In this week’s article, we are going to look at movie sequels, movie remakes, and ask Hollywood one very important question. If you are an indie author, the answer just might involve you. Grab your slippers and your favorite beverage and let’s begin!
Return of the Attacking Author 4: Revenge of the Pen!
Last week Disney announced that would be making sequels for both The Incredibles and Cars. While I enjoyed both of the first films, the sequel to Cars was a disappointment. But that doesn’t stop them from making more movies. If it’s a box office success, then more are usually in the works. This will be the second movie, or first sequel to The Incredibles and given the way the first one ended, you can hope that it will be a good story to follow.
My question to fans of the movies, how many sequels should a series go before the ideas get stale? At one point, the sequels appear to be the same plot but with different characters and a different setting? The perfect example of this is, the Friday the 13th movie franchise. How many slasher movies set at Camp Crystal Lake can you do before it’s just the same movie? The only ones I’ve personally seen is 7 and 8. The New Blood, gave Jason a worthy opponent in a girl with telekinesis. Movie 8, Jason Takes Manhattan put the slasher in downtown New York. To me, though, having seen just those two, I feel like I’ve seen all of the others as well.
Now don’t get me wrong, in regards to both Harry Potter and Twilight, I understand that book series will have multiple movies because of the number of books. And yet, both franchises divided their last book into two films which is more towards making money then telling the whole story. Hollywood doesn’t seem all that concerned about the fact that the price of going to movies, including snacks, is almost the same as a down payment on a car. They figure as long as they are putting out the films, people will go to see them.
The Attacking Author: The Remake
The flip side to the Hollywood coin is movie remakes. In addition to Disney’s announcement last week, I also heard that a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds, was in the works. My question is, “Why?” Wasn’t the original scary enough? Plus, I’ve noticed over the last fifteen years that mostly horror movies are getting the “facelift” compared to other genres. Naturally, people like to be frightened which is why they do remake a lot of horror movies. The problem I see with a lot of the remakes is they lean more towards gore than scare. Perhaps scaring people with blood and guts is easier than just having someone jump out and say, “Boo!”
The task of the remake, in my opinion, is to take the tradition of the original film and expand on the story or look at it from a different angle. I once read a review of Psycho starring Vince Vaughn and they said if you ran that movie side by side with the original, there would be little difference in the two. So why bother with a remake?
Has the Creative Well run dry?
Movie series like Charlie Chan, The Thin Man and James Bond can get away with numerous movies because each film is separate and complete from the rest of the movies. The only constant is the characters themselves. But when you have films like Rocky 4, Star Trek 6, and so on, you know that the movies are sequels and you have to watch them in order, more or less, to see the continuation of the story.
Which brings me to my question: Has Hollywood run out of original ideas? The answer is yes and no. First the answer is yes because, as we’ve seen, movies get a flock of sequels or classic films get an updated remake. Secondly, the answer is no because, Hollywood doesn’t want to gamble on new and different ideas for they’re not sure if they’ll make any money.
Take book to movie ideas. Hollywood will only touch a book or, rather, series of books if they are very popular and sold a lot of copies. But that isn’t entirely true either. Has anyone heard of author David Eddings and his Belgariad series? His fantasy novels were on the New York Times Bestsellers list for a number of weeks, in the top five no less, but no mention of a movie to come out. Maybe Mr. Eddings didn’t sell the movie rights, who knows?
My point is this, Hollywood won’t gamble on unknown authors and their works for fear of losing money at the box office. I understand that is the point of making movies is making money, showing your work on the silver screen, bringing books to life. But there is no guarantee that even the most popular books will be a successful film.
Calling All Indie Authors
Just once I’d like to see Hollywood go through the indie author world of books and select a couple of them to become movies. I’m not talking independent films either. I’m talking the full fledged movie production from one of the big filming companies, featuring an A list cast and fully budgeted scenery, special effects, music scores, costuming, etc. You get the idea.
From the few books that I’ve read from fellow indie authors, I would love to see them up on the big screen and maybe, just maybe, it would show Hollywood that those of us who aren’t household names can produce stories worthy of a box office success!
So, what do you think in regards to Hollywood? Has the well run dry? Do you think we’ll ever see new and original films NOT tied to a book? Share you comments with us. Also, let me know what indie authors you’d like to see get the full movie treatment.