Hollywood and the Movie Reboot
I’m sure that my topic of discussion this week is far from original, but I feel that it’s something that bears discussion, and it all stems from the fact that Man of Steel is opening this week.
People, let’s talk about reboots.
Now, there’s a fine line in my mind between what constitutes a remake and what a reboot is. A reboot to me is done with the intent of making a series of films, while a remake tends to be more of a one-shot, here’s-how-I-would-have-made-it, type of film. Reboots also tend to have a whole world of stories and characters to tap into, while remakes are usually limited to remaking the one film. Reboots also imply hitting a giant reset button on anything that came before.
This is becoming more and more common in Hollywood. It almost makes you wonder if studios have begun setting giant egg timers that let them know when enough time has passed to start again. Superhero movies are the most common examples of these. The Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman series have all been rebooted in the last five years. Why? Maybe they didn’t like the way it was done the first time. Maybe the tone was too light or too dark. Or maybe they’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the stories and plots they can adapt.
The egg timer for The Mummy reboot must have gone off recently, because plans are in motion to hire a screenwriter to start that ball rolling. Same with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles timer. Tomb Raider and the Fantastic Four are two others. The reboot for The Evil Dead is already well underway with the release of the first film. You’ve got to admit that when it comes to Hollywood, they know how to get as much as they can out of what they already have. The question is whether or not they should be. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a couple of films that could probably do with a good reboot. Green Lantern would be one. Punisher and Catwoman would be two more.
I’d almost be critical of Hollywood for rebooting so many movies, but that would make me a hypocrite. I’m still hitting the theatres to see them, and I’m sure I’m not alone. The question is why? Why do we still pay money to see the same characters, sometimes the same stories? What draws us to watch yet another James Bond film, which has become the quintessential example of the reboot? Do we like the familiarity? The characters? The possibility that Hollywood just might get it right this time?
I guess it all depends on who you are and what you like. I was a kid when the first round of Batman movies came out, and I watched all three of the new reboot too. And I’m sure that when that Batman reboot timer goes off a few years from now, I’ll go and see those too.
I wonder if I’ll see you there.