Saturday, 14 December 2013

Remakes in Moderation Please

Well I have to say that I have recently come across some mildly disturbing news thanks to Cracked. That is their lovely article here detailing how we have a slew of remakes to look forward to in the near future.

For those not willing to read the article, a short summary; here we have no less than three Peter Pan remakes coming out in the near future, four series that could only under a generous stretch of the imagination be called Wizard of Oz spin offs (of some sort), two new sets of Tarzan movies, and two films about Hercules, one staring the Rock no less.

And some other kid

Now let me get something off my chest, I'm not against remakes, not at all. I actually like many reboots or re imaginings of old shows. For instance I loved Tin Man's re imagining of The Wizard of Oz universe in a slightly darker and more adult version of the old Oz franchise, I am a huge fan of Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong reboot, Death Race in 2008, The Godzilla remake in 1998, and I sincerely enjoyed the reboot of The Thing in 2011 (ok not technically a reboot or remake but still something cool finally done in the universe there). Hell until Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars I'd even been hoping to see some Star Wars remakes before I died.

However, there is a thing which makes reboots good, and what makes us want them, the fact that we haven't seen these things in a long time.

The upcoming Godzilla remake will have waited a respectable time (16 years) before putting a major Godzilla piece on the market again (and I say major in all seriousness, the Power Ranger esque Godzilla bits coming out in the 80s don't count) and that's what makes people look forward to it.

The TV series Once Upon a Time is fresh because no one has really done a grand new imagining of the old fairy tales in a long time, and not in such a fresh and fascinating way with a diverse cast of characters and an epic plot.

The upcoming sequel to 300 (300: Rise of an Empire) has waited a long time to reintroduce us to that crazy sword and sandals world we haven't seen in a while. I've been broadcasting all about it on my Facebook page for a while now and the trailers have been out on Youtube so if you don't know about it shame on you!

There's also the upcoming re imagining of the 47 Ronin which looks to be almost 300 in Japan, is a film to look forward to I would personally say with cautious optimism.

You know what separates these things from all the other remakes I've mentioned? They're years apart from each other, seem to be trying to breath new and innovative ideas into a creation, and they can act independently of each other. These remakes seem to not even care that they'll be competing with other remakes of the same story, as if the producers didn't stop and think "Hey we'll be flooding the market with a really similar product to the next guy!" making the potential interest evaporate as you see the same thing over and over again. Hell of all the items on the list the only one I would consider seeing is the one that puts a modern soldier in a post-apocalyptic Oz since that seems like an even darker version of Tin Man.

This is actually a problem I've been having with superhero movies recently. Yes their big flashy blockbuster productions what should I expect? Here's the thing though, we're being flooded with cheap (and sometimes tacky) remakes of films, for example, the Hulk films of the last decade are barely 5 years apart all so Hulk could be shoehorned into the Avengers (Don't get me wrong Avengers was great, but did they really need the remake? We know who Hulk is and he doesn't have anything original to contribute to the series like Iron Man, Thor or Captain America, but I digress). Now we're going to have to contend with yet another series of remakes for Super Man (whose films really can't do anything original to save their lives) and more Batman since it seems they intent on recreating the Justice League, meaning we will probably have to endure another Green Lantern movie (gack) and potentially Aquaman.

Now this version I would see

My issue with these is that they are basically just hashing out old ideas and trying to market them to a new audience. In some cases it works (for the Avengers especially) but for things like Batman and Superman, we're really just whipping the same dead horse and we'll probably be at it for the next decade.

Now although some of these remakes may not end up being awful (I'm willing to bet money they won't be great either) I'm not enthusiastic for their release.

To finish off I know that this blog would never get the ear of major producers, but is it seriously so much to ask of them to jump out of the cardboard box they've been in for the last decade and start trying to embrace some new ideas, writers, or scenarios? Hell would it be too much to ask that we could actually try and market a new superhero to people instead of just rehashing old ones?

If we're going to be dusting off old ideas, why not try some that really haven't been done before? Maybe some of H.P Lovecrafts numerous works in his mythos could be adapted (Aquaman optional)? Perhaps we could get a modern Dune series (yes we had the miniseries in 2000 but would a decent film with a good budget really be too much to ask for by 2020?). Or even say an adaption of the great novel Earth Abides? (Not starring Will Smith or Tom Cruise even).

What I suppose I'm trying to say if we have to dust off old ideas rather than attempt to embrace new ones, we could at least be dusting off old ideas that haven't been done before (or at least in a long time). Let's try fishing up some new fodder instead of digging up the same old corpse before it's body is even cold ok producers?

Until next time readers.

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