It’s always a dangerous game when Hollywood wants to re-invent an old franchise or make a movie that is based on something that you may have loved when you were growing up. And sadly, there is no shortage of past examples where Hollywood has taken something you love (like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and done something awful with it.
Below we have 8 movies that run the very real risk of running the same fate, including a rendition of The Little Mermaid that’s going to ignore essentially all you love about the original and a much different take on Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.
That being said, you may never enjoy your childhood more than after seeing what Hollywood has in store for you in the near future with some of the other movies on our list. They’ll strive to prove that you can take something you already love and find ways to improve upon it and of course, harness that all important power of nostalgia.
With several upcoming projects that you may not even know about, including ones that star Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hardy and Emma Stone, we’re sure you’ll have an opinion about all of these movies, even if it isn’t the most positive one!
20. Ruin – The Little Mermaid (2017)
There are two live-action movies of The Little Mermaid that are coming down the pipeline, but we’re going to focus on the unfortunate one that comes out in 2017 and stars Poppy Drayton who had an appearance in Downton Abbey.
The movie released a trailer in March that garnered over 30 million views, but not for all the right reasons.
There is some clear difference from the story you know in love, including the filmmaker’s decision to not have Ariel have red hair, and instead of being in the ocean at the start she appears that she’ll be trapped in a carnival.
19. Improve – Dr. Doolittle
Eddie Murphy has done some absolutely terrible movies and there’s a reason you don’t see him around as much anymore, but back in 1998 he still was an incredibly viable comedic actor.
As a result, when Dr. Doolittle dropped in 1998, it definitely rocked at the box office earning close to $300 million.
Robert Downey Jr. is going to be putting his own taste on the franchise in 2019 in a movie that is also going to be written and directed by Stephen Gaghan.
Just in case you’re not familiar with Gaghan, he most prominently wrote and directed the 2005 film Syria for which he was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
18. Ruin – Justice League
When growing up one of the best parts of the week came when it was time to plop in front of the television screen and watch some awesome cartoons. Whether it was watching the Super Friends which aired from 1973 to 1986, or some of the other variations such as the 2001 Justice League series that ran on Cartoon Network, we’re sure you have some fond memories of watching some DC superhero ass-kicking
But that just means you might be all the more disappointed when the team finally comes together for the upcoming Justice League movie. Despite a big box office return, fans were less than pleased with Suicide Squad and Batman Vs. Superman and are understandably wary of perhaps the most daunting project.
The first official trailer for the film showed off a clearly lighter and more fun tone, but we’ll see if it translates to the first big DCEU success. If it hits, it’ll lead the way for others like the upcoming Aquaman film to gain momentum, but if it falters you know the online community won’t hold back their opinion.
17. Improve – Toy Story 4
Now trust us, we understand the complaint that you might immediately have which is that Toy Story 3 ended so perfectly that it would be blasphemous to suggest that a 4th one is needed. But John Lassenter who was responsible for directing Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 has heard your concerns and hopefully has put them to rest,
“We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie.” He went on to say,
“But when Andrew, Pete, Lee and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.”
16. Ruin – Splinter Cell
You want a reason to not be confident in the upcoming Splinter Cell movie? How about the fact that when interviewed, one of the producers for the film talked about how it was a first person shooter…which it’s not.
He then went on to say, “We didn’t have this IP with a very specific backstory. That allowed us to make up our own world and really augment and fill out the characters,” before going on to say how this will be different from the other video game movies,
“I don’t think our movie will feel like a movie that came out of a video game, I think it’ll feel like a badass, Tom Hardy action movie, which is what we wanted.”
The ONLY redeeming factor of this entire project is Tom Hardy, but there’s no way a fan of the games is going to enjoy that feeling of nostalgia with whatever world the studio creates.
15. Improve – It
You wouldn’t be the only person who spent part of your childhood terrified of clowns. Then American Horror Story has to come around and bring that fear up all over again, and just in case you weren’t terrified enough, get ready for the clown that perhaps started your fear in the first place, when It creeps it’s way into theaters later this year.
