With the new Ghostbusters trailer dropping today and myriad more remakes in the works, it's apt to check out the huge swath of films that have been subject to remakes throughout cinema history.
Three years ago, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg sat down in some great hall at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts to let the students in on a grim little secret: Hollywood, as we knew it, was about to implode. Their prediction was that theatrical motion pictures would soon become a niche market, as the independent and significantly more creative films moved to the VOD and On-Demand distribution model. What it boils down to is a complete 180, as the niche independent films become the more widely available films, and the tent-pole blockbusters become niche films solely targeted towards distribution in movie theaters.
Spielberg noted that, because there are now so many different forms of entertainment competing with the studios, they would rather spend $250 million on a single film than make several personal, quirky projects. Lucas's take on the studios' approach was that, "They’re going for the gold, but that isn’t going to work forever. And as a result they’re getting narrower and narrower in their focus. People are going to get tired of it. They’re not going to know how to do anything else."
“[Studios are] going for the gold, but that isn’t going to work forever. And as a result they’re getting narrower and narrower in their focus."
So what have these 'niche studio' films become since this talk back in 2013? Well, basically, they're films that have already been made. Den of Geek has a running list of movie reboots and remakes that are currently in the works, and with the recent news that Universal is plotting an update on Richard Pryor's 1976 comedy Car Wash, that total has climbed to a staggering 106 films. From Ace Ventura to Jacques Audiard's A Prophet to yet another version of Charlie's Angels, it looks like this is a trend that will continue for a very, very long time. We'd be more than ok with seeing just one remake a year, and at that rate this list wouldn't be exhausted until the year 2122. That's insane.
Spielberg, however, doesn't believe the model can last that long. In the Lucas conversation, he predicted, "There’s eventually going to be a big meltdown. There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm again."
“There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and that’s going to change the paradigm again.”
What will that change be? Will it be beneficial for emerging filmmakers? Only time will tell.