Lately I’ve seen a trend in the movie and television business, one which has sprouted up before, but now seems as if it’s here to stay. The dreaded reboot. If you’ve paid attention to any of the reports coming out of Hollywood, you’ve probably heard the screams of fans as well. Whether The Rock starring in a remake of Big Trouble in Little China or Jason Momoa headlining the reboot of the cult classic The Crow. The trouble is, the list of reboots continues to grow and grow, cascading into an unending list of material which has already been done. The reason for all this rehashing from movie studios is pretty simple to explain.
They are out of ideas.
Let’s not gloss over the fact that putting a story on the big or small screen is an expensive venture. By and large people are watching less traditional media, which means the big names which used to greenlight several projects can’t do as many. The revenue cycle isn’t as robust for them anymore, and many studios are flat out of business because so many streaming options are easier to get to. Ten bucks a month for Netflix or ten bucks for a single movie? It must have felt like a crushing wave to some of them, one which they had no escape from.
So those who call the shots on what gets made have to place their bets on known IPs, because if an all new idea flops, the studio is in for serious problems. These known films are slated for reboot for a myriad of other reasons too. The studios who own the original content may have long since failed and getting them under control could be relatively cheap in comparison to paying for something shiny and new. It could come down to a group of people falling in love with a movie like Flatliners, which had a budget in 1990 of $26 million, and only (yes only) did $61 million at the box office. For its time Flatliners wasn’t a hit by any means, but the actors who starred in it (Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon) went on to have successful careers in the nineties.
And so it gets a reboot.
This is what I prefer to call The Circle, and what’s worse is, people like me will see it happen all over again in the next twenty years when Hollywood mines the hits from this current age and tries to sell them to us all again. The problem with obeying the Circle theory is that it never gets us to any new content on a larger scale. The one who plays it safe never ventures outside their own yard, never sees the hidden path, and never scales the mountain.
There are so many great stories out there that deserve their shot at broader audiences. In the same breath though I’ll freely admit that a ton of stuff isn’t ready for primetime. Plot holes, bad character arcs, and stories that fail to grab a wider audience are a tough sell. It might take me years to write a story and in one pitch to an executive it all goes up in flames. That doesn’t mean I stop trying – far from it – but it does mean that the road continues to get harder. I haven’t started the pitch process with any of my current works, but that will change in the near future. I hope to bring you something new, exciting, and also thought-provoking.
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Addendum: I feel like we are heading toward a climax when it comes to the house. So many once disparate pieces are coming together for us at the right time. Soon the house will be on the market and we will see what comes of that. We’re under no pressure to move, but it is time for us to go. We both deserve a fresh start for our lives. It’s a very exciting time to live in, provided all the packing and cleaning doesn’t drive us both bonkers.