This week on Twitter, Fantastic 4 (2015) director Josh Trank stated his hatred for the 2015 mega-bust, supporting one Twitter users GoFundMe comment to erase the Fantastic 4 reboot from cinematic history.
Well, this got me thinking about the nature of reboots and remakes in Hollywood and the very specific formula filmmakers have to follow to make the risky undergoing an actual success. In this age of remakes and reboots, both in television and on the big screen, it appears that any sense of original thinking has gone out the window. Everything seems to be an update of past gems, an adaptation of a book, or a re-branding of an existing story. We are bombarded with an old classic in new packaging. A big reason for this: nostalgia. Whether we are all just severely unsatisfied with our own lives, or enjoy a moment or two of reminiscent bliss, Hollywood has figured out people enjoy being taken back to a memory of an easier time.
For major flops such as Fantastic 4, they neglected to give the appropriate waiting time between a generation of fans growing up and a new generation craving a contemporary adaptation. The original Fantastic 4 came out in 2005. Chris Evans had barely been fitted in his new Captain America digs before they decided someone new had to take up the helm. Hollywood! Give people time to appreciate the original before you deliver a lacklustre screenplay that nobody asked for.
Studios are so set on pumping out reboot after reboot that they are not allowing the appropriate amount of time for audiences to start missing the original. Take a recent example of Halloween, a reboot of the 1978 John Carpenter masterpiece. Though many failed attempts at sequels and remakes have come and gone within the 40-year interim, 2018’s scary movie sequel became wildly successful, as it captured the original essence of Carpenter’s flick, while adding aspects that appeal to today’s audience. Time was taken to ensure this film a group of people who could appreciate the original and stay true to what made it so good.
In making this point, it can also be noted that time isn’t necessarily the key ingredient in reboot success. 2016’s Ghostbusters is a prime example of this. I personally didn’t mind the 2016 comedy –it was enjoyable enough. However, you would think in a generation obsessed with the 80s, the film would be a guaranteed hit. The films biggest problem was that it tried to completely make over the franchise, neglecting the 80s appeal of the film, in the first place. There was a charm in the simple weaponry and science in the original Ghostbusters that just couldn’t be translated to the 21st century with the same level of charm. In the same way remakes of Ben Hur, Carrie, and Arthur sorely failed to hit anywhere close to the mark. Seriously, who asked for a remake of Ben Hur?
With all these remakes, sequels and rebooted franchises, let’s just hope Hollywood has the sense to leave some iconic classics alone. I beg you, do not remake The Sound of Music, E.T: Extra Terrestrial, or Casablanca (just to name a few). Perfection is perfection and that is that.
What remake/ reboot do you want to see hit the screen? Let us know in the comments.