The following editorial was written at the University of Florida’s Summer Journalism Institute. This piece can also be found on their website.
In a world full of cinematic promise lies a bug–an evil, nasty, corrosive little bug. This bug, so scientifically named, is the Nincompoopous movieous. This bug has reproduced and spread itself throughout many of Tinsel Town’s biggest film companies; DreamWorks, Columbia, Twentieth Century Fox, and many others have all “caught the bug.”
This insect’s deadly disease? A lack of originality and a penchant for repeating the past in today’s film industry. Are movie companies trying to revive the past successes for new generations or simply after what they think will be monetary success? Today’s moviegoers want new and exciting adventures, not repeats of old memories.
In the past decade alone, the trend for producing remakes, sequels, and adaptations has risen above the trend of producing hip, contemporary and, most importantly, original Hollywood films. Continually, these types of films have not made much box office success. For example, in 2004, the movie industry saw poor intake from movies including “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (a sequel to the 1997 original) and an adaptation of comic book villainess “Catwoman,” which earned A-lister Halle Barry her first “Razzie” (a mock Oscar) for Worst Actress. More recently, “Sex and the City 2” proved to be a “failure” cinematically despite the hype it received.
What happened to the imaginative screenplays that made the big screen’s bright lights shine so vividly? Albeit, there are still some of those rare, unique gems of films out there (Titanic, (500) Days of Summer), but what is the chance that these films could produce a sequel or, even worse, a remake? “The Hangover 2” is set for release in 2011…is there really a need for a franchise that could possibly taint the magic that was present in the first film?
Yet, there are some movie repeats that have become successful in some aspects, including some of the biggest movie franchises that have dominated box offices (The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings trilogy), just as there have been a variety of flops from original screenplays, such as Gigli and MacGruber.
But this movie industry bug is growing larger and larger by the minute. It seems as if the minds of the Hollywood head honchos are set solely on the next big “remake”. Audiences are enticed to be on the lookout for the next “Chronicle of Narnia,” an “Avatar” sequel, and, worst of all, a new tale from the “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Let’s pause for shudders.
The cure for this infectious disease? Watch “The Breakfast Club” and see the creative characteristics that defined a generation. Watch “Juno” and soak in the pure fearlessness in telling a story. These films generated huge buzz, box office bucks, and beloved fans, and did so without remaking or reimagining. Hollywood needs to return to the movie mindsets when those films were made if it has any hope of quashing the Nincompoopous movieous once and for all.