Moving Beyond the Movie and Comic Book Reboots
Hollywood has produced incredible movies. They bring us our favorite stories and characters, whether they be giant monstrous things with green skin or people flying around with superpowers. We have been shown the marvels of not just this universe, but others at the outer limits of our imagination. More and more, however, instead of bringing us new content, they’ve been remaking old films–or worse, “rebooting” ones (usually franchises, such as the Spider-man and Terminator films) that have barely aged in cinematic terms.
Rebooting carries a lot less risk than creating something new. Sure, Hollywood is a business and businesses need to make money; that’s understandable. But when you take a character who already has so many stories to tell that making a movie a day from those stories would mean you could go years before even coming close to exhausting your material, then you’re a fracking fool. The fanbase is there, and you could build an even bigger one by filming the untold stories instead of rebooting the same origin again and again.
Take Spider-man: A reboot was done only a few years after the first movie of the Sam Raimi-helmed trilogy was released. When Tobey Maguire, et al, opted out of further Spidey films, Hollywood could’ve just recast and continued with different stories; instead, they decided to reboot from the start. Yes, I am aware that “The Amazing Spider-Man” is slightly different–you have Gwen Stacy as the love interest instead of Mary Jane, for instance–but it’s still an origin story. Next up is yet another reboot of the Fantastic Four due to come out in June 2015. Not sure if even the Fantastic Four fans want to see another version of their favorite characters where you can tell the writers of the movie didn’t even take the time to open the comic book. It literally states in the comic that Galactus is NOT a cloud and that’s exactly what they did in the movie. Full disclosure: I’m not a big Fantastic Four fan. Mostly, I just don’t care for Mister Fantastic because he always seemed to think way too highly of his brain that had no common sense working in it. I read more than once where he was claiming to be one of the top 10 minds, but deciding to send the Hulk to space was a stupid idea–of course he was going to come back and hunt you down! The “other half” of the Hulk is a scientist smarter than Mr. Fantastic!
Okay, back to my original point. We here at Epic Geekdom all love comic book movies. They feature characters whose lives are more heroic and more tragic than ours. The superheroes give their all for the sake of the world, even when they are hated by their fellow citizens. Comic books have been showing us what we can be as normal-powered human beings, and what we can overcome even if it seems impossible. That even if you are considered the lesser of the rest, you can still be important. That in one way or another, you can be the one who changes everything for the better. Comic books have taught us to get to know others beyond their first appearance or our own biases. They have taught us to look beyond our limits and try to make dreams become reality.
Comic books in the form of movies could do the same, but not if Hollywood just keeps restarting the same stories. I see no reason why comic book films can’t proceed as James Bond films have for years–they’ve been going for decades with many actors playing the same character in several stories, and not rebooting the character all the time (well, save for the Daniel Craig series). How is Spider-man ever going to get to the “Secret Wars” if they keep rebooting him? How is he, as a character, ever going to be fully realized as a superhero if he’s always starting at the beginning? For that matter, how will we ever see get to see Superman fight Doomsday if the filmmakers can’t even decide if the next Superman film is a Superman film or an all-star hero crossover? (Don’t even get me started on the Justice League fiasco! Just FYI, if there aren’t A LOT of superheroes that get trashed by Doomsday before even meeting Superman, then it isn’t Doomsday! That’s specifically directed towards those that made the animated movie Superman: Doomsday). How will any hero or anti-hero ever get to their epic adventures if we never get past their beginnings?
Let’s move on from rebooting origin stories and get to the really good stuff that will amaze kids and inspire the young dreamers in all of us again. Now, I’m not saying all reboots are necessarily bad; after all, the “Dark Knight” trilogy is as close to art as comic-book cinema gets. But for every Dark Knight, there’s a Punisher: War Zone. Most of humanity as a collective already ignores that one bad rocky movie, that last Highlander movie from back in 2007, and the one we really try hard to forget about, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (I know these last few weren’t reboots but they were still bad.). We for the most part ignore these were ever made yet we still look forward to more films on those very same characters. Let’s move on and have no more origin stories if they’ve already been made. No reboots of any fracking kind–start making movies of stories that haven’t been done to death. It’s not like there aren’t scripts out there, just very few filmmakers with the backing to make them since a lot of studios no longer have the guts to take a risk on something that hasn’t already been done before.
P.S. One last thing. Should we start a petition to have the origin of Wonder Woman be the original one before the reboot and not the new 52 version?
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