Hollywood has some of the brightest writers, producers, directors, and actors in the world, yet it seems fresh ideas are increasingly hard to come by.
I’m sure some great ideas slip through the cracks. Perhaps they just never make it to the table. Or maybe the funding isn’t there. The vision could be off, too.
Whatever the case, Hollywood all too often looks back to former products that worked, repackages them, and puts them back on the shelf. It’s hard to come up with authentic, new content in all fashions, yet the consumer keeps buying willingly.
I can’t really blame them for rolling with that strategy.
And as saturated as the movie scene can feel at times, there’s something comfortable and reassuring about characters and stories we already love. Either we want a continuation of that world, or we fancy a story with the same characters but new actors or new direction.
There is a downside to tapping into ideas that already exist, but people love nostalgia, and they tend to be wary of change. In the name of reboots like Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, and so many more, here’s a look at five movie series that would be fun to remake.
The Dollars Trilogy
Let’s start the conversation off with the classic Man With No Name trilogy, made famous by the legendary Clint Eastwood.
Eastwood was brilliant as a take-no-prisoners gunman, no matter what cinematic engine he was attached to. But he was arguably at his best in this trilogy, where he delivered dry humor and sparkling accuracy with his pistol in A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
I’ll agree that this series just isn’t the same without the grizzly Eastwood leading the charge, while the tone and pace set by Sergio Leone is impeccable. The score of this trilogy is also fantastic and helps fill dead space in otherwise slow western classics.
The times have changed, but this character and the stories are worth revisiting. I will be the first to admit you can’t improve upon Eastwood, and there’s no beating this near-perfect trilogy, either. But the character and the stories are worth exploring again with a faster pace and better choreography.
So, who is up for the challenge of putting on Clint Eastwood’s boots, spinning his gun, and letting a cigar dance about their lips? I can’t be sure, but someone like Hugh Jackman could have the look and approach to make it work. I mean, the guy did play Wolverine for nearly two decades.
Another iconic character that most will say can’t be replaced is Indiana Jones. Even Harrison Ford, who dons the hat and whip, has suggested as much himself in an interview.
I tend to disagree.
There is no doubt that Ford made that role iconic, but let’s face it; it was a perfectly built character, and the movies boasted incredibly captivating plots. This is a globetrotting series, a type of movie that made Nicolas Cage a god in National Treasure.
People eat this stuff up.
Not because it’s a sneaky sell, but because it’s a ton of fun and thoroughly engrossing. We want to see what happens next, the next big treasure, how the hero gets there, and who/what tries to stop them.
Indiana Jones is a normal professor, but the second he gets out into the field, he’s a hero that can take on the bad guys and save the day. Ford executed that role flawlessly and will forever be the Indiana Jones, but that doesn’t mean he has to be the only one.
Ford contests this isn’t a James Bond situation, where numerous actors play the same role over time. I don’t see why it can’t be, but even if this is just a one-time reboot, there’s nothing to stop it.
Never doing another Indiana Jones just because the first one was great is like the Chicago Bulls never trying to find another superstar because Michael Jordan retired. Reboots happen because the first go-around was awesome, time passes, and people think they can offer a fresh take or (GULP) a superior one.
I don’t know if a new Indiana Jones trilogy would be better, but it sure would be a ton of fun.
Fitting names like Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, and others would join a long line of talented actors that could work in the role. Harrison Ford just may have to retire from acting first.
Keanu Reeves is ageless and, seemingly in every role he takes on, unflappable. He was Neo, or The One, and as an emotionless truth-seeker, he became the perfect protagonist for a futuristic world featuring a battle between man and machine.
The original Matrix film is pretty tough to top. Reeves was perfectly awkward to start the movie and played dumb about as well as anyone could hope. His transition from being a deer in the headlights to the savior of all mankind was a fun one to watch, and it was surprisingly seamless.
And people say the guy can’t act.
He really isn’t that great of an actor, but he is an elite action movie star. He did enough from an emotional perspective to sell the rest of it, while the movie itself was revolutionary when you look at the story and fight choreography.
But it probably could be even better now. With time, technology, camera shooting, and choreography all get better, and amazing feats films like The Matrix once introduced can be even further advanced down the road.
