This year saw a big backlash against Hollywood’s ever-expanding slate of sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes. A slew of these rehashed summer releases — including sequels to films that were never much beloved in the first place like Now You See Me 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and The Huntsman: Winter’s War — were met with critical indifference and low box-office receipts. It was a year stacked with disappointments for both audiences and studios, but that hasn’t yet stopped the studios from pouring their money into new reboots and sequels for the coming years.
Of course, there’s a distinct possibility some of those upcoming sequels and reboots will be passable or even phenomenal (Mad Max: Fury Road was both a sequel and a reboot, after all), but these are seven we’re not looking forward to.
How do you remake Disney’s animated classic Aladdin without arguably the most memorable part? I speak, of course, about Robin Williams as the hyperactive Genie. Stipulations about recasting the late actor’s role will slow down the development process for the upcoming Aladdin, which is just the next in a long line of uninteresting Disney reboots that all seem to rely far too heavily on colorization and CGI.
Director Guy Ritchie is attached to the project, which could prove interesting given the titular character’s street-rat roots, but Ritchie has already proved himself capable of making immediately forgettable reboots with his Sherlock Holmes films.
2. Big Trouble in Little China
There are a few things to potentially look forward to about the planned remake of John Carpenter’s 1986 fantasy cult classic Big Trouble in Little China. Namely, Dwayne Johnson is slated to star and reportedly wants Carpenter involved to oversee the remake. As entertaining as Johnson often is, the original is so specific in its goofy, colorful, endlessly creative charm that any effort to recreate it is likely doomed to failure. Unless the release generates strong positive buzz, I’ll be staying home and re-watching the Kurt Russell version.
Jumanji is both another remake of a Robin Williams vehicle, and another remake starring Dwayne Johnson. He will star alongside Kevin Hart, Tom Hollander, and likely Karen Gillan. While all of those actors are perfectly talented, I have trouble imagining a Jumanji remake that isn’t a mess of CGI animals inserted into a plot identical to the original. Few details are available so far, but I can’t imagine anything surprising from this film.
4. A Star Is Born
There are already three version of A Star Is Born — one made in the ’30s, another in the ’50s, and another in the ’70s — so I guess we’re due for a fourth. Bradley Cooper writes, directs, and stars as the alcoholic has-been star helping a fresh-faced young singer and actress (Lady Gaga) achieve the fame she deserves. Cooper might well prove talented behind the camera, but why must his debut be a story we’ve already seen three times before?
5. The Birds
Only Alfred Hitchcock can make birds as terrifying as they seem in his 1963 film, The Birds. Director Michael Bay certainly can’t. The Transformers director is producing a new remake of the film starring Naomi Watts. The non-explosive source material is an odd choice for Bay, particularly since the first film so effectively realized the potential of its concept. Still, this remake can’t be more unnecessary than Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot Psycho remake starring Vince Vaughn, can it?
6. Beetlejuice 2
This belated addition to the 1988 oddball horror-comedy Beetlejuice has all the key players from the original attached — namely stars Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder and director Tim Burton. Here’s the problem though — I don’t trust present-day Burton to recapture the handmade horrors of his earlier film after he’s spent so many years helming lousy reboots dominated by an ugly over reliance on CGI and style over substance. Maybe he’ll manage a convincing return to his roots, but I won’t be holding my breath after Dark Shadows.
7. World War Z 2
As with many of 2016’s most under-performing reboots, World War Z 2 is a sequel to a movie no one was that passionate about in the first place — but since it made enough money, it’s getting a followup anyway. The Impossible director J.A. Bayona takes the reins from previous director Marc Forster, and Brad Pitt returns as the bland everyman superhero at the center of this bloodless zombie apocalypse. Unless this one ignores the model of its predecessor and actually follows Max Brooks’s brilliant source material even a little bit, this is another I’ll be sitting out.
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