The original miniseries which aired in 1990 saw Tim Curry step into the role of Pennywise, the terrifying clown you see above, with Bill Skarsgard (who is in the Netflix series Hemlock Grove) getting the nod for the 2017 rendition.
The series is based on a Stephen King novel and considering the upcoming film has the subtitle Part 1 – The Losers’ Club, it definitely won’t be the last time we get to be terrified by Pennywise.
14. Ruin – Shanghai Dawn
Now at the very least, I’m going to be happy to get to see Jackie Chan back on the big screen in North America, but I really wish it wasn’t going to include his upcoming movie, Shanghai Dawn.
I, like you, probably loved the first two movies in the franchise, but it was also a franchise that last had a movie come out in 2003 and it’s not like Owen Wilson‘s stock has improved much.
He already ruined your childhood a bit with Zoolander 2 and considering the talks for this 3rd instalment started back in 2003 (though have very recently re-picked up, so this one’s coming!) there definitely aren’t a lot of reasons to be confident.
13. Improve – Baywatch
There isn’t an actor in Hollywood that may be more popular than Dwayne Johnson. You can see him kicking some ass on the big screen right now if you go see Fast and the Furious, you’ll laugh your ass off at him on Saturday Night Live in May when he hosts the season finale, and he’s absolutely going to leave you in stitches with his upcoming film Baywatch.
Based around the 90s television show, nostalgic cameos from David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson (at the very least) will be enough to keep old fans entertained. Not to mention the new ladies of the beach are the gorgeous Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach.
12. Ruin – Indiana Jones
Harrison Ford portrays badasses on a regular basis, but is there any one of his characters cooler than Indiana Jones? But when he decided to tip his fedora and swing his way back into theaters almost 20 years later for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2008 people were excited as ever and it made almost $800 million.
But while he was looking old then, he’s going to look even worse for wear by the time Indiana Jones 5 comes out and at this point, it’s hard to imagine it not hurting the franchise as a whole.
Especially when news broke back in April that the movie has already been pushed back a year and will not hit theaters until 2020.
11. Improve – The Lion King
Do we really need a live-action version of The Lion King? No, we probably don’t, but if there is anyone that you should trust behind the directing chair it’s Jon Favreau.
Especially because Favreau is well aware of the stakes,
“You gotta live up to what they want. There’s an added pressure to these beloved stories, especially these deep-seated ones, because there’s an emotional connection.”
The franchise will at least have some great music, as Donald Glover has been cast as the lead and Beyonce is also in talks. You can also expect some great laughs, as Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen are heavily being linked as being Timon and Puumba.
10. Ruin – Winnie The Pooh
It really comes with a mixed bag for the upcoming movie Winnie the Pooh, which while lacking a release date is one of the most talked about projects around Disney as of late.
The movie will be live action and it is looking heavily like Ewan McGregor will be tapped to play the role of Christopher Robin. The franchise will be reinventing the story (ehhhh), to place Robin as a successful businessman who has lost his imagination, at least until all your classic friends come to visit. I’m not trying to hate on Ewan too hard but let’s not act like he hasn’t been part of big disappointments before.
The film is being written by Allison Schroeder who worked on Hidden Figures, but it was previously being written by two others (Alex Ross Perry and Tom McCarthy) and that’s enough to up our level of hesitancy.
9. Improve – Cruella
How do you hate on the fact that Emma Stone is going to be the lead of an upcoming movie? Not only is she beautiful, but she’s shown off her acting chops (and singing!) with roles like La La Land and Easy A.
She’ll put both of those to the test if the rumors are true when she plays a young Cruella De Vil in the upcoming live-action film Cruella. At the very least if Beauty and the Beast is any indication, we’re sure the movie will be a huge hit at the box office.
The movie is also being penned by Kelly Marcel who previously found critical success with Saving Mr. Banks and at least made bank (heh) with her work on 50 Shades of Grey.
8. Ruin – Jumanji
Dwayne Johnson may be one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, but if you’re looking to relive your love of the Robin Williams Jumanji with the upcoming rendition, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Especially because instead of a board game, the movie will be centered around a video game. Sure, the change may make more sense for the current world but what’s Jumanji without a board game?!
