Rebooting, relaunching, re-imagining … choose any “re” word you want, the fact of the matter remains the same: Hollywood is not done rehashing old stories and making them new again
Maybe it’s because humanity is out of new ideas. But it’s probably simpler than that. It’s probably because nostalgia makes money.
Redoing old television shows and films has pissed a lot of people off. Most turn out to be complete garbage, which ends up wrecking the magic of the original. Hollywood is out to destroy your childhood but they don’t care because greed always rules the day (and, even I’ll admit, occasionally they get it right).
So get used to the recycling of old ideas. (There are still over 100 films and TV shows that are currently in the works of being rebooted.) And as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Below are a few films and TV programs that I think could be remade in the not too distant future along with the odds of it actually happening.
Movie Reboot Odds
Forbidden Planet (1956): 7/3
A film that was truly ahead of it’s time, Forbidden Planet is considered a landmark science-fiction film. It was the first movie to be set on another planet, which is pretty crazy considering it was filmed 60 years after the invention of cinema. The plot – a space crew is sent to another planet to rescue stranded astronauts – has been used before, but a nice update by a big-time director could work.
Krull (1983): 5/1
A mashup of sci-fi and fantasy, this 80s film absolutely bombed at the box office. But over the years the film – which features a prince saving a princess, a beast, some cheesy dialogue, and very cool weaponry – has gained a huge cult following. With proper care, a remake could be highly successful. You could even keep the cheese factor.
Enemy Mine (1985): 7/1
For many, this 1980s science-fiction film is pretty forgettable, but just like so many other films from that era, a cult following has formed. Enemy Mine is a story about a human stranded on a planet with an alien enemy named Jerry. The film’s complex storyline of acceptance and live-love-laugh is a message that could be even more poignant in today’s world.
North by Northwest (1959): 9/1
Alfred Hitchcock is held in great reverence within the film community. So many directors have been inspired by his work, and you see still his influence in both TV and film today. North by Northwest is considered Hitchcock’s greatest work. Is there a director out there brave enough to take this on? Or is it completely untouchable?
Movie-to-TV Reboot Odds
Logan’s Run: (1976): 1/1
This has been in Warner Brothers remake hell for well over a decade. Given how many writers, directors, and actors have been linked to this project, who knows if it will ever see the light of day? The 1976 film is based on the 1967 novel by William F. Nolan. With the popularity of dystopian YA fiction like The Hunger Games and Divergent, a remake of the film or a television series could be a great way to reintroduce this bizarre science-fiction story to the masses.
Howard the Duck (1986): 2/1
If people didn’t hate George Lucas enough for what he did with the Star Wars sequels, many share the same venom towards Mr. Lucas for what he did to Howard the Duck. It was one of Marvel’s best-selling comic titles back when Howard was hatched in 1976, but the 1986 film completely killed it.
After Howard had a quick cameo in the credits of Guardians of the Galaxy (another Marvel property), some people have been clamouring for a film remake. But Howard the Duck has television show written all over it, and since Netflix has been doing such a fantastic job with other Marvel projects, the mega-streaming site could probably take on the Duck and his universe. Animated?
Looper (2012): 12/1
Looper is a fantastic piece of science-fiction. Although the film is pretty much a standalone piece, a television series would be something to get excited about. There are a ton of possibilities that could be explored, like the mystery of the technology; the evil web of criminals and corporations could make for some excellent storylines.
Sin City (2005): 15/1
Frank Miller’s Sin City comic series is legendary and the 2005 film was a fitting companion piece. Unfortunately 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For bombed at the box office and pretty much killed any chance of seeing another one of the Miller’s gritty noir stories on the big screen anytime soon. The episodic nature of the world would make Sin City a good fit on the small screen, though. And I’m pretty sure Frank Miller has far more stories to tell.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015): 18/1
It’s an absolute shame that more people didn’t see 2015’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Guy Ritchie’s film adaptation of the 1964 British television spy series was a lot of fun and if a sequel doesn’t come to fruition, a ten-episode season on Netflix or HBO would suffice. Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Alicia Vikander are all big-time movie stars now, but they may not need much convincing to do an episodic series if the money is right. Ritchie would also need to be on board as producer and director to get me excited, though.
Television Reboot Odds
Married…With Children (1987 – 1997): 2/3
It has been 28 years since Married…With Children first aired on Fox! The raunchy sitcom is considered one of the most influential TV shows ever. Sony has hinted at doing a reunion or even using that reunion to kickstart a spin off series that centers on Al Bundy’s slacker son Bud and his family. Right now, it’s all rumors, which makes it a perfect fit for this list!
Alf (1986-1990): 2/1
ALF was a wise-cracking, cat-eating, alien life form that became a member of the Tanner Family. He lived in their garage hiding from the government and trying to find a way back to planet Melmac. ALF became one of the best sitcoms on T.V. during its brief four-year run. Since the show went off the air, most of the actors have either retired or been caught having cracked-out sex with homeless people. So the idea of bringing the entire cast back may not work. But having ALF involved in another sitcom or even a standalone film could be fun.
Magnum, P.I. (1980 – 1988): 2/1
There was talk about a Magnum P.I. film and even Matthew McConaughey was offered the iconic mustache. But that never came to fruition, thank God. Magnum doesn’t need to be a movie with a completely different cast.
Instead, why not just bring back Tom Selleck to TV in the role he’s known for? Maybe an older Magnum takes over Higgins’ role as caretaker of the Robin Masters estate? Maybe incorporate a new hotshot P.I. who Magnum – and his old pals Rick and T.C. – take under their wing? Add a couple of younger members to the crew and voila! No Hawaiian mystery will be left unsolved.
In Living Color (1990-1994): 20/1
The 90s was a golden era for sketch comedy. In Living Color was created by brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans and the show had a cast of predominantly African American comedians. Its brand of “black humor” was far edgier than what mainstream America was getting with the likes of The Cosby Show. The program made stars out of comics like Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and the Wayans family. But the biggest star to rise was a white comic named Jim Carrey.
Television today could use a healthy dose of In Living Color and, although there was talk about a reunion or even a brand new cast back in 2012, the Wayans family squashed the idea. But the success that Bob Odenkirk and David Cross of Mr. Show (renamed W/ Bob and David) found by bringing their sketch comedy to Netflix should be proof that you can make it work years later. I’m sure it would be easy to find new Fly Girls.
Firefly (2003): 25/1
When Firefly arrived back in 2002, TV just wasn’t ready for Joss Whedon’s ultra-charming space western. (It was tough enough existing as a savvy science-fiction show at the time, but Fox buried it on Friday nights which meant it was handicapped from the very beginning.)
The show resonated with a certain section of the viewing public though, and I mean really resonated. Firefly fans have been shouting to the heavens to get the the show back on television ever since it was cancelled after just 13 episodes.
Fox’s appetite for reviving the show was likely tempered when the follow-up movie, Serenity, did poorly at the box office in 2005 (despite good reviews). But television has changed dramatically since then, and so have people’s tastes. Maybe it’s time to for someone like Netflix or Amazon to breath new life into Firefly.
(Photo Credit: Public Domain [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:North_by_Northwest_movie_trailer_screenshot_%286%29.jpg].)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.