Hollywood is losing its touch. These days, when you take a trip to the movie theater, you’re likely to see previews for movies you swear you’ve seen before. You can almost make a game out of it! “Let’s see who can identify the reboot fastest!” It’s really almost shocking if you see a preview for something entirely new. You sit in the theater amazed, “Wow, I haven’t seen this before…” meaning, you haven’t seen that literal same story before. You’ve probably seen something similar because Hollywood is running out of originality all over, but maybe you haven’t seen that exact franchise before.
As playwright Aaron Posner puts it in his recent play criticizing rehashes and remakes, “Sometimes I think there should be a moratorium on the creation of art for 100 years. Let’s just take a good look at everything we already have and then maybe decide what else we might need.” Not a bad idea, since reboots have even reached the theatrical stage. How many times have you heard of movies being turned into musicals, such as in the cases of Legally Blonde, Matilda, and Anastasia? Originality has been lost to our modern times!
But let’s get back to movies, since that’s what you’d apparently prefer to see anyways. There are so many reboots, it’s sickening. In fact, sometimes, we hear of a reboot that makes us want to stomp our seats in the theater and scream, “NO!” These movies either weren’t good enough to merit a reboot or were fine to leave alone. Why are we reviving them?! THEY DIDN’T NEED REVIVING! Here are fifteen such reboots that REALLY didn’t need to happen:
15. The Mummy
The Mummy is one of those movie series we kind of all love to hate, right? There have been four of them thus far, all starring Brendan Fraser as the lovable, albeit moderately quirky, hero that barely manages to outwit a cursed rotted corpse. Most of them haven’t taken themselves too seriously, which is something we appreciated about the brand. It was okay to laugh, just as it was to be surprised or to think the leading lady was smoking hot. Well, The Mummy is, unfortunately, getting a reboot… and they’re taking out all our favorite parts.
No more Brendan Fraser; now it’s Tom Cruise. No more goofy romps; this sh*t is serious. The movie, set to release this summer, will also star Sofia Boutella and Russell Crowe (still no Egyptian or Middle Eastern leads, shocker). Couldn’t we have just left things alone after Brendan Fraser and Jet Li messed it all up?
This is one of those series that was never really good enough to merit a reboot in the first place. Yes, Godzilla is iconic. It’s practically a staple of Japanese entertainment history, and it was a really successful monster movie idea, back when those were really successful. But by the power of Mothra, please stop making these movies now. Remember the Godzilla movie with Matthew Broderick back in 1998? Yeah, that was a thing. You’d think the reboots would have stopped after that, but alas, you’d be wrong. There was recently a reboot with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, and there was another one just last year made in Japan. But wait! There’s more! There will be another this year, and another in 2019, and then a Godzilla V. Kong movie in 2020 that we’re all dying to NOT see. Really, do we have to keep going through the same circuit of movies again and again?
13. Starship Troopers
Ah, yes. Another cult-classic series that is going to be ruined by a modern-day reboot that will take all of the fun out of it. Made back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Starship Troopers was a trilogy that was probably meant to be a very serious action series and turned out to be an ever-so-slightly hilarious series about futuristic military men fighting alien bugs. Sure, the movies weren’t exactly perfect, but they were fun! And now, here comes a reboot to ruin all our fun and either make it too serious or too campy. Because that’s all reboots do these days.
Not a whole lot is known about the reboot, except that it’s happening and will be written by the same guys that wrote the Baywatch reboot. (So, they’ll be making it extra campy then. Great.) They actually claim not to be remaking the film but starting over with the source literature by Robert Heinlein — so, essentially, a remake of the film, right?
12. Peter Pan
Peter Pan was such a lovely little classic Disney film. The animated movie, made way back in 1953, is such a cute little movie about adventure and maintaining the jovial innocence of one’s youth — you know, intermingled with tones of racism and sexism (all the important lessons kids these days should learn). We could have left it alone, but NOOOO… Why would we ever do that? Can we just list for you all the movie reboots and rehashes of the same story? We won’t even mention the shows or theatrical productions! We’ve got Never Never Land (1980), Hook (1991), Return to Neverland (2002), Peter Pan (2003), Neverland (2003), Finding Neverland (2004), and Pan (2015). Really, can we be done with Peter Pan reboots for a while? They haven’t even changed the story that much as they’ve continued on! They’ve just been rehashing the same themes! We think we don’t ever want to go back to Neverland again.
