The big knock on Hollywood today is that it is bereft of ideas. That the best the copious amounts of writers and idea people can do is just rehash old formulas. When that fails they simply reboot movies. And there are a lot of reboots still coming, if you believe IMDB.

Sure, there's a lot films made from beloved literary properties (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, et al), but where are the truly original ideas? It used to be that you could cite indy films as a place where those ideas thrived. Sadly, the independent world has become a way station where actors reboot their careers, or the films made are merely lower budget versions of what is already in the theaters. (In most cases, sometimes indy films manage to surprise and inspire.)

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All of this brings me back to the idea of reboots. Google tells us that a reboot is "an act or instance of booting a computer system again." In this case the "computer system" is a film, however, it isn't merely about turning it on and off. The film is most likely changed or updated to further reflect the ideas and events of the present day.

Sure, we as viewers have the curiosity factor. Most of the films we are talking about fall into the category of being loved. So we are curious to see if said film managed to come even close to living up to the original film that spawned it.

And lets be honest, the answer is usually hell no! Not trying to be negative here. Just honest. Has anyone ever really seen a modern day remake and marveled at how much better than the original it was? Most likely no. So, if this is the case, than the primary reason for its existence was probably monetary. And it is for this reason that we give you "18 Unnecessary Reboots."

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010/In Developement)

A Nightmare on Elm Street
 

The worst part of this movie isn't that they had the wrong actor play Freddy Krueger. It's that this movie shouldn't have ever been rebooted to begin with. A Nightmare on Elm Street was so amazing because it was so original. In what way could a reboot have either expanded on it or made it better? With an ending that was incomprehensible (Freddy basically just goes away for no reason), it isn't surprising that that there are plans afoot for yet another reboot of this film!

Splash (In Development)

 

Splash

Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell are apparently attached to this project. In addition to this, Tatum will be the mermaid and so we assume Bell will be the tom Hanks character. Alright... there are probably more graceful ways to say this but this idea isn't just unnecessary, it is completely inane. Aside from the fact that Channing Tatum playing a mermaid is just silly (and not in an endearing way), the big issue is that nothing about Splash called for any kind of a reboot. The film is perfect as is. Tom Hanks, John Candy, Eugene Levy...There's nobody that is going to be in this reboot that is going to come close to that. As the Ghostbusters reboot showed us this summer, despite what studio executives think, the public won't just turn out because they recognize a movie's title. Which leads us too...

Ghostbusters (2016)

 

Ghostbusters

The Ghostbusters reboot wasn't a terrible movie. Hey, if the first one never existed, this one may have fared better or at least not been considered something of a failure. In a world where anything making over $200 million being a failure personally leaves me baffled, what doesn't baffle me is the public's tepid reaction to the new Ghostbusters. Honestly, this movie is just okay and ultimately not something that needed to be made. In fact, it may have fared better if a few tweaks had been made and this movie wasn't called Ghostbusters at all. Initially, it was thought that the Ghostbusters "universe" would be a franchise, but now it will simply go out as an animated movie and a television spin-off.

Wargames (In Development)

 

Wargames

4) Wargames - Dean Isrealite (Project Almanac) is said to be directing. Normally, we'd like more to go on to include a film on this list but it is Wargames. There are a few reasons why this reboot isn't needed, not the least of which is the 2008 sequel WarGames: The Dead Code. I know that film doesn't preclude a sequel but what's the point of doing a reboot now? Sure, we are in a seriously gnarly geopolitical situation in the middle east and elsewhere, but why not just create a wholly new project? It isn't like people are going to see the title Wargames and suddenly buy a ticket. This movie isn't The Hunger Games. As the the 2008 film showed, people might not necessarily want to see a film about this subject matter. A reboot of a film that doesn't need one? Seems like it is best to just stop playing the game.

Evil Dead (2013)

 

Evil Dead

There are movies you can reboot and there are movies you shouldn't reboot. Yes, the first Evil Dead was a low budget affair but that is precisely what made it so incredibly. Seeing five people in a cabin battling demons is what low budget is all about. Throw a lot of money at it, like this reboot did, and you just have another garden variety horror film. It doesn't matter how you shake it up. Fans don't want to explore the myths behind this film. We don't care about character development. The film is called Evil Dead. We want carnage. The first film had plenty of that. The second film was merely window dressing in an attempt establish a "universe" or brand.

