Many argue the film industry has taken a turn for the worse, cranking out terrible remakes and sequels. And guess what, they are one hundred percent correct.
We see it all the time—in this day and age, and especially in Hollywood, classic and cult films are getting remade by the dozen. Perhaps its out of sheer unoriginality, but the bulk of it comes from the promise of money, you know “the almighty dollar”. The industry believes that if the original film was successful in the box office, that a remake or sequel will certainly generates the same (if not better) sales.
Now, why should we be against this idea you may ask? Because, it is quite simple – if we’re going to be totally honest, the second time around generally isn’t all the great.
Let’s look at the cult classic Scream—the first two incarnations of Scream were created in ’96 and ’97, with the third coming nearly three years later in 2000—and they were a huge success. Due to this, the studio decided to make a fourth film, over a decade later, without the original cast and tired premise, that resulted in a box office flop.
As if that weren’t enough, MTV bought the rights to the franchise, making it a TV series.
Let’s look at another famous film “franchises”, Indiana Jones. I, like many others, grew up admiring the characters and film. It was based on history, with brilliant writers, editing, and acting. It’s no wonder the films have stood the test of time—well, at least the originals created in the ’80s.
Greedily, in 2008 the industry thought it was a good idea to reincarnate the classic, teaming a much-older Harrison Ford with an on-screen son (and money generator), played by Shia Labeouf. Oh, and they introduced alien characters (yes, aliens). I was stunned when I first saw advertisements for it. This film, which was made 20 years later, was a complete mockery of the original trilogy.
And yes, I still consider Indiana Jones a trilogy because the fourth installment is dead to me (and many others).
Last, but certainly not least, comes a film that has touched the lives of millions: Star Wars. These remakes personally break my heart. Growing up, I saw the original trilogy, episodes 4, 5, and 6 (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). Needless to say, these were glorious that mesmerized us all.
So, when episodes 1-3 were created (starring Natalie Portman), I refused to see them because I didn’t want them to spoil my image of the glorious originals. Over the years I’ve had countless people tell me that I am missing out, but I’m still reluctant to cave in. And now, with the soul-crushing animated version (thanks, Disney), it seems like Star Wars has fallen victim to the money-making trap.
Then you have the Fantastic Four franchise, and this is I term loosely, because if it wasn’t good the first time around, why feel the need to reboot it (and judging after this weekend’s horrible numbers…..need I say more).
I may sound naïve in my complaining about the sequels and remakes. I know film and entertainment are money-making industries, but I have to ask, where’s the integrity? Is the art form of good film-making really dead? Is it all about money?
My friends often laugh at me for the intense disdain I have for remakes, prequels and sequels made so many years after the originals. But, sometimes they need to leave a classic alone, and not try to pimp them out for money.