Remakes and reboots: Loved or despised?


Screenshots from the trailers of each tv show or movie discussed in the article. From left to right: “Velma,” “TMNT Mutant Mayhem,” “Scream 6” and “Puss in Boots: the Last Wish.”

by Rhys Wilson, Reporter

Over the past few decades, remakes of movies and TV shows have been the trend in film production. In fact, there were 19 remakes of movies in 2005 alone. However, despite this trend, 91% of the public prefer the original film over the remake, according to Black List.

Original movies have 79% more profitability than their remakes. So, this begs the question: why do so many remakes and reboots keep being produced, and are they even worth watching?

The ongoing live-action Disney film remakes and horror movie sequels are becoming rather redundant. It does not matter if the movie is good or not; there is still some boredom in seeing a story that you have already seen a million times that has only be slightly tweaked. Repeatedly watching the films brings your interest in the subject lower and lower. 

For example, “Scream 6” has only been out since March 16 but has already been set up to be the most financially successful movie of the series. However, it has also gained a massive amount of negative feedback from long-time Scream fans.

“It’s nowhere near the quality of any of the previous Scream movies,” Jason Struss from Digital Trends wrote in his article about the movie. “I’m disappointed because everyone involved with ‘Scream 6’ is capable of being better than this.” 

It is extremely disappointing for viewers to see their favorite franchise turned into something that is not even worth watching. This situation has also happened with other horror movies such as “Halloween,” with 13 movies in the franchise continuously decreasing in quality over time.

Another example of a horrible reboot is in the new Scooby Doo show titled “Velma” which came out in January. The show has an audience score of 7% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 1.3/10 on Google reviews.

The show has redesigned all the characters, changing the races of Velma, Shaggy and Daphne. Although Velma and Daphne may look good in their redesign, Shaggy is completely unrecognizable. This remake also ditches the character’s classic nickname, instead branding the character Norville.

Fans say this is the worst thing to happen to the Scooby Doo franchise, and the beloved show has finally been ruined after decades of successful reboots. The character redesigns are not the only reasons behind this sentiment, though. The plot is seen as unnecessarily explicit, considering these characters are intended to be in high school, as this is a prequel to when the gang got together. 

Even beyond the explicit content, the plot is just dry and bad in general. For example, Velma takes her place as the main character and explores baseless mysteries with lack of depth and cheesy ending. For a show labeled for adults, it sure has the quality of a program made for children. 

Velma just isn’t a good show at all- with or without the Scooby doo characters.

Not to mention, Scooby, the iconic character for which the show was originally named, is not even in it! 

This show, along with many others, is a prime example of franchises taking reboots much too far. Attempting to capitalize off of an already successful franchise yet trying to appeal to young adult audiences which they do not understand.

Despite a history of poor remakes, this topic has been discussed with a more positive attitude recently, with the release of the TMNT Mutant Mayhem trailer on March 6. There has been many different reactions and opinions from fans regarding the movie, most of them positive.

Some fans are concerned regarding the casting choice for this film. The cast is littered with name brand actors which some think could be masking the poor of quality of the future film. 

Fans are also bothered by Jackie Chan being cast as Splinter due to Chan’s “nasty jerk” personality off screen, as mentioned in the GOAT article written by Alexander Pan. Another point of contention is the fact that a Chinese actor is playing the role of a traditionally Japanese character; however, others disagree with this statement, saying that actors of differing ethnicities often cast in other roles in the media, so it should not be a big deal. 

While I partially agree with the opinion that Chan shouldn’t have been cast, the other actors chosen for this film are very good choices. Even though they are all very big actors, I think they fit the roles perfectly. For example, Giancarlo Esposito, will be playing villain character Baxter Stockman. Stockman is my favorite villain in the TMNT universe, and I just know Esposito’s voice will fit him perfectly! 

Aside from that, the rest of the film seems to have a lot of love put into it. For that reason trailer was extremely well received. 

Generally speaking, when a new reboot of the franchise is introduced it does really well due to the amount of passion and people have in continuing the franchise. I have found a lot of true fans have positive opinions towards the remakes. Thus far, the franchise tends to do a good job keeping up with the times and adding fan requests into the upcoming  films and shows. For instance, in the newest iteration, the turtles are actually being played by teenagers in this upcoming film.

Another example of a good reboot in the movie industry was “Puss in Boots The Last Wish,” which came out December 21 2022. This movie earned a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.9/10 on Google reviews. The movie greatly surpassed the Avatar sequel which had been released around te same time.

The movie has great animation with wonderful character design and an extremely riveting story. Many people enjoyed this film due to the displays of anxiety and depression in Puss in Boots, expanding his character from the fearless hero he always traditionally been and revealing a completely new side to the cat.

A Google reviewer wrote, “I never would have imagined that a sequel to an 11-year-old Shrek spinoff would end up being one of the best animated films I’ve seen in years”

This movie still has me crying when I watch it despite having seen it at least five times.

No matter the opinion on remakes and reboots, they will still continue to be produced. With the new CGI technology, it is quite easy for companies like Disney to pop out one of their most popular movies in a live-action version. The new “Little Mermaid” that is set to release in May of this year, and it really is working for them.

For example, the original “Beauty and the Beast” film earned $9.6 million on its opening weekend, while the live-action version grossed $170 million. Now, with the present-day ability to boost advertising and stream to more viewers, those numbers would be different. But with a difference of 160.4 million dollars, just for the first few opening days, it is easy to see why Disney keeps remaking these beloved animated films as live action versions.

“They know that it [reboots] will generate discussion, but also ticket sales,” Angela Smithhisler, a Film Studies teacher at Linganore, said. “[This is] especially [true] if the film has a reputation of being classic. Ultimately, even if many people are bad-talking a remake, that will end up as more attention on the movie and possibly even more sales.” 

Overall, remakes and reboots can be excellent if there is a lot of care put into them. When the film is made with love, it tends to be a much better remake than something that is only produced for the money. Fans definitely know the difference. 

It is evident that Hollywood is definitely running out of ideas, but that does not mean they can not make enjoyable films. Perhaps instead of draining already dry franchises, they could put more time and effort into creating a remake or reboot the public will actually enjoy. Or better yet, they can make new original films for viewers to love.