BreakingModern — It’s the show you loved as a kid, the one with the catchy theme song you continue to watch when you need a warm and fuzzy pick-me-up. In fact, you can still remember all the names of the characters, all the crazy plot twists and the details a true fan would know.
At some point you hear about a reboot — a revival of your favorite show. Because 10 years have passed and — wait, has it really been that long? At first you’re excited by the news. But this initial giddiness is usually followed by worry and trepidation. Why are they doing a reboot? They’re going to ruin something that was amazing!
From television shows (animated or otherwise) to big Hollywood blockbusters, it often feels like filmmakers have run out of ideas and are simply banking on the popularity of the original. And, in most cases, that’s usually a correct assumption.
To Reboot, or Not to Reboot
Though filmmaker and director Ken Ogasawara is ambivalent about remakes and adaptations, he does believe there are times where a film or television show shouldn’t be remade or changed.
Commenting on The Last Airbender, a film from 2010, Ogasawara said:
“Basically when the original is so good that there’s no topping it (which I admit is a very subjective judgment call), don’t try to improve on perfection, especially if you’re going to fail so spectacularly.”
The film was a live-action adaptation of the popular animated TV series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Ogasawara also commented on the original Korean film Old Boy by Park Chan-wook that debuted back in 2003.
“The brutality, the drepravity, the brilliance — genius!” he said. “Ten years later, Spike Lee helms a reboot for North American audiences which I haven’t seen. Why? Because the original Old Boy is still satisfying for me.”
However, there are always exceptions. One rebooted movie Ogasawara enjoyed was Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven, which hit theaters 60 years after the original. An extended amount of time between the original film and the remake helps whet an audience’s appetite. Ocean’s Eleven is proof of that.
ReBoot, now titled Reboot: The Guardian Code, is currently being developed and envisioned by Rainmaker Entertainment. The title itself is a cause for excitement as it alludes to the Mainframe universe and the Guardians defending the world.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about (spoiler alert), the original series had Guardians, like Bob, built from powerful code allowing them to resist viruses and heal other Sprites. Ultimately they followed an important code, “To mend and defend.”
Originally airing in 1994 on Canada’s YTV, ReBoot was a four-season show that started off as a happy-go-lucky series and took a slightly darker turn in the latter two seasons. Aside from the fact that it was entertaining and kid-friendly, ReBoot was educationally invigorating and encouraged kids to pursue their interests in computers and technology and code.
Now, before we get too excited, Rainmaker has noted this new series is more of a sequel to the original than an actual reboot of ReBoot (I love this word). Our favorite characters, Bob, Dot and Enzo (who became too emo near the end), may be making smaller appearances in this new series. Regardless, it’s exciting news and I know I’m holding my breath in anticipation of the new series.
That said, reboots and adaptations continue to be popular because we all grew up with our favorite shows and we continue to have a fondness for the characters and plotlines.
“There is a relationship already built-in with franchises that people can’t resist,” Ogasawara said. “If you’re a fan of Batman from the days of Adam West, or a Trekkie that faints at the sight of Leonard Nimoy, there is no way you’re not going to see the latest Batman or Star Trek movie, even if the last couple suck.”
“People will continue to flock to the movie theaters to see their favorite beloved characters. And that’s why studios continue to milk old franchises over and over again,” Ogasawara added.
Earlier this year, the ever-popular Sailor Moon was given its own update in a short miniseries that stayed true to the mangaka (mangaka means comic creator in Japanese). Old and new fans loved the remake, despite the shoujo-like slimness of the characters. Another popular animation, Digimon, recently celebrated 15 years. Expect to see a new series on TV (with some of the original cast) this coming spring.
Video: For all “DigiDestined” in the world ver. DIGIMON ADVENTURE 15th Anniversary Project
As far as movies go, recent reboots include Star Trek, Total Recall, Godzilla, RoboCop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. All these movies were met with trepidation, some applause and eventually with a “Eh, it was all right,” or “It was pretty good.”
Over the next few years there will be even more reboots coming to the multiplex. Expect to see another Batman movie along with Daredevil (hopefully it’ll be better than the 2003 version starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner), Fantastic Four, Tomb Raider (rumored) and Star Wars.
Several TV shows will also be rebooted for the 2015 season. And only time will tell if any of these “new” shows will be as excellent as the originals.
Meanwhile, Filmmaker Ken Ogasawara and his associates at Rosco Films say they will continue to work on original material. Says Ogasawara, “It forces us to get better and faster.”
First image: “thelastairbender_01″ by San Watanabe via Flickr Creative Commons
Third image: Reboot: The Guardian Code image courtesy of Rainmaker Entertainment
Fourth and fifth images: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures/Columbia Pictures