How Soon Is Too Soon For A Movie 'Reboot'?

In 2012, Sony Pictures decided to reboot Spider-Man a mere five years after Sam Raimi wrapped up the original trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. As comic book adaptations go, the resulting movie was perfectly serviceable, yet the hasty turnaround time left a sour taste in many people's mouths. Which leads to today's question: how long should filmmakers wait before they hit the 'reset' button on a movie franchise? How soon it too soon?

Last night, I caught a media screening of the new Robocop film. Like The Amazing Spider-Man, this is a reboot (or "re-imagining") of the original rather than a straight sequel. While the new version is unfortunately a bit rubbish, at least the filmmakers kept a respectful distance — it's been twenty years since the last sequel hit cinema screens and even longer since the original.

Personally, I think there's something slightly cynical and creatively bankrupt about serving up the same story while the original is still fresh in people's minds. Hollywood is particularly guilty of this when it comes to foreign movies such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. You need to give us a little breathing space in-between reboots!

So how long do you think filmmakers should wait before churning out a reboot? Is five years too soon? How about ten? Or doesn't it matter? Cast your vote in the poll below!

On a related note, do you think there's a statute of limitations after which a movie reboot ceases to be relevant and viable? The 2002 reboot of The Time Machine and Psycho retread from 1998 spring to mind. Both these films were made long after the original adaptations and turned out to be critical and commercial flops. Is it possible to wait too long? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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    I'd say "Within a single generation" would be too soon for a reboot / reimagining. Which I guess translates to ~20 years.

    Edit: On waiting too long, Cape Fear waited 29 years and the remake was (arguably) better than the original. Sometimes waiting is a good thing.

    Last edited 06/02/14 3:05 pm

    If the re-make stars Emma Stone in it, then Hollywood can remake a movie every 2 years. Yeah, that will work for me.

    Hear that Hollywood?! Put Emma Stone in every remake and nobody will complain ever again about you recycling old movies and TV shows and not coming up with anything original for the past 20 years.

      remake of Batman: Dark Knight Rises, starring Emma Stone as Batman :p

        No I have to disagree with you there @ninjaman , but think of the possiblities of her as Barbra Gordon / Batgirl ........I rest my case.

        Now someone take my money and make this movie.

          but Alicia Silverstone?

            ....@christian .... no ... Im sorry brother.. but no... Alicia Silverstone acting did so much damage to the reputation of the character in the movie Batman and Robin that it wasn't till writer Gail Simone managed to revive her to her bad ass status in the comic books that I found her as a character worthy again to be reading. Thank you Gail Simone.. Now.. BRING ME MY BATGIRL MOVIE starring Emma Stone.

          was considering posting that, but decided to go for humour. failed miserably lol. your idea is better

    Meh, totally don't care. Doesn't hurt my enjoyment of the original, if it sucks then the version I know is still the best one. Stories have been told again and again by some very (and not so very) talented people since the beginning of time. Once more doesn't matter.

      Exactly. People act like the reboot somehow ruins the original. Maybe if the reboot is better than the original, in which case what is the problem?

    Human Culture is partly based on the retelling and re imagining of other peoples stories. Complaining about sequels and reboots to me is the same as complaining about an old time story teller reading stories to kids from the poetic edda, and adding his own characterisation to the characters. Get over it. Judge each rendition on its own worth, and if you dont like it, stay out of the conversation.

    The new Robocop is a fucking travesty on almost all levels, just like the Total Recall reboot before it. Can people stop ruining Verhoeven's great films? I shudder to think what they'll do to Starship Troopers.

    Last edited 06/02/14 4:02 pm

      You're kidding? Starship Troopers was already butchered by it's sequels (though I haven't yet wasted my time in watching the ST: Invasion yet).

        They were all direct to DVD sequels, and Verhoeven wasn't involved in any of them. Invasion was actually pretty good

        Couldn't agree more with this. The 2nd one was a pure 'lets cash in on the original' disgrace and everything that followed was just embarrassing. I too haven't bothered with ST: Invasion as a result.

