Looking at the new movies released nowadays, everything seems to be a remake, a reboot, or a sequel. From superhero movies that stem from comic books to movie adaptations of popular novels, everywhere we look new films seem to be a simple carbon copy of another one released last year.
Take the highly anticipated live-action remake “Beauty and the Beast,” for instance. Disney has chosen to follow the path of recreating all of their old animated films, beginning with “Cinderella,” then “The Jungle Book,” and now “Beauty and the Beast.” There is a big controversy over whether this film is simply a money ploy for Disney or an ingenious idea to reminisce over the creativity and nostalgia in the animated classic.
Well, I think it is both. Disney has cleverly chosen to renew the popular movie while adding their own twists to it, inciting excitement in both old and new audiences. However, this strategy brings up a question: Can originality still be found in movies today?
Well, the short answer is yes, although these original films are often very obscure and hidden.
The long answer is that many different factors affect the creation of these movies, the most important being money. The film industry is difficult; businesses may want to create new, authentic pictures, but more often than not they end up failing at the box office. Adaptations, sequels, and reboots are a safer option. Businesses can build off of an already created platform of fans and be reassured that they will definitely go see the film. With this knowledge, they can look into what these devout followers like and pander to them, making sure that they include a beloved, popular character or an epic, iconic scene.
With original films, they must worry about creating a likable cast and an engaging plot without any safety nets. Obviously, many are still successful, such as the highly praised “La La Land” and the famous “Inception.” However, for every one “La La Land” there are five reboots and sequels of the next Marvel film. Don’t get me wrong, I love the action-packed Marvel movies. But it is undeniable that as more are made, each movie grows to be more similar to the others, creating a somewhat predictable plot of a superhero’s origin.
Another factor is the natural assumption that movies are all replicas of one another. When we see trailers for new films, we always see a comment saying that this is simply a “rip-off” of another film. People are inherently inclined to associate similar ideas with one another and often distort their ideas into negative judgement on a film that they haven’t seen. Even if the directors do something similar, people automatically think that they are offering an inferior imitation rather than a tribute of respect.
So, how do we find the balance between ingenuity and repetition?
Everything, if you think about it, is an adaptation of something from somewhere, even if we don’t mean it to be. We all get the spark of an idea from somewhere, whether it is an observation or a sound. It is how we choose to create this vision in our heads that we are authentic. Not one person has the same mind and imagination. By filming at unique angles or twisting old tropes of stories, we are able to create new versions of an age-old story and truly be original.