Hollywood Needs To Remake Bad Movies, Not Classics | What This Fan Wants From… Hollywood Remakes

Hollywood loves to remake movies. Why? Because it’s far easier than gambling on something new. However, for me, Hollywood needs to remake bad movies, not classics. Invariably when Hollywood goes back to the well it’s to take a film considered a great, or a classic and then the remake has a much harder path to greatness. Why keep remaking the same old concepts? Well, that’s easy, they made money first time around, audiences know them, good chance they make money again.

Today I want to talk about another way, and that’s the movies that didn’t quiet it the mark. There are a lot of bad, however, there are also a lot of bad/average movies that had really good concepts. If only those movies were better executed, they could have been big hits. Surely, that leaves some fertile ground for Hollywood to pluck the bones and feed the machine?


The first time I truly considered this approach was when covering what I wanted to see from the upcoming Highlander reboot, in this very column. To me, Highlander was an amazing concept which was poorly executed. I have a lot of love for that first Highlander film, but I can’t in good conscience call it a great movie, it’s just not. Highlander became a cult classic in my opinion despite the poor quality of the movies. The actual concept being explored was fresh, interesting and new. That concept is what made Highlander better than it ever deserved to be. Now, Highlander is in the hands of John Wick director Chad Stahelski. Stahelski seems to be of the same opinion as I, Highlander has great potential that went unrealized.

RELATED: There Can Be More Than One Highlander – What This Fan Wants From… Highlander Reboot

If the Highlander reboot is as good as I believe it could be, then who knows? Perhaps Hollywood will suddenly start to look at old franchises/movies that are not quite household names? So Highlander is a pretty obvious example to give here, as it’s definitely going to be rebooted. But, surely there are a ton of other possibilities? I definitely want to hear from you readers about which average or poor movies are ripe for a reboot. Here though are a couple of examples I thought of, as well as some evidence of how successful this approach can be.

Break Glass to Reboot

Hollywood needs to remake bad movies

One of the worst movies I’ve seen with a great concept was The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. The movie starred Sean Connery as Allain Quartermain, recruited by the British Empire to find the evil Fantom. Quartermain is joined by several other famous literary figures like Dr. Jekyll, Captain Nemo, Dorian Gray, and more. The movie was based on a comic book series by Alan Moore, and the source materials is solid. The movie however, was absolute garbage and saw Sean Connery quit acting, because he “didn’t want to work with idiots anymore”. Connery was critical of director Stephen Norrington. One thing Norrington did for example was shoehorn in a grown-up Tom Sawyer, simply because he felt the movie needed more Americans. So, because a specific director’s vision did not catch, is that a franchise immediately relegated to the Hollywood bin?

Imagine a faithful adaptation, imagine something like a Netflix or Amazon series if you will. With the right casting and good writing, you could have a really fun and dramatic superhero period piece going. And there are other concepts that just didn’t work, that could be certainly improved upon. Some of my LRM colleagues suggested movies such as, 13th Warrior, Soldier, and Transcendence as movies they thought worthy of remakes. What about Masters of the Universe? There was a huge fan-base for the He-Man character and yet the movie was nothing like the cartoons in any shape or fashion. Surely there is the potential for a fantasy epic in that source material?

Success Stories

There are a few success stories we can already point to, where this practice has worked for Hollywood. My exhibit- A has to be the new BBC/HBO adaptation of His Dark Materials. The Golden Compass was a failure, both as an adaption, and financially. Going by normal Hollywood rules I thought it was dead. I never considered I would ever see His Dark Materials adapted on screen again. However, the idea of doing His Dark Materials as a TV show was brilliant. Season 1 of HDM was so superior to the movie it’s not even a contest. As a fan I now await Season 2 with bated breath, because this is where the story really comes alive.

Another movie I am very excited about is The Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad was a poor movie and one I would never willingly watch again. However, I am really excited for what James Gunn is doing with The Suicide Squad. If James Gunn’s movie is a huge success, it once again proves that a concept can work even if a movie fails.

Wrap It Up, Fanboy

I don’t want to see Scarface, or The Godfather rebooted. The idea of remaking Back to the Future, or Goonies makes me angry. Yet, perhaps BTTF aside, I would not be surprised to see any of these movies remade and Scarface is supposed to be coming. Scarface may not be the best example, because of course, it was a remake of a much older movie itself. Let’s face it though, would Scarface be as good without Al Pacino, or Michelle Pfeiffer? I just wouldn’t touch a project like that because to me it’s a no-win scenario unless you make a legendary picture.

Where I would look is at the movies that engaged my brain in a way that said, “this could be so much better if…” That’s to me where there is a huge opportunity for both Hollywood studios, and streaming giants. What movies would you love to see remade that did not quite work first time around? Do you agree with me that Hollywood needs to remake bad movies, not classics? Leave your thoughts below as always.

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