They say that too much of a good thing is not good at all, and when it comes to some sequels, this saying most certainly rings true. Many might say that Hollywood’s obsession with sequels boils down to one thing – greed, while others may say that the powers that be are simply delivering what the fans want. Either way, there’s no denying that deciding to remake a movie, particularly years after the release of the original film, is a major risk. While some should simply not have happened, others provided fans with some much-needed closure. Let’s take a look at some sweet successes and disappointing failures in terms of sequels and remakes.
It’s hard to listen to “It’s a Hard Knock Life” without a certain red-headed, freckle-faced little girl coming to mind. And, while this timeless classic is at the top of many list of favourites, its 2014 remake did not have the same effect. Labelled as one of the worst re-creations of all time, the release of this production failed to hit viewers’ sweet spots, a shame because in theory, it held a lot of promise.
Nightmare on Elm Street
If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you may recall frightening thoughts about Freddy Krueger haunting your dreams at night. A Nightmare on Elm Street is the 2010 sequel to the original 1984 film. It continues the story about the serial killer who attacks little children in their dreams while they are sound asleep. The remake of the film somehow failed to evoke the same reaction. This may simply be because we are no longer kids, or, perhaps the contemporary version of the film could not summon the same response as the classic that inspired the modern release. Either way, there is no doubt that it left many fans of the 1984 film sorely disappointed. Critics were not too thrilled about the release either.
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Mary Poppins Returns
A sequel to the 1964 musical, Mary Poppins Returns comes nearly 55 years after the debut of the original film. A critically acclaimed title that stole the hearts of many, Mary Poppins perfectly embodies exactly what a classic is. The sequel takes place twenty years after Mary left the Banks family. Michael, now in debt and a father of three, risks losing everything, until Mary comes along to share her magic with the family once more. Many might say that this sequel is merely money-driven, while others could not be more thrilled about its release. We have to admit, broadcasting a sequel 55 years after the original is a very long time, and many Millennials might not even know who Mary Poppins is.
The Jungle Book
This film will have you humming along to the lyrics of “The Bare Necessities” with a mere mention of its name. The live-action remake of the classic was released in 2016, and had fans and critics all over the world singing its praises. Bagging more than $966 million, and offering HD graphics and visuals, a catchy soundtrack and a gripping storyline, The Jungle Book is probably one of a few remakes that managed to “get it right”.
Is There Any Hope for Sequels or Remakes?
If done correctly, and with the right team of people, sequels and remakes could have a higher hit rate. However, the memories of certain classics are better left untainted, because no matter how hard you try, or how much money you plunge into the project, it will simply not come close to the original. That in itself is perfectly okay, too.