Thinking Outside the Box

Elijah Jones, Staff Writer

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2017 has many highly anticipated films and TV shows scheduled to be released; however, there is a consistent problem throughout a lot of these films and that is a lack of original concepts. As the years have progressed, in the film industry there have been fewer original scripts and more remakes and reimaginings of nostalgic movies and TV shows. Concepts that we have seen before are simply reiterated instead of being reimagined or improved.

Some adaptations of old material are wonderfully done and bring attention to characters and literature that were not very popular prior to the films they starred. The best examples of this are comic book interpretations. Marvel has had the most success utilizing their less popular material through several “original” Netflix series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist and films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther.

Film interpretations of comic books bring lesser known characters more mainstream attention, so while they are not technically original, they are new to the majority of viewers. The problem is with movies like The Mummy (2017), Rings, Chips, and Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle that while they claim to be improved versions of the beloved originals, they simply reuse the material that worked for the film previously.

Nostalgia will compel some to go to see these films and praise them because they remind them of what they used to love, and will dismiss any criticism legitimate or not because these films are a piece of their past. On the other hand the portion of the audience seeing the new interpretation for the first time will witness underwhelming story telling and poor execution of the concepts and ideals that made the original films beloved.

“Self-cannibalizing cycles and sequels, and even the practice of making films out of toys and board games, are filmmaking strategies dating back to the industry’s first decade, not a symptom of contemporary culture’s inability to create anything new” argue Amanda Ann Klein and R. Barton Palmer of The Atlantic. However, the Hollywood remake, money-making machine seems to be stronger now than ever.

Support for these remakes is slowly killing creativity in the American film industry. Filmmakers will be less likely to keep writing and promoting original movies if their hard work is overshadowed by remakes with no effort put in. The way to combat this is to stop endorsing the lack of effort. Judging the films based on quality rather than how you remember what they are based on is one way you can spread the word to change the lack of effort put into these remakes and support great original films like Get Out and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

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