Oh yeah, we’re starting out with a doozy. Good lord, why is this happening? Back in the nineties, Baywatch was a television series that… well, it couldn’t have been considered fine art. The writing was kind of similar to a soap opera or a clique-romance series — kind of like Friends, but much worse writing, acting, and, well, everything. But we didn’t care because we weren’t paying attention to the dialogue! We just liked watching hot babes sprinting down the beach, nearly popping out of their tops, and swimming through the ocean to perform their duties as lifeguards.
Well, this guilty pleasure is coming back, and honestly… none of us asked for it. The movie version, set to release later this year, will be more hyper-sexualized than ever and will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario. But don’t worry, it’ll be sure to have plenty of terrible cameos from the old series.
10. Police Academy
Don’t get angry at us! We’re not the ones that told studios to ruin a perfect classic franchise by rebooting it! Police Academy, if you are unaware (how dare you not know this amazing series), was a series of films back in the 1980s that everyone loved. There were seven movies (from the original Police Academy in 1984 to Police Academy: Mission to Moscow in 1994), and all of them were very popular. So, typical of Hollywood, the franchise is being rebooted to squeeze every last nostalgic penny out of it.
Little is known about the movie thus far, other than some of the members of the writing team, including Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen, and the production team, including Keegan-Michael Kay and Jordan Peele. Ever since Jordan Peele made his mark with the horror sensation Get Out, we have high hopes that maybe he can throw in some great commentary about the relationships between police officers and the Black community… but we wouldn’t be surprised if it just ruined the franchise altogether.
9. Dirty Dancing
Why? Why, oh why, oh why, oh whhhhhy must this be rebooted?
Okay, so the original Dirty Dancing movie is a downright classic. We had Patrick Swayze sexily salsa-ing with Jennifer Gray, and even those of us who didn’t give a damn about dance were admittedly turned on. Young men everywhere started enrolling in dance classes because, hey, that sh*t works with the ladies. Then there were a few sequels that all equally sucked. We got it: dancing can be sexy! What more was there to tell?
Correction: what more is there to tell? They’re starting back from the beginning again with a reboot starring Abigail Breslin and Sarah Hyland. And we’ve got bad news for you: they’re doing it in musical fashion. The TV movie will be live on ABC, and we want to throw our televisions out the window when it happens just to avoid seeing it.
Alright, listen. Spiderman is a classic American story. Written by the comic-writing genius, Stan Lee, it’s the story of a nerdy underdog who inherits the powers to do good in his world. It’s a story that taught us all that great power comes with great responsibility; that we have a duty to make our world a better place. It started back with Tobey Maguire back in 2002, and the first movie was actually pretty good! Then the sequel nosedived and spun out, and we abandoned it. Now there’s Tom Holland and his upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming movie! But wait… aren’t we forgetting something?
OH YEAH. Those two movies with Andrew Garfield as Spiderman. So, are we just pretending those didn’t happen? Were we too traumatized seeing Emma Stone‘s fake death to ever bring that up again? Or were they just so unmistakably terrible that we’re just brushing them under the rug and pretending they never even happened? Maybe the production companies should slow down with this brand and leave it alone for a few years.
Oh, no. Not this again. Please, not this again.
The original 1970s movie Shaft was about a private eye whose smooth demeanor and ability to keep his cool defined what it was to be cool back in the seventies. The story, brought to life by Richard Roundtree as the titular character, was about the detective being hired by a crime lord to save his kidnapped daughter. It was such an awesome and badass story back then. And we should’ve left it alone.
But did we? Of course not! We had a reboot back in 2000 starring none other than Samuel L. Jackson, playing the “nephew” of the original private eye. It wasn’t the worst thing ever, with stars like Christian Bale and Vanessa Williams at Sam’s side, but it certainly wasn’t the best thing ever. And guess what? ANOTHER REBOOT IS COMING OUR WAY! Hooray. Though it’s being written and produced by a bunch of comedy writers, they claim it will be a drama. We’ll see. Let’s just remember that one of the original taglines for the first film was “The mob wanted Harlem back. They got Shaft… up to here.” Okay.
Alright, note to Disney and anyone that’s ever been inspired by a Disney film: if it’s good, maybe, leave it alone. If it’s one of the most popular films of the decade, definitely leave it alone. If it’s one of the few movies for kids with empathetic but imperfect male leads, leave it alone! There aren’t enough good movies like that! Or just go ahead and ruin it with a reboot that’s live action and starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in effect, making Hercules too macho for his own good. Remaking Hercules is almost just as bad as remaking Tarzan (though, wait: THEY DID THAT TOO), but casting the Rock as your lead kind of damns the movie to begin with, doesn’t it? Let’s all just pretend that this reboot didn’t happen and go on watching the animated musical version with Danny DeVito and James Woods because it was way better — and that’s the gospel truth.
