhood, and I don't mean the peanut butter. I've see plays, musicals, seen the original (in my mind) animated movie. I've read stories, and I saw “Pan” earlier this year and although it is technically not a reboot, but rather a prequel, I still feel that there was an intellectual bankruptcy to it. It felt very contrived and stilted. I felt like it was created because someone said “We’ve done a movie about what happens when Peter Pan grows up (Hook), why don’t we do another that takes place before he actually becomes Peter Pan.”

The reason is that it just didn’t feel fresh. The ship battles in the air also seemed very strange. And why are people freaked out about a kid flying if the very ships themselves fly. Come on! We all know the story, and now we have book-ended it with Hook,Pan, and those myriad Geico™ commercials, so can’t we just move on? Yet, every few years, during a lull in the slush pile, they get out the jumper cables and shock it back to life. Unlike Never-Never-land, the Peter Pan film train can be retired. It’s been around since 1902 when J.M. Barrie had Peter Pan in a section of an adult novel called “The Little White Bird.” And if you check, it’s filmography is not nearly as extensive as Tarzan, but it appears to have amped up the retread mill in the latter 20th century and the beginning of this one. Forget about slowing down, it's time to pump the brakes.

This doesn't mean the themes of aging, innocence, and the magical time of youth can't be revisited. By all means, do. I don't mind seeing "Big" or "Freaky Friday" and other movies attempts to recapture youth or to be given a second chance. I just don't need to see another movie with the character Peter Pan. However, Centaur Bill, I could go for a movie starring a Centaur who tries to enter the Kentucky Derby.

Three: Robin Hood

Refreshing to see the same old congealed material handled in a fresh manner and this is from 1993.
Refreshing to see the same old congealed material handled in a fresh manner and this is from 1993. | Source

So next up on the list of subjects I would rather not see another movie made of ever again, Robin Hood. I get it, he steals from the rich, gives to the poor. Been there done that. Now that the Jungle book has been re released it’s only matter of time until they churn out Robin Hood again. Why? because you have to queue it up every couple of years. Maybe one the reasons that these works do get rebooted is that they are in creative commons, so hey, grab it up, do an adaptation! Robin Hood has been around since the late 14th century, and if movies are any indication,Robin has no intention of going away any time soon. I imagine that Robin Hood, like Camelot, probably is a subject you can cover as a subject in a literature course the whole semester.

Listen it’s a meme, go into a life of crime to help out those that get trodden upon and oppressed, but I think we all know that the last word has already been filmed on this subject and thus there doesn’t need to be any more remakes. You all know which version I am talking about: Robin Hood, Men in tights.

I am all for keeping the theme alive, fighting for those who are helpless, even committing crimes in some way to remedy the oppressed. There is always a place in fiction for civil disobedience bordering on what is considered legal. But we really don’t need to bring back Robin Hood, do we? I don't need to see Robin Hood hanging out in Sherwood Forest in any form or manifestation ever again. If there is a cause to be taken up, or a gauntlet to be dropped, let some modern day "Robin Hood" do the dropping. Maybe a woman with a bow instead of a man who fights for the poor...you could name her Katniss.

Four: Alice in Wonderland

In this adaptation of the Lewis Carrol tale, the cgi is beautiful, awesome, and Depp does look like Madonna/Elijah Wood.  But can anyone really tell me what this movie is about?
In this adaptation of the Lewis Carrol tale, the cgi is beautiful, awesome, and Depp does look like Madonna/Elijah Wood. But can anyone really tell me what this movie is about? | Source

I know it’s a literary classic, but I think it’s just an excuse to come to the theater self medicated. People with big heads, characters that drink and eat things and get bigger and smaller based on consumption as well as talking animals. Does anyone actually know what the plot is for this movie? Something about stepping through a mirror and getting derailed from reality?

Some people say that Johnny Depp as the mad hatter ever looks like Madonna, but I think he looks like Elijah Wood. Regardless, can we dispense with making any more of these movies. I know Tim Burton needs work, but why not make the two sequels that we are all begging to see of the Edward Scissorhands trilogy. Don’t we want to see Tommy Rockhands and Martin Paperhands? I know I do. The sequels would be awesome works of style and handle the misunderstood outcasts of their generation. And imagine the final chapter, an Avenger's like movie where they all appear together and do a lively batter of rock, paper scissors.

Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland in 1865 and I know back then it was Avant Garde in your face material, but the question is, is it even relevant today? It is apparently part of a genre known as "literary nonsense" where some things make sense and other things do not, but isn't that just a cop out? When I think of something both good and silly, I think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, maybe a Monty Python adaptation to one of these five subjects would be a good time to call it quits in regards to the material, as it is so well known it can now be parodied with ease in such a way that most people understand the references. Even imbuing the movies with the Jefferson Airplane song can't resurrect this already decaying material.


Five: Wizard of Oz

Some ideas have been done so well already that they should be left to slumber.
Some ideas have been done so well already that they should be left to slumber. | Source

I know there hasn’t been that much done, and the Tin Man mini series on Sci Fi was interesting, but I don’t need any more versions the Wizard of Oz made either. You want to include it, turn the mythology on it’s ear like Stephen King did in the Wizard and Glass book of the Dark Tower series. Passing references to the material is fine, like in the Matrix and many other movies that cite the Wizard of Oz. I know nostalgia is quite a fuel for material, but why not instead create something new, or place it in a setting previously unseen. Refresh, do not rehash.

My reasoning behind not making another Wizard of Oz also is that the original one was so well made, why water it down? That is the tendency of making sequels, or adding to the universe is somehow with each new incarnation, there is a chance to stain or spoil the original, and that's what I think has happened with each new entry into the film world of the L. Frank Baum classic.

I’m not completely against remakes, I did like Disney’s re release of Cinderella, and I also liked the revamped Maleficent as well told from the villains perspective. But for the most part, I say let either let the old die, or bring something new to the table. Thematic elements we can keep, but you don’t have to dredge up things from a bygone era. There is plenty of material around us now ripe for the taking.

The Ban Hammer

Which of these five subjects would you most NOT want to see a movie made ever again.

See results

Final Verdict

I haven't watched Once Upon A Time, the television show so I am not sure what to make of what they made from some of the subjects mentioned, but by an large, I'd rather not see anty remakes, prequels, sequels, or adaptations of this material make it's way to theaters. Soak in the old, but bring on the new. It's not as if there aren't plenty of good stories out there ready for the telling.

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