Friday, May 1, 2009

Depressed by remakes?

If you're getting tired of remakes you're not alone. There's hundreds, if not thousands, of games and novels out there that have never been adapted into any sort of TV series, movie, comic book, or what ever. For that matter there's also hundreds of comic books that have not been adapted into movies or TV series either. Yet Hollywood continues regurgitating the same tired old crap.

Why?

Is it really cheaper to produce remakes than, say, come up with something fresh and new? The money men in the monkey suits may assume they'll make more money on an "established property" but they do this by exploiting the young and impressionable. And that's not just wrong it's evil. Doesn't matter who you are you're going to get older. The older you get, one assumes, the more information you will collect in your brain. This means that there will come a point where you will be just as jaded about movies as most critics. It's not that we dislike Hollywood, or even the movies, per se, it’s the lack of originality. These movies, or rather the clich├ęd cookie cutter plots, are stale.

Not saying Hollywood ruins all it touches. Rather it seems, to me, that Hollywood has become a prisoner of it's own formulaic standard operating procedures. Producers and directors are forced to work with established properties and not given any sort of creative outlet for their own ideas. Thus, forced to work within a system that doesn't just frown on originality it despises it as being unprofitable, directors are forced to hijack the projects they are given as their sole creative outlet. Which just makes matters worse.

A glance at recent TV retreads shows how bad this disease has become. The Sci-Fi Channel produced a TV series, Flash Gordon, that might as well have been titled Total Garbage. It was universally reviled and quickly cancelled. However one of it's more successful series, Battlestar Galactica, was the suits using a established property's name to sell a series that had nothing to do with the original. Yet it eventually cultivated it’s own audience through sheer persistence. It also helped that nothing was on at the time and that Sci-Fi moved it around the dial to different time slots on different days so they could manipulate their Nielson ratings. Some might further argue the success of this series is only because of Sci-Fi channel shills tirelessly promoting BSG, but they also promoted the holy heck out of Flash Gordon. Which only proves that, no matter how you dress up crap, it's still crap. Obviously there was something about the BSG series that appealed to it's audience otherwise it would have gone the way of the atrocious Flash Gordon abortion.

Too bad Hollywood is stuck in this rut of regurgitating "properties" they already own the rights to. This is an incestuous relationship that is doomed to failure. Eventually the bubble will burst, just as it did with the real estate market, though it may be slower going as there's always new and impressionable youth for Hollywood to take advantage of. And that's just sad. Then again life is change. And that seems to be what keeps Hollywood content, conning people out of the change in their pocket. Shame. There's so much else out there that could be adapted for the big (and small) screen besides the same tired old garbage.

For instance I'd really like to see the following adapted to the big screen. .

Video Games
Dungeon Keeper
Waxwork
Leisure Suit Larry (Dir. John Waters)
Leather Goddess of Phobos (Dir. John Waters)
Gauntlet
Corridor 7
Blake Stone
Wolfenstein
Prince of Persia
Magic Carpet
Elite
Trade Wars (old BBS space trading game)
Syndicate Wars
Bard's Tale
Faery Tale
Might & Magic
Phantasie
Mines of Titan
&tc

Novels
The Dragonriders of PERN series* (Anne McCaffrey)
The Doona series (Anne McCaffrey)
Dinosaur Planet (Anne McCaffrey)
Catteni series (Anne McCaffrey)
Acorna (Anne McCaffrey)
The Honor Harrington series* (David Weber)
The Armageddon Inheritance series (David Weber)
The John Grimes/Rim World series (A. Bertram Chandler)
The Xanth series (Piers Anthony)
The Lord of the Isles series (David Drake)
The Belgariad/Mallorean series (David Eddings)
The Foreigner series (C. J. Cherryh)
Cyteen (C. J. Cherryh)
Golden Queen series (Dave Wolverton)
&tc


Comic Books/Graphic Novels
Marada, The She Wolf
Iron Jaw
Dr. Atomic
Ironwood
Sapphire
Mighty Samson
Groo
Wulf, The Barbarian
Sisterhood of Steel
Aztec Ace
Deathhawk
Planet of Vampires
Alien Encounters
XXXenophile
Stafire
Star Reach
Mystery in Space
Atari Force
Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth
Axa
Conqueror of the Barren Earth
Xenozoic Tales/Cadillacs & Dinosaurs
Cobalt 60
&tc

(*) There's been lots of talk and rumours but nothing so far AFAIK.

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