        They're planning a reboot for it. Disgusting. It'll probably be PG-13 too.

          All i can remember of ST2 was the lightbulb guns. Guess they wanted to maximus their possible awful returns by skimping out on some of the most basic special effects.

      Starship Troopers in turn was a travesty to the novel it was based on. If it's remade, I don't think it'd be any worse.

        Everyone who says this usually hasn't read Heinlein's book. Yes, it's different - but rightly so. Heinlein's book was pretty much an ode to fascism. Verhoeven's was much more satirical, and it lacked some cool stuff (MI actually being mech soldiers, for one) but overall, I liked it just as much, but for different reasons. It wasn't a slave to the source material, but did it service well enough.

        Last edited 06/02/14 4:48 pm

          Only people I know who have read the book say this? People say the movie was fun and friends or myself who have read it say the movie is nothing like it...they pretty much take one chapter about fighting bugs and make a movie around that. The book was him wishing he could have stayed in the navy :p I mean commentary on military machine etc. they even fought more species than the bugs (and yeah no drop pod mech suits means no starship troopers :p) but I did read it almost 20 years ago. The memory is a little hazy.

            Don't get me wrong, I love the book. I also love the movie. In the words of that little girl from the Old El Paso ad, why not both?

        You're in luck then, because the planned reboot is looking to follow the novel more closely.

    The rumour goes that the Spiderman reboot was mooted primarily because if Sony doesn't use the licence then it will revert back to Marvel. Hence we will keep getting Spiderman movies. Not sure what the deal is with the Batman/Nolan reboot though.

    On the flip side, ask any fan of the original Transformers cartoon whether they're ready for a reboot after Bay-formers :-P

      The Batman reboots are easy to explain. Like Spiderman - if the last one was a fucking disaster, then a reboot is in order. By most understanding, Spiderman 3 sucked.

      As for Nolan's Batman run - he had already determined it would be a 3 picture run, then a new Batman story would run. That's awesome - it works just like the comics. Let someone else go.

      Which is actually a workable logic for comic book movies - origin stories are retold so many times, by different teams, that it is de rigeur for superheroes.

      The thing that irks me isn't the time space - but laziness. Note - the often shot for shot Hollywood remakes of movies like Dragon Tattoo, Let the Right one in, Infernal Affairs.

        I didn't mind the last Spiderman 3 film (admittedly I haven't seen it for a while). The latest Spiderman movies still feel too soon. The reason is, I think, because the Sam Raimi ones were too good. Yes, they were a bit gay, and Tobey Maguire's not really all that masculine, but other than that, they were pretty darn good for what they were. The problem with the latest Amazing Spiderman films is that while they're okay, they're really nothing different.

        I agree that "origin" films get done way too much. It's unfortunate the the kiddies keep lapping this crap up.

          Emo Spiderman, that is all....

      Massive fan of the cartoons as a kid and an adult. Loved Bay-Formers.

    And new Godzilla soon :)

      Godzilla's interesting in that it's a reboot of a reboot, since the 90s one was so crap. Judging from the previews though, this new one does look a lot better. Fingers crossed.

    The Magnificent Seven was a reboot of the Japanese movie Seven Samurai. If you change the setting and language, is that enough to warrant a reboot?

    If "The Castle" was rebooted and based around the expansion of Hong Kong airport, would it work?

      "The Castle" as in the timeless Australian Comedy starring Michael Caton and Eric Bana? Possibly.

      Last edited 07/02/14 1:39 pm

    What about Judge Dredd?
    thoughts which was better?
    both as bad as the other?

      It really depends on your tastes.

      I liked both for their merits, but given the choice I would pick Dredd, though the filmmakers wet dream that was the constant slo-mo got a bit much.

    Hamlet or Romeo & Juliet anyone? reboot's, been there done that.

      R&J was pretty awesome, kickarse sound track too boot!

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