Ah, movies. One of my favourite ways to
waste spend my time. But it feels like I’m seeing an awful lot of the same lately. “Planet of the Apes? Didn’t they just remake that?!”
(If you’re interested, the first Planet of the Apes came out in 1968. Hollywood rebooted the series in 2001, and then rebooted it again in 2011.)
Hollywood likes to re-use stories rather than come up with new ones. That’s what people say, anyway. It’s too much hassle to be original, right?
I took a sample of movies from Wikipedia’s list of film remakes to see just how frequently, and when, movies were remade. Here’s what I found. (Keep in mind, this is a small, non-scientific sample that’s not meant to be exhaustive.)
Different patterns for different genres
Oh, you hate humour? Here’s action/thriller.
Maybe you like to be startled in movies. Here’s horror. (Look at all those great horror movies from the 70s!)
Or maybe you’re nostalgic for the sci-fi era of the 50s. Here’s sci-fi (and fantasy). You can tell this isn’t a perfect analysis because I forgot the second remake of Planet of the Apes. Whoops.
You can also look at drama.
Or romance, you ol’ softie.
Or, the genre with the least remakes, musical.
Directors, erotica, and what to expect next
Besides genre, I found a few interesting tidbits. First, several directors remade their own movies. Alfred Hitchcock, for example, made The Man Who Knew Too Much twice: once in 1934 and again in 1956. When prompted to comment on the remake, Hitchcock said, “Let’s say that the first version is the work of a talented amateur and the second was made by a professional.”
Also interesting is Ishiro Honda’s remake of Godzilla. The first movie, made in 1954, is Japanese. Honda helped direct an Americanised version, released in 1956.
Second, there are two X-rated remakes, both from the 70s, both of fairy tales, and both musicals. Truly a golden era for film.
What remakes can we expect in the coming years? Below is a very basic forecast, based on the mean time between movie remakes. Movies in green aren’t yet due for a remake, and movies in red are overdue.
Some films are way overdue for a remake. According to this, The Ten Commandments should have been remade 30 years ago!
Other films already have remakes in production. As of this writing, The Mummy, which isn’t due for a remake until 2027, is done filming and already in post-production. Coming to a theatre near you in 2017!
Any favourites that I’ve forgotten? Any other perspectives you’d find interesting?