March 3, 2016

From 'Psycho' to 'The Departed': A Side-by-Side Comparison of Original Movies & Their Remakes

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. 

 

Your Comment

9 Comments

Michael B. Jordan is slated to star in the remake of the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair".

March 3, 2016 at 2:39PM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
744

Haunting background track... Can anyone ID it?

March 3, 2016 at 2:40PM, Edited March 3, 2:40PM

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Ted Ulrich
Photographer / Filmmaker
163

"Clint Mansell - First Snow" soundtrack from Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain"

March 3, 2016 at 2:56PM, Edited March 3, 3:00PM

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Johnny
Director
81

Excellent soundtrack and film.

March 3, 2016 at 3:31PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
514

Excellent, thank you so much!

March 3, 2016 at 3:49PM

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Ted Ulrich
Photographer / Filmmaker
163

Can't wait till we start seeing remakes a year or two after a hit film.

March 3, 2016 at 10:52PM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
320

Original movie is always nostalgic. Even if the remake is good, it is not the same as original.

March 4, 2016 at 9:00AM

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I shot this for artist John Miserendino back in 2012. I find it oddly fitting: https://vimeo.com/37439575
"Miserendino worked as a PA for Haneke’s shot-by-shot 2008 American remake of his own movie, "Funny Games," originally shot in 1997 in Austria. Using the original film as his guide and sourcing trashed costumes from the 2007 version, Miserendino served as actor, director, production designer, and editor for his 2012 iteration."

March 4, 2016 at 10:07AM, Edited March 4, 10:07AM

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Lindsay Steven Mann
Director / Cinematographer
99

March 9, 2016 at 2:45AM

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This is very interesting, though as I recall, True Grit is not a remake - it's just a movie based on the same book. (they made it more about the girl, just like in the book) After all, Alice in the Wonderland has been made so many times, which of these could be considered remakes? :)

I would understand remakes that are for films made with outdated technology which would be hard to watch right now, but remakes in few years apart... that's an another story.

March 10, 2016 at 6:35AM

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Alise Ambaine
Newbie Film Director
74