The planned Clue remake may have been nixed, but the reboot train keeps chugging forward, with 1986 robot classic Short Circuit next on the list. And once again, I am tearing my hair and yelling “noooooooooooo!” in response to a silly Hollywood decision.
I’ve remarked before about how a well-done reboot can be fun, re: we already know where everything is going, so now we get to see how we got there in the first place. The best reboots and remakes usually come from stories that transcend the ages—Batman, Star Trek, X-Men, even Planet of the Apes (though I still think that last trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes gave away waaaaay too much). But even so, there comes a point where enough is enough. Clue does not need to be remade. Neither does Short Circuit. These are fine films in their own right; they’re also very much products of the ‘80s, which is part of what makes them work so well. They’re goofy in a very ‘80s sense, and I’m not convinced that making them again in the new millennium will add anything to them.
But here’s the bigger problem: What seems like the majority of films coming out of Hollywood these days are ALL remakes or reboots. Consider the following recent or upcoming films:
- Fright Night: Remake.
- Footloose: Remake.
- The Evil Dead: Reboot in development.
- Conan the Barbarian: Reboot.
- The Amazing Spider-Man: Reboot.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Reboot in development.
- Boatloads of recent horror films (Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, yadda yadda yadda): Reboots and remakes.
And this is just tiny, tiny sampling of what’s going on. Everyone’s favorite procrastination tool, Wikipedia, has pretty extensive lists of films that have been remade and rebooted, so if you really want to see what the damage is, check them out. It’s not pretty.
I realize that sometimes it can be tough coming up with original stories. I realize that a lot of film executives would rather go for an old story that they know ha already sold than take a chance on a new, previously untold story. But seriously: STOP STEALING EXISTING STORIES AND COME UP WITH SOME OF YOUR OWN. Relying so heavily on rehashes of the same old tales is LAZY. You are BETTER THAN THAT. Reboots are best reserved for when specific franchises get so bogged down in their own bullshit or have otherwise gone so far off the rails that the only way to set things to rights is to start over. They should not be relied on as the sole source of all storytelling. I love being excited about upcoming films that aren’t things I’ve already seen before– movies like Super 8 come to mind. I’m tired of seeing the same old thing. Consider this a wake-up call, Hollywood. Now get off your duffs and make something original. Your audience will thank you.