Yet another film franchise undergoes the reboot.
Once upon a time, studios were fond of the word “remake.” This meant the brain trust was just too gosh-darn tired to think of an original idea so they delved deep into their film library and dusted off an oldie but a goodie. The operative word being oldie. The film being remade was usually so old that most people alive probably had not seen the original — A STAR IS BORN, KING KONG. Or in some cases had never heard of it before — MAGNIFICENT SEVEN aka THE SEVEN SAMURAI. But those remakes took some talent, creativity and well…thinking. They needed to be updated for modern sensibilities and the realities of current times. They would be cast with A-list actors, directed by top notch filmmakers and have a huge budget. Everyone convinced themselves that — although it was a remake — they were making something brand new. It’s an homage. A tip of the cap. Not a rip off.
Sometimes it worked — INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) was a remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956). Sometimes it did not — THE INVASION (2007) was a remake of…INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956). But at the very least the remake was a rungs higher on the ladder of creativity than the sequel.
We now find ourselves with the reboot. Which is a fancy word for “it’s a remake but we are too lazy to dig deep into the library so let’s look at the past 10 years’ boxoffice results.”
The reboot consists of taking financially successful franchises the stars of whichhave become either —
- too old for the part.
- too expensive for the part.
- too “high on drugs and incarcerated so we can insure them” for the part.
The reboot is simple. A successful franchise is recast with actors that are sexy (younger) and unknown (cheap) and who are looking for their big break (still unjaded and will commit to a three picture deal and the draconian press demands of the studio). Mix that with a moderate — but not too big — budget. Add a slick advertising campaign that promises you this one is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT — we used a different font type in the movie poster — and a MUST see. And voila! Instant profits. Unfortunately, that last part is all too often true. With so many ancillary markets to exploit it is becoming harder and harder for movies — any movies — to not show some kind of profit. Although studios are trying very hard to prove that last statement wrong (see JONAH HEX — someone has too).
So now, after the much ballyhooed reboot of the SPIDERMAN franchise, we are rebooting SCREAM. Which is sad because it can only mean one thing — Courtney Cox is offically old.
And then so am I.