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What Classic Movies Or Franchises Should NEVER Be Touched? | A Breaking Geek Discussion

Welcome to Breaking Geek, a column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week (or whatever he feels like), using his expansive knowledge of all things geek! Today I am joined by fellow LRM writers Kyle Malone of The Cantina and LRM Ranks, Cam Clark, Stephon White of I’d Buy That For A Dollar, and our Editor-In-Chief Joseph “Jammer” Medina! Today’s topic: Don’t Touch These Films/Franchises!

Reboots, delayed sequels, unnecessary sequels, prequels, “soft reboots;” a lot of films and franchises can be tarnished when a studio just won’t let a property die due to assumed profitability. And that’s no surprise. As I learned as an Intern at Warner Bros., not only is a remake a safer bet because it worked before, but using an old film to remake, set up sequels, or what-not, is also generally free for the studio. They own that film/franchise already. No need to buy a new, original idea.

Kyle Malone (@ThatKyleMalone) recently challenged many of the other LRM writers to a choice on Twitter:

“The devil has decided to punish you by forcing you to remake either Back to the Future or the Goonies. What classic are you going to sacrifice?”

It really started me thinking… what is the most sacred franchise or film of all?

So, I’ve opened it up to the regular gaggle of LRM idiots. What franchise or film should not be touched, from this point going forward?

Rules: No removing what already exists. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull exists, you can’t take that back… but you could cancel Indy 5 in this scenario. You can’t go back to having just three Star Wars movies, The Last Jedi is a reality.  And if you choose Star Wars, that means there will never be an Episode IX. But, based on how many (or few) films a franchise has, what is the one franchise/film you would not wanted to be touched at all cost?

Doll: This is a really strange choice, and it was while watching this film that I thought of Kyle’s Twitter query. It’s not a giant geek franchise or ultimate classic film. But, it is a film near and dear to my heart, one that I would love more of, but rather wouldn’t risk it…

The Nightmare Before Christmas

What a lovely, lovely animated film. My favorite animated film. Spectacular stop-motion, the best of Danny Elfman, and contrary to popular belief, it was NOT directed by Tim Burton, which is why a sequel by Burton would be as hilariously inferior as Corpse Bride or Frankenweenie.

No, Henry Selick directed this picture, though he shouldn’t touch it either. This perfect 76 minute classic is so beautifully detailed and simple, that is should never be touched again!

We’re not allowed two, but my other thought was Fight Club, if someone wants to steal it…

Cam: So I think with the rules in place, many of my favorites have been sullied already. But there is one movie that stands alone, a beacon of quality that should never be remade and I never want to see a sequel of. E.T.

The 80s classic from Steven Spielberg has been badly copied, it’s been referenced, but thank goodness Spielberg won’t allow anyone to make a sequel for it. Spielberg learned on Jaws that the studios will ruin a franchise for quick cash as soon as you can even think about it.

I like the fact that kids have never heard about E.T. these days. And when you show a child the movie for the first time, the reaction is guaranteed. Joy, tears of sadness, tears of joy again, then some more sadness mixed with mild happiness. It’s a goddamned emotional rollercoaster and every kid should watch the movie before they are six at most. I hope they never get to touch this even when Spielberg and myself are long gone.

Doll: Technically E.T. was touched via the “special edition” but it was not a severe as what was done to Star Wars. It counts!

Stephon: This is an interesting one. There are countless films that should never be remade for risk of tarnishing the originals. One film that rises to the top of my list as that one sacred film which should be labeled “thou shall not touch.” For me that movie is David Fincher’s 2009 film Fight Club. Why? Because it’s a classic, and made at a time when the idea of male masculinity was thrown into flux as men began to waver in the face of the metrosexual craze that was sweeping America. The movie starred the powerhouse duo of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. It was adapted from Chuck Palahniuk’s award winning 1996 novel. God, I loathe the day an adrenaline filled remake replete with an MMA crazed Tyler Durden winds up in some studios development pipeline. There is one rule of Fight Club. We do not talk about remaking Fight Club.

Nick: Bloody good, choice! That was my runner-up!

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Kyle: Back to the Future is one of the greatest movies of all time. It is actually a timeless, pun intended, movie that holds up to this day. I know many people that feel the same and that’s why I mentioned it in the Twitter post. The one good thing about BTTF is that as long as Robert Zemeckis is alive, the movie will never be rebooted. He has said that it requires both his and co-creator Bob Gale’s permission to do anything with the property, and they’re not selling. However, when they die… I feel certain Hollywood will be trying to negotiate with the estate holders.

Back to the Future tells such a great story that masterfully blends science fiction and comedy. It deals with the complexities of time travel but is also simple to follow. It has innocence but touches on teenage lust, sexual assault, drugs, and underage drinking. The film came out at a time when Hollywood was obsessed with making “teen” movies filled with foul language and gratuitous nudity. BTTF dared to be different using only mild curse words and not using any nudity.

I can’t see the film industry keeping the spirit of this movie the same. I feel there would be drastic changes to the characters and wonder if they would make it a modern PG film versus a modern PG-13. I don’t even think they would have Marty’s mom falling for him, and instead opt for some other way to threaten his existence. I know I am projecting my worst fears, but name a reboot that truly kept the spirit of the original.

Doll: Absolutely, a grand choice! Though those sequels exist and they’re not so hot, the first Back to the Future is one of the greatest films ever (but below Fight Club…).

Kyle: Part 2 was fun! I’ll give you that Part 3 wasn’t that great, but I think I’d rather see Fight Club rebooted than Back to the Future.

Doll: Anyone else. Jammer?

Jammer: Hang on! Hot take fresh out of the oven here. I have an opinion that definitely won’t help me in making friends down in the comments, but don’t think I’m saying it just to shock or incite controversy. Personally, I think Hollywood should touch ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING. That’s right. Every story out there is prime for the picking. Classics, duds, you name it. If it contains any semblance of a story, then I think Hollywood should take a crack at it.

Why? While it may be impossible for it to achieve the same greatness, there is always potential. We live in a world full of creative people, and these people have proven time and again that there are always unique ways to present old ideas, including ones that have been solidified in our brains as classics. “But what if they ruin it?” I hear you asking. Well, if they do, you can ignore it and move on. Bad takes on old stories don’t ruin the originals. They don’t touch them in the slightest. The originals will always be there for us to revisit, so why not at least give some filmmakers an opportunity?

Don’t get me wrong. I totally know that a lot of these remakes are made with the worst intentions — it’s all about the almighty dollar, and rarely something spearheaded by a guy who is just itching to tell a story in a unique way. But that’s not to say great things can’t be created in spite of these terrible intentions. It is, of course, your right not to like the idea of a remake, but if you ignore it and move on, your vision of the original can never be tainted.

Nick: Jammer…. loses! You lose! Good day, sir!

What is the franchise or film would you protect from Hollywood Executives (and Jammer) with your life? Let us know down below!

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