Last month, I saw a sequel to a remake (Ocean’s 8, which was actually a good movie on its own). The three previews were 1) an adaptation of a novel (Little Women – a modern setting just released, and a time period version due to come out next Christmas), 2) a sequel (Mamma Mia) and 3) a remake (A Star is Born). Are scriptwriters not capable of writing original material, or does Hollywood think audiences are that shallow, that they would only want to watch a story that they were familiar with?
Of course, there’s the rather infamous (and maybe false) story of the movie, The Madness of King George, or rather, the title of the movie. The rumor going around was that the title was changed from The Madness of King George III, which was the title of the originating play, to The Madness of King George so that audiences would not think they missed the first two movies. Maybe they thought that “III” wouldn’t fit on marquees.
After I left the theater, completely sated after watching Ocean’s 8, I received a couple of promotional offers for sequels. If I bought a ticket to the movie, I got a digital copy of the movie that preceded it. My marketing side is applauding, and my “need for more creative material” side is cringing. Legally Blonde 3 was will be coming out in 2020. The first movie came in 2001. The children born when that movie came out can now drive themselves to the theater, and boom, a brand new generation of fans for a movie franchise is created. Not that they didn’t already buy the DVD or rent it online. The same goes for Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible, Rocky, any superhero franchise, and of course, Star Wars. There are some great movies in these series, and there are some duds (Jurassic Park 2, anyone?).
I challenge you to find great feature films that have been made in the last 15 years from TRULY original screenplays, aka, not a sequel, remake, adapted from a screenplay or based on a true story.