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Stop Poo-Poo'ing Remakes


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Ever heard, "Hollywood is too lazy to think of new ideas," or "They've run out of stories to write?"


These are not the reasons for the increasing onslaught of film and TV remakes.


Sure, I would love it if every movie and TV show wasn't a re-hash, re-make of something else. But it's not because "Hollywood" lacks imagination.


There are a few factors that contribute to the chronic remake, but they can all be summed up with this one glaringly obvious and boring reason:


The ease of explanation.


Often times a movie's marketing budget can be as much as 50% above the overall budget. Everyone knows "Batman," right? So if you want to make another "Batman," you have a lot less expensive explaining to do. "It's Batman. Again. But better!" (see: "Top Gun: Maverick.")

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What if you were to do the same thing with "Inglourious Basterds?" "It's the Holocaust, with Jews scalping Nazis, a woman who owns a movie theater, and a really long scene between two dudes in the French countryside." Harder to explain, right?


People see "Batman" on a poster, and say, "Hey I liked 'Batman' the first time. I'll probably like it the 9th time too." But with "Inglourious Basterds," you have to win them over with your awesome, and expensively risky explanation.


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Let's not even get into overseas distribution. Imagine putting a billboard of "The Isle of Dogs" up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Wes Anderson is a little more complicated to translate into a different language than an action-based franchise like "The Avengers."


What should you do about it? You know the saying, "If you can't beat them, join them?" Yeah, this doesn't apply here. Don't write the sequel to Willy Wonka or the 4th Back to the Future, or the live action Finding Nemo. First of all, you don't have the rights to do it. Secondly, if they want to make those movies, they'll hire a writer they already know to do it. Not you. No offense.


So what should you do about it? Write the best script you can. Quality gets noticed. And write something that they can make relatively inexpensively (like under $8Million inexpensive.) That way it's not as costly of a risk for them to make your masterpiece.


Big studios don't make small stuff. And small production companies can't afford to make big stuff. Appeal to the smaller companies with your less costly script and play the game that you're in. Don't worry about the remakes- that's not your business. Plus, poo-poo'ing them doesn't make you a better writer.

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