Welcome back! You guys probably know that I'm a huge fan of blockbuster films. Action and adventure, thrills and chills, and some good humor is the name of the game for me. You can also see a lot of these elements in my written work. I really enjoyed the past couple years of blockbuster films, but there seems to be a noticeable trend. Most big budget movies are adaptations, remakes, sequels, or prequels to preexisting material. Even biographical films and historical dramas are technically adaptations, which includes Dunkirk and others. Sure, we see a lot of original independent films and art house releases. Do we need to see more original blockbusters? I have mixed thoughts about it. Allow me to elaborate below.
Firstly, I'm not exaggerating about the number of adaptations. Think about every movie I reviewed on this blog. Nearly all of them are adaptations and sequels. There are quite a few adaptations and sequels from the Marvel and DC comics. Studios revived several dead franchises with Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, Independence Day: Resurgence, Pacific Rim: Uprising, etc. A new Predator movie is coming out this year and hopefully it will find an audience. Most of these belated sequels weren't very successful because people don't care about old franchises anymore, but I find it a little bit novel. There's a plethora of Star Wars films and Jurassic Park is making a comeback. Fantastic Beasts is a spinoff from the Harry Potter universe and a sequel called The Crimes of Grindlewald is coming out in November. The Monsterverse is a reboot of kaiju films, including Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island. There are many book adaptations, such as the Maze Runner films, Ready Player One, etc. Some movies are remakes like Magnificent Seven and the live action version of Beauty and the Beast. Studios are still making video game films, including Assassin's Creed, Rampage, and Tomb Raider. Video game films usually get bad reviews and they don't make the best adaptations. I don't even think Winchester is an original film because it depicts a fictional and supernatural version of the real house. Tourists still visit the actual Winchester mansion in San Jose, California. Most of my upcoming reviews will cover adaptations or sequels too, including The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Venom, The Darkest Minds, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ant-Man and the Wasp, etc. The next original film on my review list is probably Alpha. It takes place during the Stone Age. A boy becomes separated from his tribe, befriends a wolf, and tries to find his way home. I literally reviewed a grand total of three original films so far: A Quiet Place, Geostorm, and Suburbicon. A Quiet Place was pretty good, but the other two movies were lousy.
What should we take away from this phenomenon? The adaptation effect seems to have both positive and negative elements. Let's start with the bad news. Eventually, people become tired with franchises that run forever. This problem seems to affecting Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers. Star Wars and the DC Extended Universe isn't immune either. Both Justice League and Solo: A Star Wars Story received disappointing beginnings in the box office. Reviving old franchises doesn't always work either. The Legend of Tarzan was my favorite movie of 2016, but it received mediocre critical reviews and audience viewership. Surprisingly, nobody cared about the new Alien and Blade Runner films either. Blade Runner 2049 had excellent critical praise, but it was a box office bomb. That might not be a good sign for the new Predator and Robin Hood films. Part of the issue falls on film makers. They're going to run out of ideas at some point. Ultimately, they recycle old material and everything becomes very shallow. It starts to look like a cheap cash grab instead of a fun adventure movie.
However, there are some good elements about film adaptations and sequels. Once a studio finds a profitable brand, they can potentially run a franchise for many years. They can produce a whole bunch of amazing stories and adventures. The formula seems to be working for Marvel. The MCU is still profitable with good critical response. Some of my favorite superheroes are Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Truthfully, I never cared about any of those characters until they were introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's a great way to bring new fans into specific franchises. Some movie goers might even start reading the source material. Another successful example is the new Beauty and the Beast film. Many of us grew up with the animated version. This one is a revival of the classic tale for a new generation.
Let's think about the problem with original flops like Geostorm and Suburbicon. Overall, it's difficult to make original content. A screenwriter literally needs to create an entire universe with an extensive story, well crafted characters, and a special element that will engage audiences. Furthermore, the director needs to bring everything to life. They have to put all the pieces together with a certain budget, cast, and crew. Everybody needs to accomplish their part or the film won't have a positive reception from audiences. It might seem a little bit easier if the movie is an adaptation. The film makers are taking a story, characters, and ideas from preexisting material. They just need to turn the material into a film. It's a difficult task as well, but certainly less daunting than creating an entire franchise from scratch.
Should movie studios produce more films with original stories and characters? I would like to see more original content. Good franchises like Marvel and Star Wars are great, but it would be nice to see something new and unexpected. I'm sure there are countless screen writers who have original ideas. There are plenty of creative directors as well. I assume the film studios and distributors are part of the issue. They can always count on making money from major franchises. Original movies are somewhat risky for studios because audiences might not connect with the material. That means the studios won't make enough money. A long running franchise can usually guarantee a profit. However, this trend isn't the case anymore because viewers are becoming disinterested with old material. I believe film studios should take more chances because everything is up in the air anyway. Successful original films can also create new franchises and studios would definitely benefit from the rewards.
I still want to see my favorite franchises too. Truthfully, I still enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean, Kingsman, and Planet of the Apes. They're just not very popular among the general public anymore. I'm still waiting for another Mad Max film. You might find this part strange, but I would also like to see a reboot of Indiana Jones. Hollywood has plenty of actors who could play the part and it would be fun to see new stories. Perhaps, film makers should create both adaptations and original blockbusters. Why can't we have both of them in the entertainment industry? It would create some variety.
I'm sure many of you guys have thoughts about this topic. Leave a comment and perhaps we can have a discussion. Speaking of movies, my next blog post is going to be a review for Solo: A Star Wars Story. I'm already hearing a lot of people talking about our new addition to the Star Wars saga. Thanks for visiting my blog and I'll see you guys next week.
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