man of steel

A big part of the film industry is the movie franchise. Some of the most iconic characters in cinema – Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, The Terminator, Ripley, Gollum, Batman, James Bond, etc. – have been at the center of a lucrative series. For studios, franchises provide an opportunity to use brand recognition and make more money. For audiences, it allows us to revisit characters we know and love as their story continues.

In some cases, the filmmakers will be smart enough to make every installment of a series high quality (see: Star Wars [original trilogy], Lord of the Rings, Toy Story, The Dark Knight), but every once in a while, a colossal screw-up like Batman & Robin happens and the once reliable film series is deader than dead.

Fortunately for the studio suits, there’s a reset button available to them called the reboot. By rebooting a film franchise, the filmmakers erase the previous continuity in an attempt to get it right this time, for real. It’s a sneaky way to start from scratch.

In this remake and reboot happy time we live in, most attempts to bring a property back are met with the collective groans of movie audiences, who are desperate for something new. Still, there are a fair share of reboots that have gone on to outshine their predecessors (not that that’s saying much) and brought new life to a floundering series.

Here are five such examples to celebrate…

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This article was first posted on July 1, 2013