Hollywood Remakes: Are they really needed?


Debra Garcia, Online Editor-in-Chief

 In recent years, many classic movies and tv shows have either been remade, revived or rebooted. The idea of remaking these beloved stores has received mixed reviews from audiences. It is easy to understand that these remakes and reboots almost always come out as rushed and forced since film-makers are often more worried about “making more money” than producing a better and more cohesive story. 

   There are many reasons why a movie or show may receive a remake: including to tell the story to younger generations, to continue an unfinished story or to resolve unanswered questions, which often ends up invoking nostalgia from the original audience.

   There are a few franchises that can produce effective remakes, while most flop according to audience reviews. Perfect examples of these “flops” are the Disney live action remakes; made with the intention to tell these fairytales to the new generation, the Disney live action remakes are often effortless cash grabs that contribute nothing new to these stories, other than being filmed with live actors instead of the original animations.

   Think about “The Lion King(2019)”; this remake’s plot, dialogue and songs  were “copy/pasted” from the beloved 1994 film, but worse. The live action animation resulted in the characters showing no emotion, making gut-wrenching scenes from the original movie feel like nothing. Instead of contributing to the plot of the great story of “The Lion King,” they rushed themselves as they were only looking to make a quick buck. This movie, like almost all Disney live action films, does not elaborate on any spectacular elements which are the hallmarks of the original classics.

   Other than movies, many cherished television shows are also receiving remakes and revivals. Shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “How I Met your Mother” and “Saved by the Bell” all have revivals currently on streaming services. These new shows are trying to give nostalgia to the original audiences while also making a new story, but that does not appeal to viewers. 

   Take the “Gossip Girl” revival for example; while not using any of the original characters, this reboot tries rehashing a similar story, with small changes, while taking place in the 2020s. Instead of two best friends rivaling, the plot centers around two sisters in a fued; instead of “Gossip Girl” being a 2000s blog run by an unpopular high school student, “Gossip Girl” is an Instagram page run by teachers as a way to blackmail students to behave. 

   The script writers took what was interesting about the show, and changed it so much it is almost unrecognizable. This is why the show fell flat with audiences, even viewers of the original series, proving that the “nostalgia” tactic does not always work.  

   Remakes that add new elements to the story are the movies/shows that receive better reviews. The reason the Marvel Spiderman trilogy flourished was because they did not rehash the classic Spiderman origin story word for word like Sony and Sam Rami did. They changed the story, giving viewers something different. Think about why there are so many Superman and Batman reboots. Audiences get bored with seeing the same story just with different actors. 

   The reason that many of these revivals, remakes and reboots fall flat is because studios spoon feed the public poorly thought out content, without asking them what they want. Viewers  want new stories that do not betray the original content. They want a storyline that flows, that does not seem forced. 

   If there must be more remakes, the goal of the directors should be to make audiences realize why these revivals are needed, and why they should watch these new versions instead of the originals. 

   There such things as great remakes, such as “Cruella(2021).” So in order for these great reboots to really be superior to their originals, producers need to think less about money and more about the audiences.