There are some redeeming factors (such as Johnson), including Jack Black and Kevin Hart joining the cast, but this still may go down as one of the bigger disappointments of Johnson’s career. Don’t worry though, he has no shortage of movies coming out in the near future to redeem himself with.
7. Improve – Incredibles 2
With all the upcoming superhero movies coming out, you definitely wouldn’t be alone if the one that you are the most excited for is The Incredibles 2. The original came out in 2004 and may be one of the more recent entries on the list, but we couldn’t resist talking about the highly anticipated sequel.
Perhaps the biggest vote of confidence should come from the fact that Brad Bird is returning to writing and directing duties. Bird was also the writer and director behind the huge hit Ratatouille.
6. Ruin – Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie is not only incredibly beautiful, but she has no shortage of roles in which she is an absolute badass. Take for example her role as Lara Croft in the 2001 and 2003 films Tomb Raider films. One of the bigger action franchises of the early 2000’s, the series earned over $400 million at the box office.
But with the upcoming rendition, box office success isn’t exactly what Alicia Vikander and director Roar Uthaug are used to. They do, however, have critical success but any “nostalgia” that you’re hoping to feel also won’t be inspired by your childhood, as the series will be based off the recent franchise reboot.
5. Improve – Blade Runner
Harrison Ford has one of the coolest resumes of any actor in Hollywood, but I have to give a special shoutout at the moment to the cult classic Blade Runner.
While original director Ridley Scott is not returning to the project, the series is in outstanding hands with Denis Villeneuve who recently directed the outstanding film Arrival.
Ford must have felt confident, as he’s returning to the project but perhaps even more appealing is Ryan Gosling who will step into the lead role.
4. Ruin – Coming To America 2
If there is one thing that should be undeniable, it’s that Eddie Murphy has lost a huge step as an actor. While he was once considered the funniest person in Hollywood, several box-office flops have seen his stock diminish greatly.
And with new reports coming out that he’s trying to make a sequel to his past successful film Coming to America which came out way back in 1988, it’s perhaps clearer than ever that his time in Hollywood is coming to a close.
Nobody is asking for the movie and it’s not like Eddie Murphy has a history of caring in front of the camera. Perhaps the film will re-spark something in him, but if it leads to more Raspberry nominations – which highlight the worst films of the year and of which Murphy has several– it’ll be your childhood that suffers in the theater right alongside you.
3. Improve – A Wrinkle In Time
If the name A Wrinkle In Time installs a sense of nostalgia in you, it’s probably because you read the novel and not because you fell in love with the incredibly forgettable made-for-TV film back in 2003.
The lead role will also be played by teenage actress Storm Reid who you may recognize from 12 Years a Slave.
2. Ruin – Captain Underpants
In a world that already is feeling oversaturated with superhero movies, do we really need Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie? It doesn’t seem like even DreamWorks is too sure, reporting back in 2015 that,
“[The movie will be] produced outside of the studio’s pipeline at a significantly lower cost,” and will also lose some of the trademark animation features that DreamWorks fans have grown up appreciating.
The saving grace may be Ed Helms, but he is far from infallible with 2 of his last efforts, Love the Coopers and Vacation both being panned by critics. We’re sure he was happy about not having to transform his body into that of a superhero though!
1. Improve – Mary Poppins Returns
You want to talk about pressure, how about trying to live up to what may be the most successful Disney film of all-time in the 1964 classic Mary Poppins; which garnered 13 Academy Award nominations.
We’re sorry but I also don’t know how you get through this blurb without “Chim Chim Cheree” getting stuck in your head. But you can get ready for a whole new set of songs to also get stuck there when this film enters theaters in December 2018 as the incredibly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda is heavily involved with the project.
Miranda previously worked on the music for Moana as well as creating the hit musical Hamilton. Miranda will also take on a lead acting role in the film, which sees Emily Blunt step into the lead role of Mary Poppins.
There will be no shortage of powerhouse talent on-hand however, as Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury are all attached to the project as well.