Hollywood has discovered that redoing certain films is the perfect cash grab. But, a lot of people seem to be against the idea of movie remakes because they believe they are meant to “ruin” the original film if anything is changed.
I for one have no issues with remakes, I think they bring in a new generation of fans who didn’t grow up with the original film, and if the film was originally animated then having it brought to life in a live-action remake makes me remember my childhood days, unlike some people who think remakes ruin their childhood instead.
With that being said, I’ve discovered that there is a cycle that the Internet goes through every time a movie remake is announced whether it’s from Disney, DreamWorks, etc.
Stage 1: New Remake Announced
Not long after one remake is a success or a flop in the box office or critical reception, it doesn’t take long for another to be announced. We will either get trailers pop up, or announcements that one has been planned and the casting choices have already been made. At this point, I should really consider staying off of social media and just reading about it on the news.
This stage does not last very long because there is no moment of peace after it is put out there. That brings us to the next stage.
Stage 2: Fan Uproar
In literally minutes or even seconds after any remake is announced, it doesn’t take long for fans to be outraged. You don’t have to look very far to see comments like “No! Only actor Z should be playing character A, not actor Y!” or things like “That’s not my [character name]! [character name] is not supposed to be [gender/ethnicity]!”
Some people even overreact like this example I saw when the 2015 Cinderella remake was announced: “NO NO NOOO!!! Cinderella’s dress is not supposed to be that deep blue! THIS IS A HORRIBLE CHOICE! YOU HAVE RUINED MY CHILDHOOD!” Okay you seriously need to calm down. Roll some lavender on your neck, take a deep breath, step away from your computer/smartphone screen, and go outside.
I remember seeing an interview with Mr. Lordi where he talked about his taste in horror films and even mentioned that he loves the remakes too, like the remakes of A Nightmare on Elm Street. From there, he talked about how people were upset that someone else rather than Robert Englund was playing Freddie, he dismissed it by saying these three words.
It’s a remake.
The whole point of remakes is not for them to be exactly the same as the original film. So guess what whiners, it will not be the same actors. The reality is, no matter when you choose to remake a film, the original actors might be too old to reprise their roles. Were you seriously expecting that Hollywood was going to get Sissy Spacek to reprise her role as Carrie when the 2013 remake was in the works? Sissy is 69 years old now and Carrie is supposed to be, what, 16 or 17? So it makes perfect sense that they had to cast Chloe Grace-Moretz instead!
The plot may have some changes to it but without completely discarding the original story too, like The Jungle Book remake had a lot more backstory of Shere Khan’s hatred for humans and what caused his pyrophobia while in the Aladdin remake, Jasmine was made sultan at the end before marrying Aladdin, and when the genie was set free, he became human instead of becoming just a genie without shackles.
If a movie’s remake was exactly the same as its original with the same plot and actors, it would make no sense, and it would get boring after a while. So quit your bitching and don’t watch the film.
Stage 3: Petitions and Harassment
Sometimes this stage occurs and sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, it’s way more appalling than the general whiny comments.
When the Ghostbusters remake was announced in 2016 with an all female cast playing the actual Ghostbusters, not only were there sexist complaints and accusations of the industry focusing too much on political correctness, but there was a lot of online harassment, and black actor Leslie Jones received the worst of it.
Leslie received racist and sexist tweets that she did not belong in the movie and it got so bad she was devastated and left Twitter not long after the website’s CEO Jack reached out to her. Can you imagine what it’s like to get your big break and then you get cyber-bullied for it? Cyber-bullying is ILLEGAL yet social media giants do nothing about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reported people on social media for harassing me, and the culprit doesn’t receive a suspension or ban for it. There was only one time that actually did happen, and that was on Instagram when someone tried to impersonate me in a very nasty way.
But most of the time, I’ve read news articles about the bullied getting suspended from the site for standing up for themselves instead of the bully being held accountable.
Not only does harassment occur, but also I’ve seen people create petitions against remakes if they hate the changes that have been applied. Of course, no matter how many signatures the petitions gains, it’s not going to happen. In fact, I just found out that someone has created a petition to forfeit Halle Bailey from being cast as Ariel and point some random white redhead actor instead.
This is getting way out of hand people, if Disney was redoing a movie that is supposed to happen at a certain era and certain part of the world, it would make perfect sense to choose actors from the matching ethnicity. But for crying out loud, mermaids are FICTIONAL creatures. They can be black, white, Asian, blue or purple with yellow polka dots. RACE DOES NOT MATTER, nor does her hair colour, hell there are versions of the story where she is blonde or brunette for fuck’s sake! I wish you the best of luck trying to find someone with hair that’s red as a fire truck naturally.
