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Will Hollywood Tire of Endless Reboots and Sequels?


Think of a movie, any popular movie made in the last 30-40 years and there is a reasonable chance that a reboot has been mooted. That doesn't mean that it will necessarily hit the cinemas anytime soon, but that some Hollywood executive has sent out an exploratory team to start looking at the feasibility of a remake or sequel.

Here is but a flavour of the movies currently being mooted for a reboot: Big Trouble in Little China, Ace Ventura, Charlie's Angels (again), Clueless, The Crow, Flash Gordon, The Green Lantern, The Fugitive, Highlander, Gremlins, The Matrix, Masters of the Universe, The Naked Gun, Scarface and Short Circuit.

The list above is only a small selection of the reboots on the way. We also have several films that aren't exactly sequels in a traditional sense, but that aren’t really sequels either: Gladiator 2 is in the pre-production stage with events set to take place 25 years after the original. Top Gun: Maverick is another sequel set many years after the original movie's action, as is Coming to America 2 (titled Coming 2 America).

Screenwriters rebooting the movies of their childhood

There is a lot of speculation as to why Hollywood is making so many sequels and reboots. Of course, we know on one hand that they are doing it because it makes financial sense. It's ready-made marketing as people already know those films. Yet, it still begs the question of why there is such an appetite on the audience side? Why do people get excited for a remake of something like Ace Ventura?

It's difficult to answer those questions with any certainty. There is much speculation that many of the films were created in the 1980s and 1990s, popular during the childhoods of many screenwriters, producers and directors who are in their 30s and 40s now. But the average cinemagoer is still likely to be a teenager, so they wouldn’t have exactly grown up with these films.

Ready-made branding helps promotions

However, many of those films remain relevant in the popular consciousness. For example, Gladiator, Top Gun, The Matrix, Ace Ventura and Jumanji are hugely popular branded online slot games. You can find those games right here: www.casino.com/za/slots. Of course, they don’t have the same merchandising pull as something in the Star Wars or Marvel universe, but there are lots of ways they have stayed within the boundaries of cultural relevance.

Looming above everything else, though, is the question if we will soon tire of being fed reboots, rehashes and remakes, instead of fresh material. However, we could also argue that there is enough fresh material coming through the medium of streaming services. Artistically, long drawn-out television series have become the holy grail for screenwriters, directors and even actors. Hollywood has perhaps concentrated on reboots because there is enough fresh material elsewhere.

In a way, we can't really criticise the reboot frenzy. It's not as if we are compelled to watch the latest Ghostbusters or Jurassic Park remake. And, the important thing to remember is that there are many alternatives out there. Netflix and the rest of the streaming services have offered that alternative, so there isn't the same artistic pressure on Hollywood to come up with something new. If you have had enough of reboots, then simply turn on something fresh like Mindhunter or Fleabag.