Remake, Reboot, Retool! A Rant!
So I’m going to be honest here! I’m tired of remakes. I’m tired of reboots. I’m tired of no originality in cinema. I am tired of new sequels to film franchises that haven’t seen the light of day since the 90’s! For instance, Disney announced this week that the are looking at a third Sister Act movie!
WHY? I mean really! We don’t need more of Sister Mary Clarence! The second movie ended perfectly… Over twenty years ago! Don’t ruin my teenage memories of performing the song and dance number to that film at a talent show!
I’m tired of new and original stories at the movies getting horrible box office numbers or being torn apart by critics because the narratives didn’t fit into their little box of preconceived notions.
This reality hit me with Tomorrowland. I loved it! I mean, I really loved it! Now I know that movies are subjective and that’s the beauty of cinema. All that said, it’s hard for me to see a truly original good movie be lucky if it breaks even and have a less than 50% on Rotten Tomatoes! Before you do, please don’t give me the spiel on how Tomorrowland copied the land at Disneyland, I’m not buying it.
Here’s the thing…
Studios are trying to produce new original stories and they flop. So what do they do? They go to what makes money. In general, new, creative and original stories don’t make very much money. So Disney remakes animated classics to live action. Studios go back to old formulas and franchises. Old movies get the reboot treatment. Very few studios right now are putting out original content. They find generic formulas that work.
The studios go back to the 90’s and make a sequel to a successful franchise from that era. This summer we have Jurassic World for instance. I’m actually excited to see it as I’m a huge Chris Pratt fan, but it’s the forth in a series that started in the early 90’s. That on top of the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, coming back for another Terminator film this summer. This Fall we have another film centered around the Peter Pan mythology, Pan. You know, because The Disney Animated version, Hook and Finding Neverland wasn’t enough! Starting to see my point?
There’s a disconnect. Movies that do well at the Oscars for instance are hardly ever the movies that bring in the box office dollars. So studios will just keep remaking the same thing over and over. I mean how many Hunger Games type dystopian teen dramas do we need? It’s getting old! This proves my point. Studios are so desperate to find something that brings in money, they will beat a premise to death until it’s almost a joke and they make a themed parody movie of it.
Take author and YouTuber John Green! I love that guy! He’s profound, hilarious and classy. He’s a great young adult writer and has a way to connect with teens and young adults. I enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, both novel and movie. Hollywood has now got a hold of his stuff and we will be seeing John Green novel based screenplays in the theaters for the foreseeable future (ie Paper Towns this Summer and Looking for Alaska is rumored to be next).
So we’ve reached a Catch 22. Original stories don’t keep the lights on at the studios and more of the same is what pays the bills. Though I am a lover of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars movies, I am also a lover of cinema in general. I just want to see more variety! I guess the thing is, if we want to see more original stories at the Cineplex and not the Cinema Art House, we have to get out of our comfort zones. See an original film, even some of the weird independent ones! Studios will change when audiences change, because unfortunately as much as we like to think cinema boils down to creativity, it actually boils down to the bottom line.
About the Author
Andy Herndon is the Co-Founder and current host of The D-Cast and theDcast.com, a weekly podcast & blog talking all things movies in the Disney universe, including Star Wars (LucasFilm), Marvel & Pixar and even some Disneyland stuff just for fun. Andy is Southern Californian turned Las Vegan turned Oregonian. He lives in Southern Oregon with his bride and 3 kids who are all growing up to be movie buffs and Disney fanatics. Andy is fan of culture, cinema, creativity & coffee! Contact Andy on the various social media outlets @andyherndon. He would love to connect!