No more. Please!

Nate Smith

I can’t have anything! I’m starting to become afraid that the things I like are going to be popular, because I know the creators will think popularity warrants sequels, prequels or spin offs. This is an epidemic that has begun to spread outside of Hollywood and threatens to wipe out any semblance of originality when it comes to new properties and franchises. There are some redeeming qualities to the recent rash of rehash fever, but all in all, the next few years are going to prove to be boring if things don’t change soon.

Below is a list of possible reasons why Hollywood can’t seem to come up with original ideas.

The sequel epidemic is the result of focus group decision-making. The focus is then shifted from making the best movie possible, to making the best movie for a certain demographic. Instead of making a film, story or show that’s unique and pushes boundaries, filmmakers are finding it easier to play it safe and rake in the cash. It has become way more profitable to cash in on an idea that already exists instead of actually…you know…trying. Bottom line is: this is going to continue until these movies stop doing so well in box offices.

“If it ain’t broke…”

I feel that the biggest factor that is causing all of this is the fact that rehashing things people like is something that has worked thus far. I feel that the fact that The Great Gatsby, The Hangover 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness are in theaters at pretty much the same time illustrates this fact. People don’t want to be surprised in the theater anymore. It’s much easier to justify shelling out the rising cost of movie tickets when you know what you’re getting. While I’m not saying this is the best school of thought when it comes to deciding what films get made, it’s worked for many films so far and I don’t see the trend changing drastically any time soon.

Riding the hype train

Yet another reason why we can’t seem to escape the endless stream of sequels would have to be all of the attention they get if the previous movie or source material was good. It’s a lot easier to justify an adaptation of a book if the book has a lot of notoriety to begin with. It’s at this point where we should start to wonder if an adaptation is absolutely necessary. It’s here where I begin to have a problem with the process by which these films are chosen. I feel that just because you can adapt a property, make a sequel/prequel/reboot, doesn’t mean you necessarily should. If it’s not done from an artistic or creative standpoint (Prometheus, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead), then it just seems like a cash grab. It goes from “Let’s explore this universe we created a bit further” to “Yeah, people would definitely pay money to see more of this.”

The only redeeming quality to these remakes and adaptations is that sometimes they’re actually done really well. For every X-Men there’s a Harry Potter, and I feel like that’s all we can ask for. Well… personally I want to ask that the next X-Men movie doesn’t happen but…can’t win ‘em all!