Hollywood Needs New Ideas

The movie industry continues on its roll to release more and more remakes


Dune opens big in the box offices. The movie did well under the direction of Denis Villeneuve. Photo by Madeline Gooley/The Comets’ Tale

Madeline Gooley and Marisol Macias

Lights, camera, action! That is what movie producers have been saying time and time again. Going to the theater these days, anyone can see that a vast majority of them appear to be sequels or remakes.

Movies like Dune and West Side Story have lots of hype surrounding their release, whereas other remakes like Ghostbusters and Space Jam have been a hit or miss with the fans.

Do these reboots honor the originals? How will the public react to these classics getting a second life? Will they view them, trash them, and forget about it entirely?

The recent release of Dune earned a whopping $40.1 million opening weekend and, for Generation Z, it was one of the biggest releases of the year. Starring teenage heartthrob Timothee Chalamet, this remake received a lot of attention.

“Even though it’s not an original film, it is an unusual property to adapt,” Grand Ledge High School teacher and Film Club advisor Mr. Cook said. “It’s only been done twice before… it’s never gotten a properly, well-received adaptation.”

Remaking movies that had their time to shine can often give them a new life, as seen with Dune.

A remake of West Side Story is set to come out in December, directed by Steven Spielberg. Being the classic that it is, its predecessor is already known as a well created movie, since it was successful in its time to shine.

“That’s an interesting one because you’re talking about a movie that came out in the sixties, and has never been remade before,” Mr. Cook said.“I mean, it’s a first-time remake and you’re talking almost 60 years in between.”

With the fanbase West Side Story has already accumulated in all of its years of existence, remaking the movie can widen that fanbase.

The West Side Story remake is a great example of serving viewers’ nostalgia. People who experienced its initial release and those who continued to share the movie have shown excitement for the remake. Ghostbusters: Afterlife also has a lot of nostalgic value.

Being one of the classics from the 1980s, Ghostbusters is a family film that caters to most generations. After an Instagram poll presented to the student body, it became evident that Ghostbusters: Afterlife was the movie most were looking forward to.

Containing much more computer-generated imagery than the original, the remake add modern elements to the franchise. That being said, many fans have shown confusion about its role in the franchise. Is it a sequel or reboot? It has the continued storyline of a sequel with overlying elements of the original plot.

On a different note, adding modern elements can cater to the younger generations and again, bring new fans into the franchise. Yet, some sequels with these elements have had a less than great outcome. Space Jam: A New Legacy is a perfect example of this. After its release in 1996, it is remembered as a movie that largely defined 90s culture. The 2021 remake barfed out trashy modern elements, thus losing its charm.

“…one of the most iconic films from the 1990s was Space Jam…parents could enjoy it, too, [because it had all these cameos] Bill Murray shows up literally as himself in that movie…” Cook said. “…It’s [Space Jam 1996] not a very good movie, in my opinion, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, but it’s really stupid…Space Jam had an iconic soundtrack…This new one has a bunch of techno music and like, overproduced rap music and it’s all forgettable” continued Cook.

Likewise, The Indiana Jones franchise chose to continue its long series of movies after being initially released in 1981. The original cast of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, included Paul Freeman, Karen Allen, Alfred Molina, and of course, Harrison Ford. The only original cast member remaining in this sequel is Ford. These new releases could attract nostalgia junkies but how good will they actually be? Titles like “The Matrix 4, Indiana Jones 5” sound almost as tacky as their expected storylines. Are they really needed twenty years later?

Lots of sequels were not as enjoyable as the originals.

Even so, a few of them actually added value to the storyline. Both from 2018, Venom and Quiet Place released sequels this year which seem to do just that. The catch is, both movies have yet to be remade 500 times. Their sequels fully served the franchise and not just the cast or director’s income. The real question here: When should a franchise give up the stale sequels and let the story stay up in the air?