99.9% of the global population are Harry Potter fans (2011, Yahoo Answers). This makes me think that, sometime in the future when entertainment is consumed largely through virtual reality, demand for a next gen refurbishment of the classic saga will catalyse a remake. For a faction of the fan base, the remake will be another chance to experience the mania and share it with Generation Z; while, for the rest, it will never meet the benchmark, and we will be constantly reminded about how much better the original was.
Sprucing up an adored film for present day standards is tough. The list of bad remakes is seemingly interminable, with well-known betrayals from Hollywood including the American adaption of Death At A Funeral, 2010’s The Karate Kid, and 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre—all terrible, in case you haven’t seen them. However, while we can lament our favourite movies being tarnished by the same directors of Agent Cody Banks and Pearl Harbor, some remakes have transcended from the original by the director following at least one of the following conditions:
- Waiting a good, long while
It’s pointless when a remake is done within the decade. As well as the fatigue audiences get from a repeated storyline, there are no material technological advancements to offer in this timeframe. Jackson’s King Kong was great because it took the classic epic and was able to dress it in 72 years of cinematic development.
- Remaking a film that is not in the IMDB Top 250 list
Remakes and sequels often flop because we get very emotional when our expectations aren’t met. The top 250 IMDB movies have very attached fans who would be tempestuous about a remake of their number one. 2014’s Godzilla was superior to 1998’s Godzilla, because absolutely no one liked the earlier entry, and it returned us to the glory of the original Godzilla franchises.
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- Remaking a foreign film
Some of the best films are foreign, but don’t reach their potential in the western mainstream because of the language barrier or cultural stylistic nuances. The original Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a critical and financial success. What made audiences swarm to see the American adaption only two years later was being able to see and hear the story in western conventions that they could relate to.