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Reboots, Remakes and Reunions: is there any original content left or are we forced to try to remake the past

In the wake of Halloween (2018)’s trailer (which looked pretty cool), I can’t help but wonder why we’re rebooting and remaking so many stories. I’m reminded of when Andrew Garfield was cast as the "new" Spiderman. And then, Tom Holland. The uproar. The hate. It (2017). The Star Trek reboots. Top Gun’s getting a sequel. Older sitcoms are getting reunions. We’re revisiting these old universes, these old characters, these old stories. Some of it is nostalgic for the older generations. Some of it is outrageous and insulting. I’m left wondering what will be remade from my youth, fearing who will be the next Iron Man (and crying about it). What’s with the demand for these reunions. Who’s deciding to remake these movies? Are we so scared of the new, we revert back to the old, or are we out of new? Is that well all dried up?

  • This is a great topic and one that's being discussed a lot lately. I'd recommend checking out Lindsey Ellis's video essay on the 30 year cycle. I think it's also worth mentioning that a lot of the most revered achievements in cinematic history are based on books (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Nosferatu), folk stories (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and most everything else in Disney's repertoire), plays (The Jazz Singer, Casablanca, the vast majority of mid-century movie musicals such as West Side Story-- which, in turn, is based on Romeo and Juliet-- which is based on Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, incidentally), and historical events (The Titanic via the sinking of the titular ship, Texas Chainsaw Massacre via the Ed Gein case, Amadeus via the life of Mozart). Adaptation seems to be a fact of art one way or another, but there is something different of films directly adapting and spinning off other important films, as the marketing and viewership is fueled specifically by nostalgia and fandom more than anything else. On an unrelated note, you may want a snappier title for this; what you have currently is a bit of a mouthful, and the phrasing is a little awkward. Maybe limit it to 5-7 words? – TheCropsey 2 years ago
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  • Very interesting topic, but I would like to put the comic book movies in a different category. Since they are based on characters that pretty much do not age in the original medium (generally speaking, yes, there is Kingdom Come, Batman Beyond etc), they have to be rebooted, i.e. recast, in order to keep on going. You cannot have Superman, who is supposed to not age, being played by the same actor for 20 years. Also, please distinguish between reboot and sequel. The line can be blurry sometimes, but there are distinctions. Battlestar Galactica 2003 was a reboot/re-imagining of the original series, not a sequel. Scream 4 was a sequel, not necessarily a reboot etc. – tanaod 2 years ago
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  • This is definitely an interesting topic. A lot of things that were cool at one point, tend to disappear, and then come back to attract an audience that's nostalgic for that property. Movies are getting more expensive, so past properties with an established audience pose a lesser risk than creating a new idea from the ground up. – cbo1094 2 years ago
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