Should Hollywood Quit Recycling Their Ideas?

-Aria Treeman-Rienke

With the remakes of Doctor Dolittle and The Little Mermaid on the horizon and the recent release of a cast search for a live-action Hercules, the question comes to mind if the remakes are really worth the excitement. The concept of remakes is built off of recycling previous films that prospered on the silver screen as a new idea to hit the modern cinema.

The public seems to fall for the different renditions of classic movies that surrounded their childhood as more and more copies are racking in loads of money. The remake that initiated the Disney era of replications was the Cinderella remake in 2015. 

“I remember the Cinderella remake. I love Lily James, but I feel like the songs weren’t good. They made it the exact same thing; it was just a total copy,” said Megan Oslislo. 

Cinderella may have been a direct replica of the original story from 1950, but the new way to see the great blue gown and glass slippers raked in $543.5 million worldwide. The film was in the twelfth top grossing films of that year. This ultimate kickoff has led to the revival of movies that define Disney’s movie culture. Jungle Book, The Lion King, Pete’s Dragon, Aladdin, and Dumbo are just some of the remakes Disney has taken on. Again, the public ate up the remakes as the average box office take in was  $841.52 million, with Aladdin (1.051) and The Lion King (1.657) passing the one billion dollar mark. With replication movies taking over the box office, why would the movie industry need any new ideas? 

“They still have a lot of creativity in the industry. They are well done, but I don’t know what their plan is with all of these remakes,” said Emily Dunne, junior. 

Remakes aren’t the only media blowing up from original ideas; reboots are also very popular. In the span of twenty years, there have been three Spider-Man reboots, two renditions for the reboot of Jumanji, and the third Batman is expected to come to the cinema in 2021. The stories still surround either a radioactive spider, parents shot on the street or a video game that takes people as prisoners with the worry that they will never see the real light of day. 

Reboots just take the same characters and building blocks of the story to make a new depiction appealing to a modern  audience. Spider-Man Homecoming illustrated a new take on Peter Parker’s adventures of adolescence and superpowers, based on the original story by Stan Lee, for the third consecutive time in the theaters. This modern look with a different best friend and no death of lovely Gwen Stacey, coupled with the familiarity of the character, brought Marvel Entertainment $880.2 million. 

“I liked the Dark Knight series because of the great acting and writing, but also the fact, his morals stayed true to the original by not killing anyone. Also Heath Ledger was the best Joker,” said Ben Passyn, junior. 

Reboots have the chance for creativity or to bring smaller characters a greater role from the original story. One prime example can be found with the Ghostbusters from 2016 with the full-female team ready to take down any ghosts. This movie may not have been the most popular in theaters, but the aspect of using the female perspective allowed the audience to open their eyes to another possible way the beloved 1984 film could have gone if it had female empowerment surrounding the highly prominent story. Another highly prejudged movie is the new Mulan set to drop in March as it focuses more on the actual Chinese tale and not cultural misinterpretation the initial movie can be taken as. 

“I think Mulan looks good, but it doesn’t look similar enough. They took out Mushu and on its own, it would be good. But since it’s not the Mulan I grew up with, I won’t see it,” Katie Figueras, junior. 

Not all reboots are the vision the audience caught on the old story were hoping for, but it doesn’t change the fact that those kinds of movies still bring in the masses as they see how their favorite story was shifted ever so slightly. Hollywood doesn’t have many chances to change the story if that is a major deciding factor for the theater to be filled. This doesn’t mean creativity is lost as the reboots open the gate to a new interpretation of a beloved tale. However, when the audience shuns the possibility of a shift to the story, the question remains if creativity is truly there when the audience wants a direct replica of the films they grew up to. 


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