Category Archives: tv

How the Sequel and Remake Culture Has Come to Dominate Hollywood

By Anna Davies

Remakes, reboots and sequels have been a Hollywood staple for most of the film industry’s history. Some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed films were actually remakes including classics like Scarface, Sent of a Woman, and The Departed. Yet in the past decade, as cinema attendances have dropped, studios are becoming more dependent on the increased likelihood of returns that remakes, reboots and sequels offer.

As of August 31, Den of Geek report that were 121 remakes currently in the works, either in production or waiting to be green lit. This ranges from classics such as Hitchcock’s The Birds to previous box office and critical disasters like Dungeons and Dragons. Even directors who are revered as some of the most groundbreaking storytellers in the industry are returning to past franchises. Ridley Scott has revisited the Alien series twice while James Cameron will return to produce Terminator 6.

One of the main reasons for the large volume of sequels and remakes is that they are easy for studios to market. There is, in most cases, already a market and brand recognition that comes with the film. A good example of this is the upcoming Hellboy remake which will be released next year. The first Hellboy, directed by Guillermo de Toro, struggled to find an audience despite being well received by critics as the character wasn’t well known outside of fans of the comic. The 2018 reboot in comparison will be able to build on the public awareness of de Toro’s two films. For film studios this takes half the battle out of promoting a new film.

It also allows companies who are associated with the media to reboot their products. Slingo who have several slot games dedicated to the superhero genre recently added a new Hellboy title to coincide with the rebooted film which joins other games such as a Terminator 2 slot and Dark Knight Rises game. Players are more likely to play a game based on a character they know than an original character. If the Hellboy game had been released at the same time as the first Hellboy film, there would not be the same recognition. As both the film and gaming industry rely on building strong audience awareness, it is clear why remakes and sequels mean big business for both.

Original stories are struggling to find an audience in the crowded schedule of remakes and sequels. In his post Is ‘Originality Overrated’, Gareth S. Young wrote that of the fifty biggest films of all time 70% of them were sequels. With the exception of Christopher Nolan (who achieved mainstream success through rebooting the Batman franchise) very few directors have the clout to make big budget original films. Many directors are now turning to digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime to make original films. David Ayer publicly declared that Netflix offered much more creative freedom while promoting his Netflix original film Bright. The streaming platform gave him $90 million to put his vision on the screen.

Already, a divide is happening where cinema equals tent pole/sequel/remake and the internet and TV equals originality. If this does become the case it will be a huge blow to watching original films on the big screen. Cinema is the natural home of original storytelling and it should stay that way.

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What if Don Draper was a Woman

by Sarah Fader

Don Draper is the notorious womanizer and powerful advertising man on the show Mad Men. On the surface Don has an idyllic lifestyle. At the start of the series, he is married to the stunningly beautiful Betty Draper who stays home with his two children. The two appear to have a great marriage; however Don is a notorious philanderer in his office. The ad boys know that Draper is skillful at seducing woman of all types. During the course of the series, Don sleeps with a plethora of women. Some of them are married; some of them are single. Some are artists, some are writers, others are businesswomen. Draper sleeps with all of them with barely any effort.

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The Empty Page

In the literary world, there is no cliche more timeworn and banal than the empty page. Countless movies and television shows have portrayed this inconspicuous menace in all its unvarnished glory. You’ve all seen it, I’m sure. The eight-and-a-half by eleven crisp sheet tucked neatly into a typewriter. It’s self-important barrenness, mocking the timid writer. Or more recently, the pale, vacuous computer screen. Vacant, besides the black, thin yet sinister cursor. The one blinking in wait. Tempting and taunting. Daring you to take a shot. Condemning you for balking. Judging and teasing. C’mon, it appears to be asking. Let’s see what you got?

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Nerding Out

It has come to my attention, through yesterday’s National Superhero Day and various experiences as of late, that, eleven years post high school, it is still not societally acceptable to be a nerd. Like people are apparently afraid to be open with their real life friends about the fact that they know more about comics than Stan Lee or that Twilight is their favorite thing ever because our society is so influenced by what should be important to them that all they know about Hunter S. Thompson is that he was a friend of Johnny Depp’s.

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