Is Hollywood out of good ideas?

25 Mar

With as much talent and productivity that floats around Hollywood on any given day, why does it seem that all the writers, producers and executives are out of new and original ideas?

Over the last decade, there have been a rash of films made that were based on television shows (i.e. Charlie’s Angels, Dukes of Hazzard, Get Smart).  That is somewhat acceptable, given that the production values are usually so much greater and it brings a whole new fan base to the show/movie.  However, film remakes are coming out of the woodwork like crazy these days. 

Simply remaking a film that was only released 20-25 years ago is laziness in my opinion…or greed.  There are so many screenwriters out there with original scripts, but Hollywood is focused on making movies that bring in guaranteed money.  That’s a sad thing, because not only is it saying that the industry doesn’t care about the art of filmmaking, it’s saying that they’d rather bank on used material than gamble on creativity.

A couple of 1980’s films getting a redo this year are Karate Kid (starring one of Will Smith‘s sons) and Nightmare on Elm Street (with a completely new Freddy Kruger).  I just don’t get this.  Karate Kid is so iconic to myself and the group of people who grew up in the 80’s.  Mr. Miagi is dead and Daniel is a middle-aged man now.  If you are only going to take a theme from a movie, then rename the damn thing.  By using the name and not the characters that made a film famous, studios are just riding on the coattails of an established brand.

Nightmare on Elm Street is going to be on reincarnation 100 by the time this film comes out.  I’m a huge Jackie Earle Haley fan, but he doesn’t even slightly resemble Robert Englund‘s Kruger.  The most recent Freddy film came out within the last ten years, so to switch up one of the most popular villans in all of film is really risky.

A few weeks ago Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Jennifer Lopez was attached to a possible remake of the Goldie Hawn-Kurt Russell film, Overboard.  That news is what prompted my desire to write this post.  I am one of the few Overboard fans, which can usually be seen on TBS or TNT more than a few time every month, but do I want to see it remade…and with Lopez?  Absolutely not.  Movies like Overboard were and are perfectly suited to the 1980’s.  Changing it up to reflect 2010 is just unnecessary.

Police Academy, Arthur and Pet Semetary are a few of the other films either in pre-production or being talked about as potential projects.  I get that H-wood is all about money – how much you can make, how much you can get people to spend, but the same can be achieved by producing original projects.  Look at Avatar, not a remake of anything, is probably going to top $2 billion by the time it leaves theaters for good.

A quick sidenote about TV remakes: they are even worse than movie remakes.  The CW took two hugely popular FOX dramas and made them contemporary with 90210 and Melrose Place.  Again, if you want to have similar concepts, find a way to do so and make it your own.  I think it’s pretty funny that these networks really don’t have anything better to put on TV.

I’ll admit that I’ve been entertained by some remakes (Ocean’s Eleven), but that doesn’t mean that the box office should be dominated by recycled material.  Not only is it boring, but it’s uninventive.  Dust off those scripts you have lying around, H-wood; I’m sure there’s something in there worth a look!

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3 Responses to “Is Hollywood out of good ideas?”

  1. writerdood March 26, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    There are tens of thousands of good books out there that are waiting to be made into movies. Hollywood isn’t out of ideas, they’re out of balls. They’re unwilling to take risks because they may lose money. This is understandable, but it makes the entire industry become stale.

    Just look at Piers Anthony’s work. And Frank Herbert wrote a lot more than just Dune. Or Terry Brooks Shannara series (WB was actually working on this movie). Koontz has a ton of books that could easily make good movies.

    Hollywood isn’t out of ideas. Hollywood is out of balls.

    • Carrie March 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

      I know what you mean about the books. I’m fully aware that H-wood is all about the money, I’m just saying it’d be nice to see them pick something of substance over a quick buck once in awhile.

      • writerdood March 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

        And I fully agree.

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