So this shit has got to stop. Taking out your disappointment on some poor innocent actor who has got their big break or starting a petition in frustration will not change anything. Once again just ignore it and watch the original film. It’s sad that this stage of the cycle exists, really it is.
Stage 4: Movie is released
Once the movie is officially out, this is where things start to calm down. (I think) The reality is that the amount of people who actually are excited for the movie outnumber those who are protesting it; the latter are just the noisiest in comparison.
In a lot of cases, many remakes that have been released have either been successful in the box office or were well-received by the critics. Some remakes have even been certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. So all that whining, bullying, and petition-creating and the movie turns out to be a hit. It just goes and shows you that nothing you do can stop it from being released and more people love it than hate it.
Stage 5: Post-Release Preaching
In this stage, after the movie is a success, you’ll find people online preaching to everyone that the movie should not be underestimated. When the Aladdin remake casting was announced, I heard people weren’t so happy about Naomi Scott being cast as Jasmine at first, but then suddenly when she sang Speechless did we realize we underestimated her. Not that I ever did, but still.
From then on I saw comments where people were saying to give the movie a chance and other preachy statements. Well, why can’t you just do that before the movie’s release? It would save anyone like myself who prefers to have a positive outlook from all the toxicity. Whenever a movie I like is being remade, I give it a chance no matter how different it is and encourage others to do the same before its released, because I just happen to be a person with an open mind. This cycle wouldn’t even exist if everyone did that.
After the preaching wears off, the cycle proceeds to repeat itself at the first stage once another movie remake is announced.
So yeah, that’s my analysis of this cycle that occurs on the Internet. Sorry if I got too rant-ish with stages 2 and 3, but I just wanted to make it clear why this is a problem, especially with stage 3. Don’t get me wrong, if you are seriously not happy with the changes a remake presents, you’re completely entitled to your opinion. But please try to learn the difference between freedom of speech and hate speech.
Putting myself in the shoes of the haters, I can totally understand why you feel that way: If you grew up with something and cherish it so, seeing it get redone where it’s not the same as what you watched when you were young can be naturally off-putting. But damn, being on the spectrum, I thought I was always the one who didn’t like change of any kind, maybe I’m wrong.
Like I will admit when Disney first announced Halle Bailey to be playing Ariel in the remake, I was hesitant and thought wait a minute isn’t Ariel supposed to be white and a redhead? But then, I stopped myself and realized that this is a remake and since mermaids aren’t real, there is no limit to what they can look like. That’s what eventually made me decide to listen to some of songs Halle and her sister Chloe did together and discovered that they can sing way better than me!
All it takes is a bit of common sense to realize that remakes are, yes a cash grab unfortunately, but they are also meant to say, bring in a new generation of fans who didn’t get the chance to grow up watching the original. Ever think of that?
My dad always taught me to presume positive intent on people’s actions and words. So, look at it this way, imagine if remakes give you a chance to RELIVE your childhood, not ruin it.
Remakes are NOT intended to ruin your childhood because your childhood has already passed, something that is now history cannot be destroyed. I don’t even know how it can ruin it in the first place!
Anyone else agree that this is what it feels like? Do you like movie remakes too?
11 thoughts on “The Movie Remake Reaction Cycle”
In general, I agree with your points. By now it really feels like the complaining about new releases is just another meme. Kim at Later Levels wrote an article about how negativity seems to be the standard first reaction to anything. So I’ll say pretty much the same I said over there: Yes, outrage just for outrage’s sake is a bad thing, but we cannot let the “fight” against it go too far and suppress actual throught-through and real criticism.
What I completely agree with is that people should leave the actors alone. They are just trying to do their job, are probably super psyched that they managed to get such a big role (that they are probably even fans of) and will do their best to do the role, the actors before them and the source material justice.
Maybe producers should stop calling their films remakes, which implies that it will be the same thing again. In theatre new stuff with old material is called a “new interpretation”, and people are generally excited about them (of course, if the interpretation is bad, it will be ripped to shreds nonetheless). The term “interpretation” suggests that there will be new stuff and different priorities, depending on how the director imagined the final product. It might be worth a try.
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It could be another meme. I personally think that the cause is our attachment to the original films causes nostalgia blindnes.
