Usually reading Cracked.com makes me laugh. Sometimes it makes me cry. But when I read this article about several upcoming movies, and on the heels of the news of the Lion King “live-action” reboot, the writer inside me screamed in agony at the metaphorical crane jib. There are so many, many new stories to tell or even different stories to adapt, and most of the movies appear to variations on the same boring themes.
First, though, I should admit I might be part of the problem. I absolutely went to a movie theater to see Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (like everyone else in the world, apparently) because I wanted to see the continuation of a story I enjoyed. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes out next month and my interest in it is lukewarm at best. I probably will see it at some point but unless the critical review is that the movie is absolutely amazing, I probably won’t see it in the theater (this could happen; it already did with “Captain America 3“). I’m sure, however, plenty of people will see it and thus Disney will continue the circle of consumerism. For the most part, I’m not going to the theater soon. Yeah, yeah, I did see Dr. Strange, and one could argue that’s just another MCU film done in the house style which is to see not that new or different. I can’t entirely disagree, and I know not everyone will share my opinions on why I’m so bored with so many upcoming movies and TV shows.
In no particular order, here is a list categories these constant rehashing/remaking/rebooting generally fall into and keeps me far, far away from movie theaters and cable TV.
1) Origin Stories – Not everyone needs an origin story. Seriously. There are several characters so embedded in the foundation of pop culture that the origin story can be skipped and no one will miss it. But there are also a lot of instances in which an origin story isn’t necessary and in fact takes away from the adaptation. Look at Maleficient. An evil fairy does not need an origin story to explain why she’s evil. Sometimes “for the evulz” is all you need in a story. Sometimes an origin story is just a needless complication and flat-out filler. Does Captain Nemo need an origin story? No, although if a studio really wanted to go there, just make the legitimate sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Mysterious Island (which actually does go a bit into Nemo’s past). I don’t care about Merlin’s origin story either. The Arthurian myths are about King Arthur!
2) Gritty Reboots – Yeah, yeah, I’m on record about this, and yet it seems more gritty reboots are in the works for the likes of public domain figures such as Robin Hood and King Arthur. Hey, I get it, not everyone wants to watch Errol Flynn run around in green tights and Basil Rathbone pretend to lose to him in a fight (although if you’ve ever wondered where the term “Flynning” comes from, The Adventures of Robin Hood is a good place to find out). But I am really tired of so many shows featuring “highly functioning sociopaths” as main characters in original shows (The Sopranos, Dexter, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House, etc.) that I really am not interested in seeing characters I already know about recast in this same mold (hence my dislike for Sherlock).
3) Expired Sequels – By this I mean sequels to movies that were released so long ago the time for a sequel has expired. This includes Independence Day: Resurgence and the upcoming Heathers reboot for TV. Who are these being made for? I understand nostalgia is a powerful force, but Heathers? That’s kind of a dark cult comedy and although it has shown up on Netflix, is that really a reason to plan a reboot? And especially a serial one? Did no one see the original movie? And who was clamoring for a Full House follow-up? Despite being successful, that was not a good show, and very much a product of the times.
I refuse to believe the executive teams responsible for new pieces of media can’t do better than Fuller House. Argh!