Studios are scrambling for new ways to describe their regurgitated diet, but will covering the old wagon with fresh coat stop the pedals falling off?
Some of the greatest Hollywood movies of the modern era are remakings. Martin Scorseses grubby Boston gangland thriller The Departed riffs shamelessly on the Hong Kong crime epic Infernal Affairs, while David Cronenbergs 1986 figure repugnance classic The Fly is an update on the 1958 Kurt Neumann chiller. The Coen friends 2010 remake of True Grit is generally considered to be superior to the hokey 1969 version starring a past-his-best John Wayne, while the 1982 version of the Antarctic science fiction horror The Thing is a better movie than the 1951 film The Event from Another World from which it attracted inspiration.
And yet the very period, along with its younger sibling the reboot, seems to have become a dirty word in Hollywood in 2016. If Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been made a few a few decades ago, it might easily have been sold as a remaking, but with George Lucass prequels having already been is the responsibility of breaking countless childhoods, the movie was sloped as a sort of re-quel, a sequel with all components of a remake necessary to induce nostalgia but enough brand-new textile to move the narrative on and put in future adventures.
One sees Paul Feigs Ghostbusters might have saved itself a lot of suffering by following a same approach. At least the team who put together the( otherwise much-hated) firstly trailer got one thing right, as they tried to pitch the new form as a sort of pseudo-sequel to the Bill Murray/ Dan Aykroyd version. 30 years ago, four scientists saved New York, read a caption. This summertime a new unit will answer the bawl. Sadly, by this part, it was already too late: the media had long been referring to the movie as a female-fronted remaking, and the bro brigade was already on the warpath.
It seems others are now keen to avoid attain the same misstep. With one eye on circumventing the gaping pothole differentiated devastated childhoods that seems to evident wherever these types of movies are being hit, the Rock this week on Instagram held the new form of the Robin Williams fantasize romp Jumanji is most definitely not a remake. For the record, “were about” NOT making a reboot, but rather a continuing of the floor, he wrote.
Roma Downey, make of the brand-new Ben-Hur movie, was at it too last week at the LA premiere for the swords and sandals, ahem, reworking. Its been virtually 60 years since the Charlton Heston film, she told Variety. There is a whole generation of people who havent even checked the 1959 cinema. And there are so many differences in this form, so if you produced granddads along, he wouldnt recognise it. Studio Paramount has been pitching the film as a brand-new form of the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which, naturally, the 1959 form was based on too. But its not a remake, just sos you all understand.
Then theres the forthcoming brand-new version of The Craft, the little-remembered witchy 90 s teenage chiller thats been reworked with Leigh Janiak, administrator of the critically acclaimed low-budget 2014 horror Honeymoon, in the electric chair. Yep, you predicted it, this ones not a remake, either.
I wouldnt say that we wouldnt so much better call it a remake as a 20 years later, producer Douglas Wick told Hitfix in May. There will be callbacks to the original movie, so you will see there is a relationship between what happened in the days of The Craft, and how these young lady come across this magic many years later.
Heres the thing. If the expression remake has already become inhibition in Hollywood, studios merely have themselves to accuse. From the slash-and-burn cinema of Michael Bays Platinum Dunes, with its batch of ill-considered repugnance rehashes, to Sonys incessant attempts to bring back Spider-Man with almost exactly the same tale as last-place epoch( now abandoned, thankfully, in favor of siding the wallcrawler over to Marvel ), audiences are simply fed up with an approach to cinema that looks a lot like resource stripping.
There are exclusions to the rule, of course. The Force Awakens was so slickly and lovingly constructed that all but the most po-faced of Star Wars fans learnt themselves far too wrapped up in nostalgia to complain. Jurassic World arrived just long enough after 2001 s middling Jurassic Park III that gatherings located themselves grudgingly enthralled by the prospect of convening all-new awe-inspiringly photorealistic CGI dinosaurs. And Mad Max: Fury Road belatedly cut away all the flab and gristle of the long-running dystopian desert warrior saga to expose the flash bones of a superhighway chase movie so relentlessly minimalistic that it actually cracked brand-new floor in cinema.
But makes be honest: all of the above are remakes of a style. Painting the old-time wagon with fresh cover is one thing, but its not going to stop the wheels falling off farther down the line. Ben-Hur looks likely to lose Paramount and MGM up to $100 m after bombing at the domestic box office this past weekend, and even Steven Spielberg couldnt convince audiences to come out for his new form of the BFG earlier in the summer. Gives not even mention last years mindless remake of Kathryn Bigelows enduringly stimulating 1991 surfer violation cavort Point Break.
Perhaps Hollywood can learn something from Tv. The current Netflix smash Stranger Things, by way of example, was reputedly written by the Duffer Brother after they lost out on the chance to oversee the forthcoming big screen remake of Steven Kings It. With its gloriously wistful riffing on 80 s themes, from ET to Stand By Me, the supernatural thriller is certainly better than the much-loved but profoundly inaccurate TV movie double-header that invigorated it. Whats more, its likely to be superior to the new big screen It, which recently lost the visionary head Cary Fukunaga and is being produced by sometime horror philistines New Line( makers of those horrible remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13 th, alongside Platinum Dunes ).
Small-screen producers seem capable of picking selection candies from the splendid snack multitude of the past without devastating everyones sweet tooth. Hollywood, meanwhile, seems determined to serve up a relentless dish of regurgitated and recycled fare. And its slowly think large portions of its audience sick.