As a huge fan of both Film, and TV, I am always excited to see new releases that’s out in the cinemas. I am always anxious to analyse them from a screenwriter’s perspective, and merely an audience member. Lately however, I have noticed that almost every other Film and/or TV release is a remake. As a screenwriter, and author, or in fact anybody who works in production, whether it’s fashion, music, food or other, naturally one draws influences from whatever they are inspired by. Thus the creator may make reference to such
influences in their work. But what happens when “filmmakers” are rebooting films? Namely Metropolis (1927) which was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and the catalyst to writing this piece. According to The Hollywood Report, Golden Globe winner: Sam Esmail, (Director, and Writer of TV show Mr Robot) is turning the film into a mini series, and to cast Idris Elba. In my opinion, it’s such an easy route to take; what else is there to do, you choose a well known film, add well known actors, and actresses, and then watch the ratings soar, and the money will follow. Each episode is due to cost $10 million after all. It’s such a cheat; yes you may be influenced (or not), but remakes, and reboots are cop outs.
Has the surge of the remakes and reboots educated the intended market, or left them believing that the they have watched is in fact an original piece of work? What does it matter? It matters because, credit should be given where due, and most importantly, some remakes should be left alone. How many times do we need to see Romeo and Juliet. Even the well known Rear Window (1954) was rebooted into Disturbia (2007). It takes away from the originality of the work. People leave the cinema with no knowledge that the film was ever a remake, and thus the original filmmaker doesn’t get credit for his/her work. For argument sake, if the original filmmaker does get credit, to some degree homage has been paid. Yet it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Production Company and/or Network has decided to “lazily” release a film, and more so, the filmmaker hasn’t put much thought in the film making process. Do the audience want to see anyone other than Chris Tucker in Rush Hour? Even if it’s the TV version. Well, CBS cancelled its TV version after its first season.
Film Releases for 2017 Remakes and/or Reboots Included!
Some films that are set for a 2017 release are: Kôkaku Kidôtai’s 1995 Ghost in the Shell which has been remade, and in cinemas in March. Scarlett Johansson is the main lead in the Japanese classic. Why didn’t cast a Japanese actor/actress as the main lead? Because, an A-list celebrity in a film that the mainstream cinema-goers haven’t heard of will have the film quickly rising to the top of the box office, and raking in that money. We have all heard of, and seen, Beauty and the Beast. A remake will be released in March 2017 starring Emma Watson (from Harry Potter). Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is to star in the 2017’s version of Jumanji out in cinemas in Dec. Whether he is or isn’t trying to fill Robin Williams’ shoes, he will be compared to him regardless.
The Ring, which is a remake of the Japanese film Ringu, which was adapted from Koji Suzuki’s novel, with the same name has been remade by Hollywood. Rings, the 3rd instalment of the franchise will be released in February. The central antagonist who sports the iconic hair over the face is actually taken from Japanese theatre, Kabuki, which exaggerates makeup, hair, costume, movement, and so on. In mainstream cinema, this is lost in translation, and so the meaning is watered down. The versions that are remade, displays the antagonist, Sadako as just a creepy looking person, and the viewer knows no more than that. Also, Gojira (1954), better known as Godzilla (1998), starring Matthew Broderick. In the Japanese version, the ‘monster’ represents America invading Japan causing destruction. So, when the 1998 version, Godzilla was made, you could imagine the disgust of the Japanese people that saw this film, and their history as somewhat being mocked for entertainment – again this film was lost in translation. I am not judging the level of intellect of the viewer, although, whose responsibility (if any) is it, to educate the viewer. Maybe the filmmaker and/or Production Companies/Networks could also announce to the audience that the work they are about to release, is a remake or reboot.
80s hit TV show, LA Law has been given the green light by its writer, Bill Finkelstein to reboot the TV series.
Creator Steven Bochco speaks to Variety.com:
Some originals to look forward to if you’re a horror fan like myself, you’ll be excited for the release of Saw: Legacy (2017) – it’s currently rumoured, and not confirmed as of yet so let’s keep our fingers crossed. Alien: Covenant (2017) is another must see by Ridley Scott.
Deanna Russell –