Jumanji (July 2017)

 

Jumanji

The Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black are in the midst of shooting this reboot as we speak. However, with Robin Williams death that has sort of cast an odd shadow on things. Not that someones death is going to stop the train that is Hollywood, this film is being a called a sequel to the beloved 1995 movie. Look, it must be tempting to reboot a film about a board game come to life. The marketing execs at Tristar must be salivating over the prospects of how to merchandise and cross promote this property. From a business standpoint that must make a sequel seem necessary but is it really? Chris Van Allsburg has written a lot of books. Your telling me it would be hard to snap up the rights to one of those rather than reboot, remake or whatever they are doing to Jumanji?

Red Dawn (2012)

 

Red Dawn

Full disclosure, when they initially made China the bad guys in this film, I was all in. Sure, it wasn't a reboot that needed to happen, but the 1984 film was a lot of fun. The fact that we were in the midst of a Cold War with Russia made the whole thing even more intriguing. A reboot where China invades us (I can't say for sure, but that jettisoned version of the screenplay probably had us defaulting on our debt or something) was a least interesting. However, money rules all, we owe China a lot of it and we didn't want to insult them. So instead we were invaded by North Korea in the Red Dawn that came out in 2012. Sure, Kim Jong-un is kind of scary, but he's also equal parts weird and that makes him almost comical. So in a strange turn of events, the Red Dawn of 2012 goes from being silly to just being sort of off itself. Who knew that a few years later The Interview would really piss him off?!? Now, if ever there was a film that deserved a second chance with audiences...

Police Academy (In Development)

 

Police Academy

It was announced last year that Key and Peele were producing this reboot. It was also mentioned that the film would be jam packed with comedians. All of this doesn't seem bad. However, why reboot a great film? Why not take all this comedic talent and come up with a wholly new idea? Key and Peele showed with Keanu that they could make something original. Sure, it wasn't the greatest thing in the world, but at least it was different. Rebooting Police Academy truly seems like a dry heave from a group of people that would be the first to smell the fart in this car of a movie; if it wasn't their movie of course.  

RoboCop (2014)

 

RoboCop

One can understand why the folks at MGM and Columbia would want to go back down this robo-road. This tale of a police officer getting killed in action, and then being reborn as a half-man/half cyborg, is ripe for today's CGI. However, the 1984 film from director Paul Verhoeven was about as pitch perfect as it gets. It isn't a masterpiece but Robocop was pretty darn awesome when it graced screens. The reboot was not only not needed, it didn't really do anything that set itself apart. Verhoeven has said that he feels that the reboots of this film and Total Recall (another movie he helmed) failed because the people making them took things too seriously. Now, we can never know for sure but one thing seems certain, if you try and reboot a film that isn't asking for one, it doesn't seem like it will go well.

Flatliners (August 2017)

 

Flatliners

About the only interesting thing one could say about this reboot is that Niels Arden Oplev (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is directing it. Make no mistake, I loved the first film. This dark tale of medical students messing with the other side, truly made a statement back in 1990. In 2017 what's the point? The first film said what it needed to say. Will Kiefer Sutherland be leading a new crop of experimenters down this tricky road? Will things go bad again? Let me ask this question again, why do they have to go this route? They could call this film something else that would restrict them from having to be in the Flatliners world, and they'd have a different cast that could literally do something we haven't already seen.

Total Recall (2012)

 

Total Recall

Okay, in movies there are a couple of rules that need to be followed. First off, you don't remake a movie that in no way shape or form needs one. The first Total Recall said and did everything one could want from a movie. It was set in the future. Sure, CGI has improved since 1990, but how much better could the 2012 have version been? Secondly, you don't follow Arnold Schwarzenegger. This isn't a diss on Colin Farrell. Arnold is Arnold. He made the Quaid/Hauser role uniquely his own. There was no reason to reboot this film other than to try and possibly create a franchise. And as Colin Farrell has shown us with The Lobster (a truly superb film), he's not really the franchise type.

