Where would Hollywood be without recycled properties? Probably okay, as it turns out. The box office is ruled by sequels, and while we can indulge in semantic arguments about what truly constitutes a remake/reboot vs a sequel, the fact remains the top grossing (worldwide) movies of 2015 to date are Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Furious 7, and Minions. More or less direct sequels all.
But while regurgitating cinematic properties is far from a sure thing, movie studios continue to try. Bless their hearts. Even better, the TV networks are trying their hand, and may even have greater success.
There are a lot to keep track of, but these are what leapt out at me during the Google search I did in lieu of actual research
What Was That About Again? Three scientists (and one random dude added to make the movie less blindingly white) develop technology to capture ghosts, leading to hijinks, hilarity, and sex between Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis.
And Why Do We Care? It's an all-female reboot, much to the consternation of guys who were apparently outraged a couple of non-supermodels were cast to replace sexpots Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.
Status: The Paul Feig remake, starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, opens next summer.
Title: The X-Files
What That Was About, Again? Fox's groundbreaking alien conspiracy series about E.T. obsessed FBI agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and his skeptical partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) inspired shows from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Lost.
And Why Do We Care? The alien mythology of the series was always — how to put this charitably? — haphazard and ultimately unsatisfying. The series kind of fizzled out with no real resolution, even after two movies.
Status: Netflix will begin airing a six-episode "event" reuniting Anderson and Duchovny. It premieres January 24, 2016.
Title: Xena: Warrior Princess
What That Was About, Again? Originally a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena soon outstripped its predecessor's popularity, consistently landing in the top five of syndicated shows until its cancellation in 2001.
And Why Do We Care? It's only taken a couple centuries, but popular sentiment for strong female heroes has finally kinda sorta convinced they might be bankable. According the Hollywood Reporter, NBC was looking into the possibility of reviving the series either as a limited series or a renewable property. Star Lucy Lawless was also enthusiastic, however...
Status: Lawless stated via Twitter the reboot is merely in the "wishful thinking" stage.
What Was That About Again? Screaming kids hunting for pirate treasure while screaming.
And Why Do We Care? Lord knows I don't, but certain misguided individuals of my generation have mistakenly elevated this to the 80s equivalent of the pantheon of sacred texts, or something.
Status: Depends on who you ask. Director Richard Donner said they were doing a straight sequel, then producer Frank Marshall said it *wouldn't* be a sequel. Writer Chris Columbus specifically referred to a "reboot," then talked about what a slow process developing the film is. Possibly because nobody really cares to revisit those annoying twerps again.
What Was That About Again? About 64 minutes long.
And Why Do We Care? Having struck fairy tale gold with live action Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland remakes (the latter improbably grossing 1.02 beeelion dollars), Disney is resurrecting another classic title, once again handing the reins to Alice helmer Tim Burton. Johnny Depp will probably play the lead crow.
Status: In development, but with a script by Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Age of Extinction), who'll produce along with TRON: Legacy's Justin Springer, I think we can all agree it's in good hands.
What Was That About Again? How can you not know?
And Why Do We Care? Good question. If the as yet untitled movie walks us through the origin again, that'll be three times we've seen it in 15 years. Sony is happy because the new Spider-Man will be incorporated into the MCU, while I'm uneasy at the rumors Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, because I am unaccustomed with having...feelings about that particular comic book character.
Status: New Spidey Tom Holland is set to appear in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, while his own standalone movie (allegedly) comes out a year later.
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Title: The Mummy
What Was That About Again? Foolhardy explorers awaken ancient Egyptian evil in the form of a shambling corpse no one is ever able to outrun, for some reason.
And Why Do We Care? The new Mummy will be the first of seven movies based on Universal Studios' classic monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible...Wolf Man). With any luck, they'll be as faithful to the originals as Van Helsing was.
Status: Numerous writers and directors have been assigned and left the project since it was announced in 2012, and its release date has now been pushed back to 2017. The latest iteration reportedly has a SEAL team battling the mummy of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, so...yeah.
What Was That About Again? Cute creature called a mogwai turns into evil, spiteful gremlins when fed after midnight. Clearly this was an indictment of the 80s fitness craze.
And Why Do We Care? Everything old is new again. Chris Columbus discussed the prospects for a new Gremlins in the same article he talked about the Goonies (above), but given how fans of the original were drawn to its dark comic tone, any reboot — likely with CGI and less gore — probably wouldn't fly.
Status: Early development. They have a writer (Disturbia screenwriter Carl Ellsworth), but despite being "fast-tracked" in 2014, there's been little in the way of news.
Title: Pete's Dragon
What Was That About Again? Deranged youngster suffers hallucinations about a dragon with a wig fetish.
And Why Do We Care? Speaking as someone who was a kid when the original came out, I don't. I suspect this is purely for adults too stoned to remember how dumb it was.
Status: David Lowery of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints "fame" is directing the reboot starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, and ... holy shit, Robert Redford? It comes out in 2016.