Exactly, the actors are just doing their jobs. In my last article I wrote about how I learned that Henry Cavill is a big Witcher fan so he must’ve clearly been excited to be offered the lead role of the spinoff series. The fools that trash actors would certainly jump at the chance to play the said character.
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I think one of my complaints about remakes it it seems lazy? I want to see an original movie, not a remade movie from something that happened 10 ish years ago. I wouldn’t say I’m a “butt hurt” fan, but I can see why people get annoyed with remakes.
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No argument there, I would love to see something original too. I am simply referring to those who are even harsher towards remakes, you’re fine don’t worry.
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Interesting take, have never understood the targeted harassment of actors for roles they’ve agreed to play, especially in some of the more extreme cases you highlight. It is an issue that extends beyond misogynistic young men, would argue as passionately for ScarJo and the blowback she received for staring in Ghost in the Shell or Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl. Both targeted for roles they played that upset a particular groups perception of who should play them.
On a broader note, when a fictional character is written a specific way, thinking of Bond for example, then can sympathise when fans don’t agree with the changes to that character and does raise the question why not just create a new character entirely. Could argue studios are trying to bank on the nostalgia of a pre existing fan base to generate income whilst appealing to a new demographic.
However, using that film franchise as an example the remake of casino Royale is widely regarded as superior to the David Niven 1967 original of the same name so that doesn’t always hold true.
Ultimately a fictional character is a fictional character. So whether their race/gender/appearance is changed, subverted or expanded upon makes no difference whatsoever unless it fundamentally contradicts or destroys how they were written or conceived. Even then could argue it’s a matter of perception or a particular directors interpretation of the core dynamics of said character. Hamlet doesn’t need to be a male prince in Denmark to address the core issues of the play.
That said, can’t abide JJ Abram’s Star Trek. To paraphrase Frozen, it’s very difficult to Let it Go.
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Yeah the harassment is appalling. The actors are just doing their jobs. Like I said, the haters probably don’t want to admit that if they were offered to play that character, they would accept it immediately. Yes, unfortunately there is some misogyny like with the Ghostbusters film. I actually enjoyed that movie, especially the performances of Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy who I’ve seen in Bridesmaids and they were hilarious. I heard a rumour that Melissa might play Ursula in The Little Mermaid remake and I think that would be really interesting to see.
I’m not a big Bond fan so I don’t have much knowledge about that, although I have seen the 2006 Casino Royale…wait so that’s a remake of the 1967 version?
Yes exactly! Sure, Ariel will be a different skin colour but it doesn’t look like they will be changing her as a character in any way. I’m sure she’ll still be the singing mermaid I love. Disney would have to be real douchebags to change that about her. So that’s why I don’t give a damn what she looks like, because her personality is how I remember her. Like Jodi Benson said, it’s about storytelling, and now we should let it go.
That formula does make a lot of sense. Hollywood really needs to cool off with these remakes and focus on new/original screenplays. No wonder I watch indie films and world cinema. Of course, I had to shake my head when you have certain movies that shouldn’t be called live action remakes especially when unsavory things about said franchise have gotten more attention.
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I have no issues with remakes but Ibdo have an issue with how people perceive them. Those quotes I made in the stage 2, the second one screaming over Cinderella I actually did see that on Facebook once and it was so horrendous I can’t believe a grown adult would get so upset like that. Should we have more original films? Absolutely. Maybe Hollywood just wants whatever is the quickest way to earn more money.
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I see. Seeing adults react that way to movies is just mind-numbing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of nerd rage and ranting, but I do my best to at least back it up with logic. It does feel complacent of Hollywood to rehash the same stories as it’s a safe bet of sorts for them and don’t have to try.
Oh well you know the band KISS? I’ve seen comments from people twenty years older than me whining about the image and lineup and it’s ridiculous. You’d think by that age they’d find something better to do with their time. If I don’t like something, I ignore it. It’s better to back it up with logic and I strongly encourage it rather than raging and swearing how much you don’t like something.
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Wow, I didn’t realize there was a schism with the Kiss Army, but I’m not surprised. I’ve seen that logic with other band’s fanbases but to see people old enough to be my parents or at the very least uncles or aunts doing this crap is immature and sad. If I like or dislike something, I will explain why. Not going to lie, it has gotten tough since I’ve been fandom shamed before and was ashamed to admit to liking certain musicians or movies then. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve been more open with what I like or dislike.
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