And lo there were times where the old outweighed the new. Hollywood, replete with its excess and drive to capitalize, turned to its idols of old. Seeking to reap the benefits these treasured properties once stood for, the heathens would go about it all wrong and in the end anger the Movie Gods with their insolence. Seeking to curb such efforts of degradation, they would summon a man up to the mount of the Hills of Hollywood. There, in secret, he received their commandments on how to properly attempt to recapture the magic, whilst not soiling the memories of old.
All biblical linguistic humor aside, it takes a miracle to execute a remake that doesn’t seem to sully the reputation of the original film. It has to be said that the mere act of announcing a remake starts an uphill battle where the prestige and reputation of the original is either upheld or damaged beyond repair. If you do it right, you’ll continue to bring honor to the brand. If you fail, you’ll proceed to make yourself look like a fool, and leave a horrific footnote in the history of the franchise you were betting on. To avoid any such thing, here’s 10 commandments any filmmakers attempting such a feat should follow.
10. Thou Shalt Wait At Least Eight Years Before Remaking A Film
The most perplexing of all remakes has to be 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man. While some would disagree that it’s not a remake, there are others (and there are quite a few of us) who felt that the by the numbers origin story cheapened, rather than revitalized, the brand. True, it had been 10 years since we’d seen Uncle Ben slain and Peter Parker learning that “with great power, comes great responsibility,” but only five years since the disastrous release of Sam Raimi’s bargain bin classic Spider-Man 3, which built off of that legacy and very much still embodied that storyline to the point where an Uncle Ben cameo was pretty regular in the series. Uncle Ben was still in our hearts, and yet we were forced to watch this new Uncle Ben die all over again. Worse still, he was played by the charismatic Martin Sheen, and dramatically underused.
If you’re going to remake a film, or a film franchise for that matter, you need to give some time between the last entry of the franchise and your newly reminted franchise to distance themselves. Warner Brothers had a good eight years of false starts, negotiations, and other pitfalls, before landing Christopher Nolan and successfully rebooting the Batman franchise. In those eight years, the competition grew in the comic film world.
But with every X-Men or Spider-Man flick, Batman was ready to learn from those successes and bring himself back to the modern audience in a more relevant fashion. Time is a luxury most films do not have, but big franchises like this can wait because they’re so iconic and omnipresent that they aren’t going away anytime soon. Do you want a fast Spider-Man movie, or a good Spider-Man movie?
This article was first posted on January 15, 2013