What Movies Remakes and Franchises Say About Us

By Martha Sigargök-Martin | Allgemein

Apr 26
What Movies Remakes and Franchises Say About Us

If you've been paying attention to the box office lately - or I should say in the past 15 years - you've probably noticed, that Hollywood sells one remake and franchise after the other.

And I'm not only talking about movies that are expressly communicated as being remakes and franchises, but also about all the stories and styles that have been copied a gazillion time.

The Avengers, Jurassic World or The Lion King and Pet Sematary, are just a few recent examples of that phenomenon.

But the list is endless.

Martha's Film Corner

The Incapacity of Taking Risks

Look, I get it. I'm not saying that all franchises are bad.

I'm myself excited every time a new Star Trek film or series is released and I do think that J.J. Abrams did a tremendous job in renewing the film franchise.

He made it accessible for Non-Trekkies and revived the story behind it without completely copying the originals. Also, it's great to be able to see the visionary spirit of Star Trek being remade with the technical possibilities available today.

But, it becomes kind of problematic when there is so much money at stake that there is no room for experiment anymore.

Big production companies just produce one film after the other like one would follow a recipe. Marketing research dictates what's coming into the theatres.

Even in the independent film industry, originality rather remains the exception than the rule.

And that's normal because making remarkable art requires out-of-the-box thinking (and hard work), and even the independent film industry still is a bubble with unwritten rules and people who influence each other.

But, the true problem is that...

You Get What You Want

All the time.

And what you want, is by nature, probably the same, again and again.

Most people prefer to get what they know repetitively, rather than trying something new.

And it's understandable. On some days, I just want to watch something that I'm guaranteed to like and don't want to experiment. I also buy the same five products in the supermarket over and over again.

And I'm not one of those who'd like to "educate" others on what to consume or not.

But, the problem with getting what you want all the time is that you're not only starving your creative spirit and ceasing sharpening your mind,

you're also contributing to the atrophy of diversity.

Algorithm Choose For You What's On The Menu

I'm not an enemy of algorithms, and I plead guilty for being an algorithm junkie myself.

I love progress and I think it's absolutely fantastic what technology we have at our fingertips right now.


Algorithms determine what we see on Google, Facebook, and... film platforms like Amazon or Netflix. It also determines what everybody else watches, hears, and read on the internet in the long run.

And what happens on the internet also happens in the "real world" because our data are worth billions.

It becomes more and more difficult for independent filmmakers

to finance their projects not to mention making a living out of it

because nobody wants to see it.

Now, don't understand me wrong. I don't think that independent films are better than big productions per se.

The amount of money spent on a film says nothing about its artistic value.

It's not because you've spent millions on a film and have stars performing in it that it's going to be good.

YET, the other way around is also true.

The "independence" of a film isn't a guarantee for its originality and quality. In fact,

lots of independent film productions lack total imagination and are pushed by film institutions and festivals to a rank they don't deserve.

We Approve Mediocrity and repetition

Granted, one can't be brilliant day in and day out.

And I'm a big advocate of putting things out in the world before they're perfect. It's the best way to make progress.

Also, perfection is a point of view. What's going to be brilliant for someone is going to suck for someone else.

However, we've become accustomed to welcome repetition and mediocrity. 

And it has become a vicious circle. We watch mediocre stuff and mediocre stuff is served back to us.

This Is What You Can Do About It... If You Want To.

  1. Try to watch a film or a series once a week, you wouldn't watch otherwise.
  2. Go to an exhibition you wouldn't go to once in a while
  3. Try to read that book that your friend has recommended you even if you're not excited about it, you'd be surprised about what you like.
  4. Try a new hobby. you could discover a side of yourself you'd never know existed.
  5. Change the brand of your favorite yogurt for once.
  6. And finally, use alternative search engines, like DuckDuckGo or Qwant, every now and then.

What are the three habits you could shake once in a while? Please, leave a comment in the section below.


About the Author

Hey! I'm Martha, and I help creative people understanding and solving mental and creative blocks through blog posts about film, series, and creativity, as well as through a creative coaching website (marthasm.com) just dedicated to this topic.