5. The Wizard of Oz
Have you ever read the children’s book by L. Frank Baum? It’s a cute little story, and fairly similar to the musical that was made into a movie back in 1939. And that movie was a cinematic masterpiece with its transitions from black and white to color, color that was more vivacious than any other on screen at that time, wonderful talent like Judy Garland and Frank Morgan, and wonderful effects that still (kind of) hold up to this day! It was wonderful… and we had to ruin it by attempting to drain it of all its money-making ability.
There are so many reboots of this franchise that they’re impossible to count. There are the novels by Gregory Maguire. There are the stage plays and musicals, like Wicked. Then there are the bunches of movies and television series, like Emerald City, The Wiz, Oz The Great and Powerful, and all of the not-so-subtle crap they pulled off in Once Upon a Time. We are so done with The Wizard of Oz. Go home, Dorothy. No one cares anymore.
4. The Naked Gun
HOW DARE YOU?! HOW DARE YOU REBOOT THIS SERIES?! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! WHAT WOULD YOUR MOTHER SAY?!
Okay, we’re calm. We’re cool. It’s fine. But actually, it totally isn’t. The Naked Gun series started with a simple parody starring Leslie Nielsen, and it was a parody romp of all of the terrible suave spy movies that were out at the time. Leslie was the incompetent police detective given a job entirely too big given his capabilities (and incapabilities), but he still always managed to pull it off at the end. They were hilarious, with comedic writing similar to that of the Airplane movies, and we loved them.
And now they’re remaking it. Even after Leslie Nielsen has passed away. That was his thing! We can’t give it to someone else! They may even completely change the tone of the movies from slapstick comedy to something more in line with the terrible comedies of today. Great. So we’re just going to turn The Naked Gun into a generic cop comedy.
3. Independence Day
You want to talk about red flags? Here’s a huge one studios should have seen before diving into production for this reboot trilogy: Will Smith was asked if he wanted to come back for more Independence Day movies, he saw the scripts, then quickly changed his mind and backed out. UM, TALK ABOUT RED FLAG — even Will Smith thinks your script is terrible. The guy who took on Wild, Wild West thinks your script is terrible! Maybe you should pump the brakes.
But they didn’t! The reboot trilogy has launched without Will, his character written off as a fatality in a training exercise. The story is now about the younger generation taking control of the battle for humanity’s survival, except that the younger generation characters are all terrible. Honestly, we’d rather have Jeff Goldblum stay in charge of everything, okay? If, like the rest of us, you hated Independence Day: Resurgence, too bad. Two more sequels are headed our way.
Again… whhhhhhhy? Jumanji was such a wonderful children’s film. Why do we have to go and make a new one to ruin it?
Do you know why Jumanji was great? Because it was innocent. Robin Williams and a young Kirsten Dunst, running around 1990s suburbia in oversized, terribly patterned sweaters, trying to survive a tirade of CGI jungle animals — it was so cute and simple and… innocent! No babes in bikinis trying to get the guy, no dudes trying to play it up to win the girl, and no cliched sidekick too stupid for his own good. Well, prepare yourself to have Jumanji ruined. We’ve got Kevin Hart playing the dopey sidekick, Karen Gillan playing the babe in a crop top — despite her jungle adventuring — and of course, the king of ruining franchises, The Rock, as the overly macho lead! It’ll also star Nick Jonas and Jack Black, in case you were worried it might not be terrible enough.
1. Blade Runner
No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! Why?! Blade Runner is an eighties classic! And it’s also a science fiction classic! The Ridley Scott movie, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, is an iconic story set in 2019 (we have really failed the expectations set for us, as far as futuristic settings go) about a Blade Runner, an assassin of replicants, which are androids that look like humans. It’s kind of difficult to explain if you haven’t seen the movie, so go see it. (It stars Harrison Ford — why wouldn’t you go see it?) But we’d probably urge you to avoid seeing its upcoming reboot, Blade Runner 2049. Starring Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, and Ana de Armas, it’s got the cast of a great movie. But why did they have to reboot this franchise? It was so classic, so iconic, so PERFECT on its own! Why did we have to return to it?!