Is Hollywood rethinking genre reboots?

Posted by David Konow



Whenever someone says they’re tried of genre remakes and reboots, it’s definitely preaching to the converted, but what can any of us do?



There’s too much money at stake in Hollywood, and the town is scared to take a chance on anything original. But is it getting to the point where we’ve hit reboot and blockbuster critical mass?

Again, we all complain about it, everyone cries that the tipping point is near, but we’ve been hearing this wishful thinking for a long time.

Then again, Foxnews just ran a report headlined, "Hollywood Remake Flops: Is Cast Or Content to Blame?" 


As Fox points out, in recent years we’ve had quite a few reboot bombs in recent years, Total Recall being the most recent (a few others Fox pointed out included Conan the Barbarian, Arthur, Fright Night, and The A-Team.).
 
Anne Thompson on Indie Wire also wondered, "s Hollywood ready to change its tentpole strategy? I’m hearing yes, studio heads are realizing that placing too many big bets on too few potential tentpoles is a foolish strategy." 



Oh, now they realize this! Geez, talk about not getting the memo. Yes indeed, John Carter and Battleship were huge disasters, but how can you redo a business model that Hollywood’s been following for years, never mind the fact that it doesn’t work?
 
There’s also studios pointing to the recent rash of reshoots with World War Z, which has reportedly been in big trouble, 47 Ronin, which Indie Wire reminds us has been pushed back twice, which means the studio will carry interest on the film for over a year. But again, any talk of spending less money’s probably going to be a knee jerk reaction.
 
Years ago, I interviewed the late screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, who wrote most of the '70s James Bond films, and did big behind the scenes rewrites on Superman I and II. He lamented the fact that movies cost so much these days, and it cut out a lot of chances for smaller films to make it. 



Back in the '70s, a movie didn’t cost $60 million on average, and you could make a film for $3 million or less back then. Two of the biggest movies of the ‘70s, The Omen and Animal House, cost less than $3 mil, and made big bucks, but when a movie that cost less than $3 million didn’t make it, it wasn’t the end of the world. Now there’s little margin for failure.
 
Again, is Hollywood really gonna (gasp!) start doing original ideas and smaller pictures? Maybe for half a minute, then when remakes start making money again, I’m sure all will be forgotten. Sure, it’s nice to think we’re on the verge of a film revolution where the young kids are going to take over and the old bloated ways of Hollywood will soon be gone, but don’t hold your breath.