It seems that Hollywood has run out of ideas. Remakes of movies have been a thing for a long time, arguably reaching back as far as the late 19th century. However, in the past two decades, the number of remakes being made has increased drastically. There has been a prevalent lack of original ideas with quite a few movies in recent memory being about reinventions of already beloved characters, such as Winnie the Pooh. Furthermore, there has been a recent wave of continuations of movies decades after their last release, for example, Bad Boys for Life (2020), starring Will Smith, which released a good 15 years after the original Bad Boys (1995) movie. Whilst this may seem like a good thing, for those who yearned for a continuation, many of these remakes have ruined the memories of their most beloved characters.

Starting with one of the most controversial topics in cinema: live-action remakes. The entertainment mammoth that is Disney has been releasing live-action remakes of their most beloved classic movies for the past decade. This has incurred varying degrees of both dread and excitement in fans. On the one hand, it has been a dream come true to witness so many fairy-tale-like scenes in a real-life setting. For example, the Cinderella (2015) movie, which was done quite well, had brilliant costumes and amazing storytelling, to The Jungle Book (2016) which was another fan favourite for many of the same reasons. On the other hand, there have been times when the live-action remake hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, such as the heavily debated Belle dress in Beauty and the Beast (2017). It makes one wonder if Disney has run out of ideas and is simply trying to make more money through remakes. Can’t Disney make more original movies? However, this may be too large a request to make as even some of their most recent original films, barring Wish, are based on pre-existing folklore and stories, for example, Encanto.

Besides the lack of ideas and imagination, it can also be argued that remakes and sequels are just blatant money grabs. Take the 2020 Mulan movie, for instance. By using the Mulan name, Disney was able to utilise the existing film’s fan base. Disney marketed it as a retelling of a much-beloved story, however, the actual movie had very little to do with the original source. Mulan was given superpowers, beloved characters like Mushu were left out, and in addition, the underlying message that anyone can succeed with hard work and perseverance was belied. I personally believe that if it had been marketed as loosely based on the story of Mulan, then it would have had a much better reception. But, it wasn’t, and it duped customers into giving their money under false impressions, cementing the fact that Mulan was just a blatant money grab.

Sequels face the same accusation. Franchises such as Fast and Furious seem to go on and on with seemingly no end in sight. The stories of franchises like this are often drawn out and lose the heart and feel of the original intentions behind the movies. How does a franchise that started out about undercover cops investigating drag-racing end up with two men going to space in an old car held together by duct tape? This is just another of the reasons as to why we need more original ideas and why we need to know when to stop and let a project come to a natural end.
Furthermore, oftentimes when there are remakes and reiterations, they don’t do the original source material justice, as seen with the tragic Gossip Girl (2021) reboot. However, that’s not to say that there haven’t been any good remakes, reimaginations or continuations in the past couple of years. I’ve enjoyed a fair few, such as Cruella, Planet of the Apes and Tron: Legacy. But, I think that these kinds of successes are few and far between and the sheer number of flops in regards to remakes far outweigh them.

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