Reboots & Remakes; Are We Entering the Dawn of the De-Boot?

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In this age of sequels, prequels, betweequels, remakes, reboots and retcon’s we’re seeing a new phenomenon: the deboot. The deboot is what happens when a franchise reboots and missteps only to back pedal to familiar ground, bringing back the original talent for one last go of it –basically a post rebooted original sequel. If you think that sounds completely ridiculous, you’d be 100% right, but something strange (and perhaps sinister) is happening up there on the movie theater marques: old franchise names that had been attached to new actors are rubber-banding right back to the original stars we all knew and loved to begin with.

For example…

In 2011 Lionsgate rebooted Conan the Barbarian with Game of Throne’s star (and desaturated Aqua Man) Jason Momoa. In 2015, The Legend of Conan producer announced that the original star (and real life wax figure) Arnold Schwarzenegger will return to the franchise, bypassing the remake and the events of Conan the Destroyer.

In 2013 actor Bruce Campbell co-produced the remake of Evil Dead with the series former director Sam Raimi. In 2015 they announced plans to continue the original series with Bruce Campbell on TV. At first it was believed that the remake existed in the same continuity as the original blood battered series, but now all reports indicate it will be discarded like so many severed limbs.

In 2010 New Line Cinema recast Freddy Krueger for The Nightmare on Elm Street reboot. Rumor has it New Line Cinema is rebooting the franchise again and original series stars Robert England has expressed interest in returning to the role.

Director Neil Blomkamp (Chappie, District 9) has been brought on to helm the fifth entry in the Alien series. In concept art he shared on Instagram he revealed that Michael Bean’s character Cpl. Hicks is alive and well, despite having been killed off screen in Alien 3. Blomkamp went on to say that his film will be a sequel to Aliens ignoring the events of Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, Alien Vs. Predator, and Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem. We have no idea if Blomkamp’s continuity will retcon or nullify the other movies, but it doesn’t seem like it matters. While this isn’t a “deboot” in the fullest sense, as the series had never actually received an actual reboot, it does appear to be sort of a retcon to the series, so it comes close enough to mention.

The strange thing is that as an audience, our appetite for nostalgic narratives has clearly not reached its saturation point. There’s a lot of excitement around these proposed returns to form which is what seems to be sparking Hollywood’s interest in the deboot. Seriously, people are going absolutely bonkers at the thought of Luke, Leia, and Han returning to Star Wars (us included) even though the prequel trilogy was universally hated. Creed looks amazing even though the thought of a dying Sylvester Stalone breaks our soul and Patrick Stewart’s Proffessor X is returning to the Wolverine franchise even though we have a perfectly good James Mcavoy. Could the deboot be the next big thing in an attempt to continue strangling money out of our wallets or will audience’s struggle to follow these mass media multiverses and elaborate entanglements of series canon? How many times can we scream, “shut up and take our money,” at something we’d always dreamed about coming to life as kids before we no longer really mean it and actually want something fresh and new?

Will we welcome the deboot with open arms and look forward to Peter Weller’s triumphant return to the role of RoboCop? Sissy Spacek’s return as Carrie? How about Linda Blair’s repossession of the role of Regan in the once rumored/now de-bunked Exorcist reboot? What do you think, are we ready to handle a slew of deboots? Would there be one that you’d absolutely die to see that we haven’t mentioned? As always, let us know in the comments section below!

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