Money For Old Rope

Hollywood as we are all aware, has strong liberal sentiments. We watch the armies of Prius scurrying round the globe; vocally promoting the most progressive of causes. An endangered lab rat in Dubai, a boycott of a well known chocolate vendor or political conflict in a far far away land. But when it comes to progression within their own industry, Hollywood is the perfect example of cultural conservatism. Any person who has scouted the papers or dubya’s over the past year would be hard pressed not feel a strange sense of deja-vu. Film and Television it seems, has become obsessed with the past, redressing themes from the old to the damn near pre-pubescent.

tids

Now you can forgive me if some of what I say appears just as unoriginal as the summer Blockbuster offerings. But the trend of remakes, re-drafts and reboots is becoming more and more frequent. The list of upcoming recycled properties is pretty staggering, especially when you look at the great filmmakers behind the texts. Filmmakers who have proven they have the artistic ambition to do something more original – have begun embracing nostalgic, more familiar material.

harvey

Step forward Steven Spielberg, the most successful filmmaker of all time announced that he will be ‘reimagining’ Harvey, the 1950 comedy starring Jimmy Stewart. Next we have Robert Zemeckis, another filmmaker with near-perfect credentials. He will be breathing new life into the iconic Yellow Submarine animation. Looking further, we have Bryan Singer’s upcoming remakes of Excalibur and Battlestar Galactica; while rocker turned auteur, Mr. Rob Zombie; still bloodied from the second Halloween set, is trying his hands at the tongue-in-cheek horror The Blob, the films third offering to an ever forgetful public.

blobbb

Shoot ‘Em Up director Michael Davis is trying on Outland for size. Screen Gems is moving ahead with a new take on Peckinpah’s classic Straw Dogs. Believe me when I say, I wish I was finished – damn you hyperlink! Studio wise, were getting a Columbia Pictures remake of the 1990 sci-fi film Total Recall. Hancock director Peter Berg will have a look at Lynch’s Dune, Brett Eisner will reinvent Flash Gordon and Danny ‘Bhangra’ Boyle’s DNA Films is planning a new Judge Dredd movie. Terminator Salvation director McG will plummet 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, while Twilight filmmakers Summit Entertainment are having a ganders at the Highlander franchise.

blade twi

There are countless remakes already on the studio release slates. MGM has a new version of Fame sitting atop mount box-office; with a remake of Red Dawn in the works. Sony, which gave us a remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 this summer, has a vehicle for Will Smith Jr in Karate Kid; coupled with our chubby cherub Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet next summer. Mr Murdoch will also be throwing a few flicks in the mix. New versions of Gulliver’s Travels, The A-Team, and yet another Predator offering. Universal has updates of both The Wolfman and Robin Hood, the latter with Russell ‘fighting round the world’ Crowe taking lead and Ridley Scott behind the camera.

crowe hood

No, still not finished. Paramount will have us tapping our feet to Footloose next year and begging Murphy to call it a day in Beverly Hills Cop. Warner brings up the rear with Sherlock Holmes, Clash of the Titans and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Sadly, the only thing new and exciting audiences will get from Hollywood over the next few years are creative justifications for what is essentially – money for old rope. In an attempt to distance himself from the original Blob, Rob Zombie insisted, ‘My intention is not to have a big red blobby thing – that’s the first thing I want to change,”. Thank you Rob, very nicely put. The only thing I would question is why you would want to call it The Blob then. Just a thought.

So, why are there all these bloody remakes? Apathy? maybe. Economic woes? quite possibly. Is it familiarity? That detective, is the right question.

lanning

The figures speak for themselves sadly. Since January 2007, the ten highest grossing films at the box office have all been sequels, reimaginings of established franchises or action movies based on comic book characters. The marketers would suggest that we live in an environment so full of Jeremy Kyle and clutter that having a picture with a little spice of nostalgia is a crucial selling point. If you can sell a film around some form of familiarity, something the audience can latch onto, then you might just hit the jackpot.

blart

We live in a world where the whole concept of originality is being reinvented. Artists are simply hitting the replay button, spending more time re-imagining, rather than rethinking, redefining and re-re-re-re…

If you would like to read this again please press PLAY.

Dré

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4 Responses to “Money For Old Rope”

  1. The Original Feature Films of the Naughties? « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] established property. You know the sources: comic, book, play, Hasbro toy etc. I highlighted in a previous post (quite brilliantly…) the upcoming film releases based on old products. However, I did not […]

  2. Karate Kid Trailer « Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] Karate Kid Trailer By threeadmin I mentioned this title last year among a horde of upcoming remakes. […]

  3. Jere Sharrar Says:

    I was thoroughly impressed! He’s a good little actor. Following in daddy’s footsteps!

  4. The Original Feature Films of the Naughties? – Welcome To The Fold Says:

    […] established property. You know the sources: comic, book, play, Hasbro toy etc. I highlighted in a previous post (quite brilliantly…) the upcoming film releases based on old products. However, I did not […]

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