9 August 2022

Hollywood Still Has Original Ideas, They Just Aren’t Being Shown


Hollywood hasn’t run out of ideas (even though most movies these days seem to be remakes or reboots). Instead, I believe that Hollywood isn’t willing to greenlight original ideas out of fear of box office failure…


Left, right and centre, Hollywood is releasing and producing multiple remakes and reboots. For example, only days ago, it was announced that a Road House remake is in the works. Not to mention that Disney is set to pump out numerous live-action remakes of some of their classic films in the next few years – Lilo & Stitch, Pinnochio, Hercules, The Little Mermaid and Snow White, just to name a few.

Of course, many are rather dismayed and frankly, tired of seeing remakes – myself included. I cannot appropriately express how strongly I do not want a live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch.

And the high amount of remakes hitting cinemas and streaming platforms have made us all wonder whether Hollywood has run out of original ideas. It’s a notion I’ve thought about a lot, but I actually disagree.

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Instead, I think Hollywood just isn’t willing to bet big on original ideas because clearly, remakes and reboots work and have worked for quite some time. Just look at the 2018 film, A Star Is Born – it was the second remake of the 1937 film of the same name and yet, it grossed over US$215 million at the box office and was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

Similarly, the successful and critically acclaimed 2001 film, Ocean’s Eleven was actually a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. And it’s success led to an entire Ocean’s franchise that’s still producing films; the latest Ocean’s film is set to be released in 2024 and will most likely take in a ton at the box office.

Remakes clearly work; both A Star Is Born and Ocean’s Eleven were highly successful. Image Credit: (both L & R) Warner Bros.

Whereas new original ideas can be seen as a gamble. In the last ten years, there’s only been a handful of films that were original and managed to do well in terms of ticket sales – and half of them were kid’s films.

Gravity, Interstellar, Ted, San Andreas, Django Unchained, La La Land, Zootopia, The Secret Life of Pets, Inside Out, Moana, Brave and Wreck-It Ralph are the only films from the last ten years that had a somewhat fresh and innovative story and managed to make a killing. Whereas multiple original films (like How Do You Know, Jupiter Ascending, R.I.P.D. and John Carter) flopped.

Hopefully, Hollywood can find a way to invest in more original ideas – perhaps they should just ensure that the script really is top-notch before throwing money at it. And as for remakes, I don’t hate them; I’m just sick of them and think Hollywood should do less of them.

It should be ensured that a remake is one hundred per cent worth doing because of a brilliant idea as opposed to the current strategy Hollywood seems to be using – greenlighting every remake pitched simply because nostalgia will likely bring in huge numbers at the box office.

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Although, the cynic in me is crying out that the industry doesn’t really care about film quality, only big pay cheques; which is why remakes probably won’t slow down anytime soon. Sigh.

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