Recently, we have been doing some thinking about remakes. Mulan is of course a go-to in the current times, but reboots in general really.
A lot of remakes can be made prematurely, or perhaps be long overdue, but even sometimes they can be made out of nowhere, and never really needed. So, with that in mind, we wanted to write down our own “rules of a remake”…
Over the past couple of decades, there has been some brilliant remakes such as Ocean’s Eleven, A Star is Born and The Departed to name a few. But you also get some absolute whoppers like 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So, we thought there needs to be some kind of metaphorical rulebook when a writer/production company looks to make a, erm, remake.
We thought we’d pull together a three-step guide to keep the reboots in check, and to ensure the value of remaking a movie of long ago!
The first ruling we think should all be about the narrative. The original story of whatever you decide to make, must at least be a good one! Surely if you want to plunge millions of dollars into a film, the plot needs to be at least interesting.
For instance, The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler just wasn’t needed. The first outing with Burt Reynolds isn’t really a firecracker, so the 2005 version was hardly going to set the world alight. So, this is rule number one!
We also think this is pretty necessary when choosing a film to remake. In fact, this is two-pronged really. Firstly, the movie needs to at least be 15+ years old, AND/OR, the film’s original release might not have had a huge audience. For the second point, sometimes a decent movie doesn’t get the attention it deserves, so if you think a slight remake and modernisation could do the trick, go for it!
However, something to consider, if a film only came out 5 years ago and it has already been forgotten about, then it is probably worth leaving it in the dust. For instance, ever heard of the film Run For Your Wife? Things like that should not be touched again!
The final rule of the three is possibly the most obvious… the ‘why’. Basically, what would be the benefit of remaking a movie? We think the biggest reason is this case would be a new version or an adapted telling. What about if the adaption could be made into a modern context? Or could the remade film benefit from modern filmmaking technologies?
For example, with A Star is Born, the 2018 screenplay offered new songs and a new take on the story; resulting in huge critical success. But if we mention Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here from 2005, just why?! The story didn’t even differ, nor were the performances any more enlightening. In a nutshell, you have to get the ‘why remake it’ part essential when considering this path.
To wrap it up, the above reasons is why we think it is important to nail your reasoning behind a reboot. If you don’t hit all the above rules, perhaps two is a minimum. Allow enough time to pass (*cough* Spider-Man *cough*) and make sure you have the perfect ‘why’ you are remaking a movie.
What’s your thoughts on this? Do you have your own criteria? Let us know below and on our socials!