"But it's a classic! How could you even possibly think of remaking it?"
That's the mewling whinge you'll hear up and down the country, or angrily typed out on online forums and social media, pretty much every time Hollywood decides to reboot a movie. I totally get it and, I can't lie, there are times when I have spaffed out that indignation myself.
Yes, it might seem disrespectful to a classic movie to have another bash at it. Yes, if there's nothing wrong with the original movie, why does it need to remade at all? I totally understand both those arguments.
In the last few weeks director Mark Neveldine has told ScreenCrush.Com that he would love to remake The Warriors, one of my favourite films of all time, saying: "We have never been interested in remakes, and probably still aren't. But that's the one that we've always felt would just be awesome. We just feel like we're the perfect guys for that job; baseball bats, roller-skates, gangs, the heightened world. We know there's been fear at some studios like "We make this movie today and gangs are gonna go wild!" And it's like "Whatever." You do it in Crank style, people are just gonna laugh and have fun."
Other seemingly holy cows that are also on the redux list are The Goonies and Gremlins. Chris Columbus, wrote both of those, has been quoted as saying: "The stuff that I'm involved with - the Gremlins and Goonies reboots, for instance - they would do those without me. So, I'm staying involved just so I can be protective and actually protect what people love about those movies so it doesn't go off track."
The latest attempt at Fantastic Four is upon us whether we like it or not, we already know that Spider-Man is getting a third big screen reboot in less than 15 years, a new Ghostbusters vision is on the way, 90s teen witch gem The Craft is getting a generational facelift and even more recently comes word that A Nightmare On Elm Street is being rebooted. I could be here forever if I listed all if the reboots we already know are in the pipeline and seems that every day that list grows. The redux express is showing no signs of slowing down.
I'm never going to put my hand on my heart and say that remaking a movie is always a good idea because, in all honesty, it isn't - making a bad movie is one thing but remaking a great movie and turning it into a horrible movie is a crime that should actually be punishable in some way. What I will say is that even the best films usually have some flaws and redoing them allows us to update and improve on the idea OR take it in a new direction. Sometimes revisiting a film and giving it new life is the first time a director has really been able to put an idea on the big screen in the way we were, of they believe we were, meant to see it.
Also, wouldn't you rather have a well crafted reboot of a classic movie than a shonky sequel that's so far away from the original film that it is almost insulting? There are so many franchises that, as the numbers at the end of the title increase, the quality of the film itself decreases. THAT, to me, is a far bigger crime. Terminator Genisys, yes, I am looking at you. You don't have a number but you do make me think of a stinky number two.
Let's look at just one genre: Horror. In the bad, or at very least poor, reboot corner we have many culprits including Poltergeist, Nightmare On Elm Street (2010 version), Halloween, Friday The 13th, Texas Chainsaw, April Fools Day, Prom Night, The Stepfather... the list goes on and on.
But in good reboot corner - staying with the horror genre - we have Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, John Carpenter's The Thing (Yes, in case you didn't know, it is a remake), The Fly, Dawn Of The Dead, The Ring, Night Of The Living Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Evil Dead... the list goes on.
It's actually an interesting exercise to do genre by genre. Okay, it's slightly tragic and anal and it might take forever but whatever.
To automatically say that a reboot is a bad thing purely because it's a reboot is nothing less than a tantrum.
Understandably, people do get attached to movies. We tend to have a personal connection with them, memories associated to when or where or with whom we saw the film for the first time and how we felt. The thing is that having a film remade doesn't damage the original and is certainly doesn't mean we can't watch the original over and over - it doesn't disappear just because a reboot has come along. It's not an 'either/or' situation.
You also don't have to watch it if you don't want to. You could just avoid it. Personally, and being a geek, even if it turns out to be a stinker I still like to see the new version so I can compare them and look and see what they kept in and what they changed.
Take Dungeons and Dragons for example. Back in 2010 there was a (terrible) film released inspired by the widely popular game and world in it that didn't do much to inspire audiences or critics. In 2015 a new movie is in the works at Warner Bros, 10 months after a trial over who owned the rights to the fantasy game ended.
This is one of a slew of franchises, or potential franchises, that are getting a new lease of life with quite often attractive, young and unknown or up-and-coming casts. That's perfectly okay. I think it's actually better than okay, I actively encourage it even if it does make me cringe a bit. And audiences encourage Hollywood to keep doing it by going to cinema to see the films albeit with wildly different degrees of box office success.
My only request with a reboot is that they bring something new to the table, be it creativity, pure sass or even a cheeky homage. But don't give me the same thing done less well - especially if you have a bigger budget.
Don't forget, there are whole generations that don't know the originals exist or pooh-pooh them because they're old. The new version might make them discover the original for the first time and that's a great thing because it fosters a love of film AND a desire to know more about it. Or we can at least hope that's the case.
So, the next time you hear Hollywood is having another bash at a movie you love, don't let the idea of it give you nightmares. I'm curious so personally, until I get to see it on the big screen, I'll be probably counting sleeps, not losing them. And I kind of hate myself a bit for that.
Reboots, I wish I knew how to quit you.