The Stories That Just Won’t Die

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Jersey Bilyeu

Cedar Rapids Marcus Theater. A popular place to see the many live action remakes and un orginal ideas.

Jersey Bilyeu, Writer

With the new release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie and the official release of the Five Nights At Freddy’s movie trailer, the Kennedy student body has begun to notice an abundance of adaptions. Remakes of old content and sequels to sequels of franchises. What does this mean for the future of Hollywood film? Students ask if there will there be an original idea anytime in the near future.

“I would say that the past few years of movie releases have been very inconsistent,” senior Riana Kraft said. “There were a few very good movies that came out in the past few years, but I have found that more have not caught my interest to go see and watch.”

A prominent example of this is the declining quality of Marvel with its continuous sequels and spinoffs. Spin-offs like Eternals and DC’s Black Adam both scored less than 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, Black Adam being described as a “wildly uneven letdown.”

Along with sequels and spinoffs, there’s been a major increase from Disney in live-action remakes.

“I think that remakes of movies are very very hit or miss. If the remake is going from an animated film to live action, it will most likely be iffy or not capture the magic of the original,” Kraft said.

A good example would be the 2023 remake of the animated classic The Little Mermaid. While the movie had a large amount of hype surrounding it, it was generally not well-received and regarded as not living up to the original.

“One exception to this is Disney’s Cinderella, which I find has captured the original story and expanded on it so well,” Kraft said.

But it seems after earning 542.5 million from Cinderella (2015) and 1.025 billion from Alice In Wonderland (2010), they began to rely on these remakes. Disney went on to mass produce these remakes with Beauty and the Beast (2017), Lady and The Tramp (2019), Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), Mulan (2020), Pinnocio (2022) and Peter Pan and Wendy (2023).

“I only support remakes of movies if they are going to capture the essence of the original and manage to maintain that while adding new content to help it,” Kraft said.

But it feels like Disney is just scraping to find new ideas and spit out new content. It seemed as though tides were changing with the release of Encanto (2021) and Turning Red (2022) but we have now fallen back into live-action remakes and movies like The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Five Nights At Freddy’s.

“I think movie adaptations of popular video games could be a very hit or miss depending on how the filmmakers want to interpret it. For example, the live-action Super Mario movie that was created in 1993, absolutely terrible,” Kraft said. “If there is going to be an “era” of video games being made into movies, the style of movie whether animated or live action needs to be able to capture the essence of the video game and give it a fresh twist like Disney did with Cinderella back in 2015.”

With the opinions of younger audiences in mind, we must ask ourselves, if we’re so sick of remakes and sequels, why do we keep going to them? The Super Mario Bros. Movie earned around 1.21 billion worldwide and Five Nights at Freddy’s is estimated to earn similarly. If we continue to watch remakes like this, we will only encourage their creation. While it’s annoying to hear about another Disney live-action remake or another addition to the MCU, they’re still making millions in sales. There’s something to be said about the comfort of seeing an old film redone and Hollywood is just banking on this nostalgic factor.

So the question stands. Will our frustration win out and cause a drop in sales or will we cave to the mass production of our treasured classics?