Reboots, which do you actually want?
Everything is being rebooted or restarted just now, it seems to be the new remake, but do you actually want to see your franchises restarted? Was there anything wrong with them before? Or should they have just been left alone?
Reboot is an easy option for studios and can help them reduce costs in a franchise or simply take a winning premise with a ready made audience and add in new CG, younger, hipper actors and modern dialogue. All making it much more attractive to the desired demographic.
However is it all just money or is there something in these reboots? Is there really a chance to make a better franchise than the one before?
There’s a whole list of reboots happening right now, I did a quick search on Filmstalker and wrote down a list of the first bunch that caught my eye, Predator, Alien, Resident Evil, Fantastic Four, RoboCop, Scream, Tomb Raider, Superman, Jack Ryan, Blade.
Phew. That’s a fair list just for grabbing the titles to hand, but it does show you that there are a ton of titles being rebooted.
Except the way we’re talking about them it does sound as though they’re a bad thing, but that isn’t always the case. Star Trek (Filmstalker review) was a reboot that worked for a great many people, James Bond has had a superb reboot with Daniel Craig taking up the role to huge success in two films already, and Batman has been the king of reboots with Christopher Nolan’s reboot and sequel being the most successful to date.
There are others that have had a mixed reception, what about Superman Returns (Filmstalker review), some love it and some hate it, but it certainly captured the feeling of the old Superman that’s for sure. Halloween is another reboot that has been rather well received and is sitting on its second sequel with talk of the third already.
So are reboots really proving to be that unpopular? Not judging by the list just there, some of them have been superb films. Remember though what a reboot is, it’s not a sequel or a prequel, it’s a film that restarts the story already told, going back to the origins and possibly rewriting them – think Star Trek - or it’s a fim that continues on the series with a rewrite of the story and background – think James Bond.
This is where the grey area comes in, some would say that Terminator Salvation (Filmstalker review) is a reboot, I’d disagree, it’s far from a reboot, it’s a continuation of the series and any changes it’s making to its own storyline are because of the storyline itself, the effects of time travel and the unreliability of the future.
So I’m really struggling to pick up on any bad reboots that have been made, the ones to come though offer a few possibilities.
Amongst that list of reboots that are under way there are some that definitely could do with a restart. How about Predator and Alien as two examples where a franchise has gone really bad and they need to get back to their roots. Perhaps they don’t necessarily class as reboots and we’ll just see sequels to their original franchises, but in effect that’s a reboot. You can’t argue that they need that after the dreadful Alien vs Predator destroyed both franchises, although you could argue Predator 2 started that.
However the rest of the list there looks pretty dodgy ground. Resident Evil is the latest we’ve heard rumours for a reboot, and the only requirement seems to be to bring down the costs by getting rid of the expensive lead, and with Milla Jovovich being so entrenched in the franchise a reboot would be the easiest way to work her out of the story but still keep the series alive. Replace her and restart.
Yet that seems to me a prime way to lose the existing fan base. Why remake such a young franchise from the beginning? Why not find another way to make it cheaper?
Fantastic Four is a young franchise, but it could be rebooted quite effectively, except why would we want to see the origin stories of the characters again so soon? They’ve just been seen on the screen with one set of actors and any reboot would need to address how they all came to be. It seems to me that’s another franchise that could be fixed through sequels.
Blade and Tomb Raider don’t need reboots either, they need sequels with the existing stars. Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role and has proved it twice while Wesley Snipes has shown exactly the same thing. Better scripts, good directors, and a decent budget, that’s what those films need.
The same goes for Jack Ryan, although for his sequels they can just replace the actor as they see fit, they’ve done it enough already it won’t be a surprise to see a new face every film!
Superman needs some space to get over the negative reaction that the first reboot brought him, what it doesn't need is another reboot already. So I guess that it's rather good that the rights issues have all changed and we'll probably see that delay any film movement for a long time.
Personally I think that the film was rather good, despite some mistakes, and it surely doesn't warrant a complete restart, again.
Scream should be left alone totally. I mean we've seen this story played out a number of times now and the poor leading lady has had everything thrown at her. The only thing that hasn't happened has been her going mad and being the killer behind it all...well they are writing the next film right now, and it's planned to hand it over to a new crew, and that is a form of a reboot. What will they do anyway? Just go through the same stories we've seen but with a younger cast?
What about RoboCop though? I love the original film and some of the clever references in the film, but it certainly could do with updating in some areas, and not just the CG. So is it worthy of a reboot? I actually think it is, if they do it right. Darker, more realistic might be the way to go, but still keeping that sly, sideways look at our world at the same time.
Looking back over that list though there's a big surprise. Reboots do look like they are worthwhile, much more than the run of remakes, sequels and prequels we've seen. In fact I can't actually think of bad reboots, can you?
What do you think of some of these new reboot titles? Are they going to be a good thing? Alien and Predators surely are, but what of the others?
Are reboots the current remake, or are they actually managing to break the mould and give studios the chance to make it better, even if it might be cheaper?