Like it or not — despite the many, many hectoring jeremiads by the people who fall on the “not” side of the argument — “remake culture” seems to be here to stay. The most anticipated films of the upcoming year are all adaptations of or sequels to works that are decades old.
And that’s not news; these days it would be news if that weren’t true. “The Avengers,” “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park” — if my 12-year-old self were magically transported to 2015 while walking up to a “Coming Attractions” marquee at a movie theater he’d probably be briefly confused about whether he’d actually gone anywhere. (The fact that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” technically comes “next” after “Return of the Jedi” in series order doesn’t help matters.)
And we can have a long talk about possible reasons Hollywood is becoming increasingly risk-averse, from declining profit margins for theatrical releases to the increasingly bloated stock-market-like backroom trade in film rights from existing properties.