The second and third Matrix films regressed and sunk the franchise, too, while there is a lot of story left to tell in this series. It’s quite debatable that The Matrix could have kept going with the original trilogy and made one or several more films.
That didn’t happen, and it’s now to the point where re-approaching one of the greatest sci-fi trilogies ever may just require a full reboot.
This wasn’t an easy post to write, people. I know what dicey stones I’m turning over here. Outside of calling for a total reboot of Star Wars, I’m venturing into dark waters by declaring a re-do for some of the best movie franchises and epic characters of all time.
But why stop at John McClane?
I refuse, even though there’s no way anyone ever does a better job than an in-his-prime Bruce Willis. However, Michael Gary Scott said it best on The Office when he pointed out that McClane was just a regular cop saving the day in the original Die Hard and his role in these films quickly spiraled out of amok.
That’s another reference for you The Office fans out there. Hopefully my editor got it.
I know, I know, nobody swears up a storm and complains in the face of danger as humorously as Willis, but it seems like he could be ready to pass the torch. We got an inkling of the possibility in the most recent A Good Day to Die Hard in 2013, when the series introduced McClane’s secret agent son.
That hasn’t really materialized, but another Die Hard film is in the works, one which may serve as a true reboot. It still includes Willis to some degree, however, and depending on the casting job, it’s still possible a full overall reboot may be necessary down the road.
My hope is that it does happen, the casting is perfect, and this movie series gets back to its roots. John McClane was just a regular cop thrust into a wild situation, and he did what needed to be done to get as many people out alive as he could.
He came off extremely human, however, and we lost that feeling as the series blossomed into something bigger and badder than perhaps it ever intended to.
The casting is key here, but you could be lazy and go with Tom Hardy, and it’d work. Hey, he took over for Mel Gibson in the Mad Max revival, so why not?
I’ll be back, hopefully in a few years, to see a total reboot of a once-proud franchise. And hey, I love Arnold Schwarzenegger (especially in his prime) as much as the next action fan. But like I’ve said throughout this post, we can’t handcuff entertainment and storytelling to stars.
Stars don’t make movies. Movies make stars.
Van Wilder Write That Down GIF from Vanwilder GIFs
In all seriousness, Terminator was a fantastic idea to start with, and Arnold helped make it famous. He was perfect for the role and crushed it, but let’s face it, if you cast any brute in that role, you still would have watched it.
The Terminator was simply a compelling story — man vs. machine. And it’s always more compelling because man contributes to his own demise, creating something so far beyond him that he can’t even stop it.
Yeah, Hollywood has agreed, as they’ve now kicked the tires on this franchise with — count’em — five sequels to the original movie.
The Terminator was great, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day was, quite arguably, even better. The franchise took a turn for the worse from there, as the third installment was terrible, Terminator Salvation was a horrific whiff, and Terminator Genisys was an utter joke.
The sixth installment (Terminator: Dark Fate) offers tentative hope but still clings to the original actors like Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.
At some point, the franchise needs to rip the band-aid off and move on. The original movies can stand on their own and be looked back upon positively, but the times have changed, and a reboot is needed.
The reality is this is a very good story with so many different characters worth exploring. The main terminator featured is one route, but the stories of Sarah and John Connor have not been effectively engaged.
Part of that has been the focus of each film (many of which are horribly CGI-laden and directed poorly), while casting has been an issue.
Hit the reset button and start from scratch with a focused eye on creating a raw experience that makes you feel like this could actually be real. If the new creators can authenticate this story again, it could truly be special.
It’s quite arguable some of these movie series just shouldn’t be touched. There are bands of fans out there who would argue we shouldn’t even broach the topic.
But there are countless franchises that are being added onto or completely redone. I am all for a tip of the cap to amazing films and iconic performances, but should a great concept really die just because the first few installments came before it?
Whether the studios take the original idea and run with it or totally reboot it, I’m all for these trilogies and movie series getting another look. It could end horribly, or it could be great. Either way, we have a shot at fresh entertainment with a familiar feel.
Besides, the classics that made these franchises famous aren’t going anywhere.
Even better? If these movies ever do resurface, fans can all start discussing who the ideal leads would be to take on the biggest, most iconic roles. Wagering on who will be the next Indiana Jones, who would play Neo, who would be best for the Man With No Name, and so much more would put a whole new spin on entertainment betting.