The modern movie landscape is filled reboots, rehashes, films based on books, TV comic book characters and many more. Hollywood can’t seem to come up with any outstanding new IP’s (intellectual property) anymore. For instance we have recently seen reboots of Westerns like True Grit and Magnificent 7. Spiderman is on his third incarnation since the early 2000s and Batman is on his 4th or so. Films with unoriginal stories like 50 shades, anything by John Green (no hate on the guy) or Ender’s Game come around every, single year. So why can’t Hollywood seem to grasp originality like we saw with sci-fi in the 70s and 80s whilst Netflix can crank out stellar original shows and movies exclusive to them.
I think Hollywood’s problems start with its age, they’ve been around for so long that they might find it difficult to even get new IP’s off the ground. Executives at places like Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount and more seemingly just want to make money, which makes sense considering they are businesses. If they don’t think something original will make them money but have a franchise or IP they can use again that has made them money why wont they use them *cough* transformers *cough*. So in all likelihood they would steer away from original stuff.
That still begs the question though, why the constant reboots and reuse of characters and assets like Godzilla, King Kong, the mummy and every superhero under the sun. Well surprisingly you can thank Marvel Studios MCU for this one. After the increible success of the Avengers at the box office, generating over $1 Billion at the box office, other studios began to claw at the bit for a superhero/interconnected universe franchise to keep up. DC followed suit with the DCEU. Legendary Pictures are creating a monster-verse (newest King Kong and Godzilla movies). Fox have expanded their X-men franchise to knew heights and even bloody Universal are creating a universe of their classic monsters. How does this affect the industry though? Well now every studio with enough of an IP base to create a franchise will, using existing and proven to be popular characters. Meaning that they may be put in new and interesting situations but that the money to be made and ideas still bank on unoriginal concepts. This is a real shame because if done carefully enough this sort of franchise could be done with knew characters and ideas, but its a surefire way to make money so don’t expect it to stop anytime soon.
But wait, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and even YouTube Red (to an extent, it is still trying to find its feet so to speak) are remaking things too, but they also bank on original content to push to money they make, proving that an abundance of original content is still welcome to viewers. For instance Netflix have funded Bojack Horseman, Spectral, Stranger Things, Beasts of no Nation and Black Mirror. All incredible original IP’s, however yes Netflix as an example still reboot things and continue successful series like house of cards, Voltron, all their Marvel shows and more. But the thing is, all these are great, quality content despite not being entirely original but still huge. Whilst modern large scale movies, or all the ones that can be named from the last few years, are still reboots, rehashes or sequels, or not telling original stories.
So c’mon Hollywood, everyone wants you to take some chances, just do it.