ROADTRIPPIN’ co-hosts Robert Meyer Burnett and Mike Bawden respond to a letter from an Imagination Connoisseur who asks why Hollywood seems content remaking and re-booting successful movies rather than making movies with “great potential” that might have not met expectations when they were first released to the public. As Rob and Mike point out, there’s a lot more involved in a successful remake than one might imagine.
This “Extra” is a segment from the ROADTRIPPIN’ with RMB podcast recorded on June 17, 2022 (Episode #45).
Why doesn’t Hollywood remake mediocre movies (and make them better)?
Hi Rob and Mike,
When it comes to movies, we see a large number of franchises involving sequels, prequels, and spinoffs. However, we also see remakes. Like many, I tend to get frustrated when knowing there is, yet again, another remake, especially because a majority of remakes tend to be based on good movies.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some remakes I enjoyed like THE FLY and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and while I did like the Sydney Pollack remake of SABRINA, I still found the original Billy Wilder film better. I liked Steven Spielberg’s WEST SIDE STORY but still felt the original 1961 version was better.
However, with a lot of other remakes based on good movies, this has me wondering why there is a desire for studios to have their good movies remade when the original films are beloved. There is a saying after all, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”.
There was that story some time ago about how there was going to be a reimagining of THE WIZARD OF OZ, and I remember thinking why there needs to be a new WIZARD OF OZ, especially considering the 1939 film is an absolute classic. I thought the same thing when that story came out of a potential remake for THE PRINCESS BRIDE since the original film is really good and beloved.
As financially successful as the Disney live-action remakes are like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, and THE LION KING, and I know those movies have fans, I didn’t enjoy them that much since I felt they failed to have any charm like the original animated versions did.
John Huston criticized the need to remake good movies, saying why to remake the good movies, why not remake the bad ones and make them better. He remade THE MALTESE FALCON into the iconic movie we now have. He talked about how he wanted another shot at making ROOTS OF HEAVEN since he felt it could have been a really great movie but had a script by someone who had never written a screenplay before, and there was no time to fix it.
Remaking bad movies could work, since there are a lot of stories of how movies turned out badly when they had really great potential from an earlier version of the script, but behind-the-scenes drama changed all of that, like the most recent Men In Black movie had that problem. Maybe if remakes were based on those earlier scripts with great potential, we might get better movies.
Anyways, that’s just me where I question why studios desire to remake good movies when those earlier movies were great as they are, and should be left alone.
Listen to Rob and Mike’s response …
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