The Pros and Cons of Rebooting the Classics

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Reboots are highly popular in the film industry. They give film studios the opportunity to remake a classic, with the advantage of an existing plot and a potentially high audience of fans who want to experience the nostalgia of the original.

But there are pitfalls to avoid when rebooting a classic. If film studios get it wrong, they could have an expensive flop on their hands, not to mention angry fans. Let’s take a look at some prominent reboots, which highlight the advantages and disadvantages inherent in remakes.

Casting issues and iconic scenes

Ocean’s Eleven was the 2001 remake of the 1960 comedy heist Ocean’s 11. The film reboot featured an all-star cast of Hollywood greats, including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Thanks to the quality of the cast, the film is widely viewed as being an improvement on the original, which starred members of the Rat Pack such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

The risks involved in remakes were highlighted by the reboot of the 1969 classic The Italian Job. The original film is iconic and the role of Charlie Croker will only ever be associated with Michael Caine and his phrase “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”, which launched a thousand impressions. For many, the casting of Mark Wahlberg in Caine’s role in the 2003 remake was akin to sacrilege!

There are many pitfalls in contemporary remakes of classic original releases. The 1984 film Ghostbusters starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver and was a box office smash. A remake was always going to have its work cut out and unfortunately that was the case for the 2016 reboot, which featured four female ghostbusters led by Melissa McCarthy, as the film fell short of breaking even.

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Successful video game reboots

It is not just the film industry that reboots the classics. Many console games have been re-released due to popular demand from fans, including video games such as Resident Evil 2, which was released in 1998, and the highly popular remake released in 2019. Thanks to technological advances game remakes are usually much better than the originals.

The phenomenon is also inherent in slot games. There are classic slot games such as Starburstthat remain popular with players, and there are also new online slots, which include officially branded slot titles inspired by films, celebrities, or bands such as Def Leppard: Hysteria. While these new slots may not go down in history as classics, they are alluring to players who are looking for entertainment related to their specific interests.

There is one final way to ensure a film remake is a success, make a reboot of a movie that is so old that the actors and directors can make the title their own. Not many people are aware that the 1984 gangster classic Scarface is actually a reboot of the 1932 film of the same name. This means that Al Pacino’s Tony Montana will always be associated with Scarface.

Remakes can be a fraught affair. Sometimes it is possible to reboot a classic film but it requires a top-quality cast. When it comes to films, it is often best to leave the classics alone. In gaming, on the other hand, technological advances can take the original titles to a whole new level.

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