Which movies deserve a refresh?
Hollywood is reboot-mad, with some movies (like Chis Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy) coming up trumps and others (like this year's Godzilla) falling short of fan expectations.
We've opined about concepts we wish Apple would revisit, but tech isn't the only area where good ideas get forgotten. There are plenty of series we'd love to see dusted off, either because the original was so good or because the subject proved just a bit too ambitious for its time. With that in mind, here's our gallery of eight movie franchises we'd love to see back on screen in the near future.
Which ones made the cut? Click through the gallery above to find out.
The Last Starfighter
Pixar movies are all well and good (well, great), but I can’t help but miss the kind of kid’s movies that did the rounds in the 1980s. Of these, The Last Starfighter was a favorite -- and it’s definitely prime material for a reboot.
The movie tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teen boy who’s recruited by an alien defense force to help fight in an interstellar war, all because of his skill at the Starfighter arcade game. It was essentially a Star Wars ripoff, but it was one of the best ones, and among the first films to feature CGI graphics.
Three decades after the movie’s 1984 release, video games have moved on a lot, but The Last Starfighter's key ingredients would be great in a refresh for the Oculus Rift generation. Today’s photo-realistic graphics and immersive VR environments would also open the doors for a blurring between fantasy and reality, making this a cross between The Last Starfighter and Total Recall.
I’m a Stargate geek, plain and simple. From the original 1994 Roland Emmerich movie to SG-1, Atlantis, Infinity and even Stargate Universe, I’ve watched pretty much everything related to this military space-hopping sci-fi series.
As much as I love the concept, though, there’s little doubt that the idea of present-day military men and women who travel across the universe and find themselves in an alien version of ancient Egypt could benefit from modern special effects. The original movie feels oddly small these days, and imagining what could be done in post-Avatar Hollywood is pretty mind-boggling. Original co-creator Emmerich has pretty much disavowed most of the spinoffs, but that doesn’t mean he couldn't borrow the odd idea here and there.
Speaking of sandy epics ... Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel Dune has, to date, spawned one movie and two TV miniseries. Herbert himself wrote six novels, but thanks to his son Brian and co-author Kevin J. Anderson, Dune has now expanded to a series of 20 novels's worth of potential movie source material — with various prequels and tangential side notes that all manage to connect into a single, sprawling storyline.
If you’ve never read one, trying to explain the plot is a bit like trying to fill in a newbie on Game of Thrones during the opening credits of an episode midway through Season 4. Set more than 20,000 years in the future, Dune takes place in a world in which royal houses battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis and its precious resource, the spice melange. Being every bit as deep as the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings universes, it’s got plenty of mileage to kick-start a new franchise.
Reign of Fire
Unlike every other movie on this list, Reign of Fire never really delivered in its original incarnation. A movie about military fighting dragons should have been superb, brainless fun rather than an uninspired mess. A reboot could take the high-concept brilliance of the original, add a bit more Godzilla-style destruction, and wind up with a movie that could be well worth a look.
Note to would-be rebooters: Good luck getting the original cast of Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler for anything close to 2002's price.
It’s only been a few years since the last entry in Chris Nolan’s fantastic Dark Knight trilogy, but what can I say — I’m a Batman fan! The great thing about a hero whose exploits have been published every month for 75 years is that there are dozens of distinctive takes on the character that could form the basis of a reboot.
Tim Burton’s movies were vintage goth Batman; Nolan’s flicks brought the character into the real world; Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will seemingly borrow heavily from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. So what’s left for another solo series? How about a movie that embraces Batman’s comic book persona as it exists today? Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been setting the world on fire with their kick-ass interpretation of Batman in DC Comics' New 52, while the Arkham video games introduced a new generation to Batman’s rogues gallery.
Is there a single solitary person who wouldn’t want to see Snyder and Capullo’s Batman go one-on-one with, say, Deadshot? There have been some very good movies in Batman's history, but none that have ever felt quite like the comic. And let’s finally have a proper version of Robin while we’re at it.
Remake Alien? Sacrilege! Remind moviegoers of why it's one of the best and most terrifying franchises around with a reboot? Absolutely.
Even as someone who dearly loves the Alien franchise and quotes James Cameron’s Aliens on an almost daily basis, I readily admit there hasn’t been a great entry in the series since the '80s -- or a passable one since 1997.
Like so many of the movies mentioned here, the real advance that would bring Alien up-to-date is the leap forward in special effects. Modern CGI would make possible some of the grand-scale battle scenes that simply weren’t feasible back when the franchise was in its prime. An even better idea: Borrow from the cinematic revelation that was Gravity to take this film back to its scary roots.
This is another movie nobody should ever think about remaking, but which could have the makings of a fantastic sequel. Quentin Tarantino has created a lot of memorable characters in his career, but perhaps none more so than Vincent Vega, Jules Winnfield, Marsellus Wallace and gang.
While the original tied up each plot line neatly within the confines of the movie, there are still plenty of questions left over about what happened next. Tarantino’s talked about revisiting some of Pulp Fiction's characters, but to date he never has. We’re there in a shot the moment he does.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy, one of the best shows of the late '90s, rose to prominence thanks to the same winning mix of kick-ass fantasy action, soap opera plotting and snappy one-liners that would go on to make The Avengers a comic book movie classic. Taking the core concept of a teenage vampire hunter -- which got turned into a comedy/horror film in 1992 -- and adding some Walking Dead-level grit would be the perfect way to reclaim vampire movies from the ignominy of Twilight.
What did we miss?
Got your own favorite movie or TV franchise that’s just begging for a reboot? Let us know in the comments below.