Gray: Where does the reboot trend end?


Alex Gray

Alexander Gray

Personally, I can’t wait to go see the animated remake of the live-action “Beauty and the Beast.”

It’s no trade secret that established names make big bucks in the movie industry. Why risk investment in an untested project when you can guarantee return by cashing in on nostalgia? Disney has more than proven how profitable that strategy can be.

Audiences have already been exposed to Disney’s remakes of “The Jungle Book,” “Cinderella” and “Pete’s Dragon.” Disney’s first “Star Wars” film, “The Force Awakens,” received criticism for its adherence to familiar story beats found in “A New Hope.” The films reached varying levels of success, but it doesn’t end there. Between now and 2020, expect to see reboots of “Mary Poppins,” “Aladdin,” “Dumbo,” “The Lion King” and “Mulan” hit the silver screen.

Recently, USA Today reported  from a reputable source that Disney is in the process of remaking the animated classic, “Lilo & Stitch.” This rumor seems to indicate this trend is not just a short-term phase, but potentially the future of cinema.

So how will this trend affect creativity? “Lilo & Stitch” isn’t even two decades old, yet a reboot’s been given preference for production. Is Hollywood falling into a loop?

Twenty years from now, will Disney remake “Lilo and Stitch” cash in on the generation that grew up with the live-action reboot? How many versions of versions will audiences be willing to tolerate before they say enough is enough?

With Disney’s recently approved acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the company has access to even more film properties and is now in an even more powerful position, both financially and creatively. Expect to see more remakes of movies like “Aliens” and “Die Hard” very soon.

This doesn’t come entirely from a place of cynical territoriality. It’s always fun to see a familiar, cherished story reimagined and exposed to new audience. I can only hope kids today get just as excited to see Rey wield a lightsaber as past generations did for Luke Skywalker.

And of course Disney is not the be-all and end-all of cinema. Original movies are still being produced; new stories are still being told. It’s just important that moviegoers don’t forget about creativity among the waves of new “Star Wars” movies and “Lilo & Stitch” remakes. We cast our vote with our wallets. Vote for the future you would like to see at the movie theater.