It seems like every year we have a number of reboots or sequels of previous films and 2015 is no exception. The occurrence of remakes in the cinema has become more frequent than ever and in a time when franchise movies (such as The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Avengers) have never been more popular, the demand for follow-ups is undeniably huge.
The biggest year for stories we've seen before
In 2015, we will see a multitude of reboots, including an all-female Ghostbusters, a new Fantastic Four movie (despite it only being 10 years since the original) and a modern take of the 1982 film Poltergeist. There's even been buzz about a Creature From The Black Lagoon remake rumoured to star Scarlett Johansson as the lead.
It will not just be recycled films hitting the big screen in 2015 either as Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Magic Mike XXL, Jurassic World and Pitch Perfect 2 all see releases in the upcoming months. Not to mention, the eagerly anticipated Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens at the end of the year.
A lot of the time this repeated material angers avid cinema-goers as they argue whether Hollywood has any original ideas left but if you actually stop to look at the history of remakes as a collective, maybe they are not such a cop-out after all.
The problem is that these critics are coming at the whole concept in the completely wrong way. Something that film lovers need to remember is that most of the time, a remake is appealing to a whole new audience so in a technical sense it can avoid being branded as "regurgitated" as it is trying to do something and please someone different than the original film.
In fact, often when a film stems from a very old film, some modern audiences do not know the film they are watching is actually a remake. Remember the Brad Pitt movie Meet Joe Black? That material came from 1934 film, Death Takes A Holiday.
A film made in the 1970s, while obviously not impossible, is less likely to be seen by someone who was born after 2000. And in addition to the difficulty modern audiences have accessing older films, we live in a time now where high definition and optimum sound do reign supreme over content occasionally. Many are put off by a crackly picture or muffled sound and therefore would never watch older originals even if they thought the plot sounded interesting.
I see Tim Burton's interpretation of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory as a film that tackles both of these issues, presenting a modern audience with a vivid, highly saturated movie that explores the almost creepy thread which laced Roald Dahl's tale, something the 1971 film (titled Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory) did not do.
It's updating cinema, not repeating it
In cinema history, rarely do we see Hollywood attempt to remake a film that was already perfect. There is the occasion where it is gleamingly obvious that film-makers just want to cash-in on existing material (here's looking at you, 2011 version of Footloose) but more often than not, it is evident creatives are attempting to put their own spin on it and genuinely improve on what was done before.
Look at films like 2014's Godzilla, for example. While not mind-blowingly good in itself, it is miles better than the 1998 version and when comparing the two, it is hard not to argue in this instance that when Hollywood remakes a story we have already seen before, it at least attempts to work out all the kinks that were failing the narrative the first time round.
Roland Emmerich's depiction of Godzilla was not much more than gimmicky CGI and a wide-mouthed Matthew Broderick staring up into the rain. But when a film's tagline is "Size does matter", it is hard to take it seriously in the first place.
The newer Godzilla also based itself more firmly in the Japanese origins of the monster by reverting back to a much more similar creature design for the title beast as well as creating that sense of unseen, impending doom that we did not get in the Emmerich film. Back when Godzilla was Gojira in 1954, he was intended to act as a metaphor for the threat of nuclear weapons which you definitely feel in the Gareth Edwards movie.
Likewise, 2010's True Grit is interesting because it was not just taken from a previous movie but was actually a novel even before the 1969 version. The Coen brothers take on the story stuck closer to the literature than the John Wayne film, with lines lifted straight from the pages within the screenplay while also featuring brilliant performances from leads Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld.
Even though Wayne won an Academy Award for his role in the movie, the Coen's version was nominated for 10 Oscars across many categories.
You can see reimagined material on television now too
It is not just in the world of film that we see movies being rejuvenated though. It seems to be the "in-thing" for studios to take motion pictures and turn them into television series rather than make another movie. Netflix/Marvel's recent release Daredevil has done just that, and well too. The film starring Ben Affleck was a box-office flop and is the target of scathing comments still to this day.
Even Affleck said this about the film in 2013: "The only movie I actually regret is Daredevil. It just kills me. I love that story; that character, and the fact that it got f****d up the way it did stays with me." While the new take on the comic book character has been hailed as "a triumph".
Its victory most evidently lies in the fact that it is a series rather than a two-hour movie, meaning it gets the luxury of developing its multidimensional characters instead of being just a run-of-the-mill origin story.
As long as creatives keep making new material alongside the remakes and the reboots, then why not try to fix-up a good story for the people who are willing to give it a second shot? Particularly when they do a better job than the original, the majority of the time.
If you want to keep watching the older films because you prefer them over the newer versions, nothing is stopping you from re-watching them on DVD or even video. You will save some money by not going to the cinema anyway. I would rather a remake than a flop of an original production any day.