Alien Nation (In Development)

 

Alien Nation

Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special) just signed on to direct this. Nichols is truly one of the best, young directors in the game today. His film Loving, though I have not seen it, is a lock for at least a few Oscar nominations. So why in the world is he behind a reboot of a film that in no way, shape or form needs anything close to a second going over? Sure, the tale of once quarantined Aliens being integrated into human society is interesting. However, it's already been done. Rebooting it all would've been a bad idea. Taking the visionary director behind Mud and Take Shelter and putting him in the director's chair, well, it's like adding insult to injury.

Big Trouble in Little China (2018)

 

Big Trouble in Little China

Alright, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is apparently top-lining this film which, truth be told, is only in the development stage (or so we're told). However, this reboot is a bad idea for many reasons. First of all, as Rob Zombie has fatefully learned, you don't follow John Carpenter. Secondly, Kurt Russell played the character of Jack Burton as a bumbling sap who ends up being a hero simply because he hangs around. Thirdly, you don't follow John Carpenter. Have I already said that?

Manhunter (In Development)

Manhunter
 

Red Dragon wasn't so much a remake of Manhunter as it was another telling of Thomas Harris's famous book of the same name. However, as much as I love Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins, this film never needed to be lensed. Manhunter is such a rich, introspective, meditation on the original book, that it literally seemed like a page for page retelling of the book. Red Dragon, while completely credible (cue the Brett Ratner haters), just seems like a paint by numbers version. I admit that a lot of people who saw Red Dragon most likely didn't know that Manhunter even existed. However, for those who did know, it didn't make it any easier to see this film and not think Manhunter was just on another level.

Blue Thunder (In Development)

 

Blue Thunder

Currently, all we know about Blue Thunder is that producer Dana Brunetti (Fifty Shades of Grey) is behind this this project. Oh yeah, it's also going to center on the world's most sophisticated drone. All of this sounds great, however, why not just call this movie something else. Here's an idea... why not write a brand new screenplay centered around that idea? Sure, surveillance is a hot button issue. The fact that we are literally being spied on (or we can be spied on) is something that could play really well on screen and at the box office. So why taint that with a needless reboot? Is just name recognition? Is Blue Thunder even that recognizable to anybody under 40?

Death Wish (2017)

 

Death Wish

Currently, this film is in pre-production and it stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio and Dean Norris. It's also being directed by Eli Roth. So why is it on this list? Well, have you seen the first Deathwish? What in the world does Mr. Die Hard himself, Bruce Willis, have to gain by making this movie? Sure, Vincent D'Onofrio will probably be solid in whatever role he is playing. And yes, it will be great to see Dean Norris again. But the Charles Bronson Deathwish is a damn near flawless film. Do we really need some hyper-action, ultra-violent retelling from a director who is an auteur in his own right? One has to wonder what Roth gets out of making a movie like this. He never struck me as one who was wanting for ideas, so perhaps he sees a movie like this as a step to making bigger films? Whatever the case, a reboot of Death Wish already seems DOA. Maybe I'm wrong...

Footloose (2011)

 

Footloose

Okay, with the 1984 version it seems that Kevin Bacon and Co. have mined all the story that there is to mine, right? The 2011 version wasn't bad, it just didn't need to happen. Aside from showing us the origins of how Ren got his famous yellow bug, there really wasn't too much more to this film. Even as this character ultimately compelled a non-dancing town to get up and shake their hips, it didn't push the story in a new or even different direction. Sure it's great to head down memory lane and whatnot, but one could just have easily watched the original film rather than pay to see a xeroxed version of it.

Pet Sematary (In Development)

 

Pet Sematary

At the moment this movie is only in development. So basically, who knows if it will ever see the light of day. That said do we really want it to? The film from 1989 pretty much is the gold standard for what this property is going to be. This tale of life being re-animated from Stephen King had iconic scenes, iconic dialogue and an iconic theme song. What in the world would we get from a reboot? Sure, it would be fun but sometimes fun just isn't enough and it wouldn't be here.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs