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MANILA, Philippines – It’s 2023 and it seems like all our well-loved universes are having reboots: demigods will be finding Camp Half-Blood; Hogwarts will be sending letters and sorting wizards to houses; and we’ll be torn between Team Edward and Team Jacob once again.
And it’s not only the popular movie franchises that are making a comeback. Animated series, such as Totally Spies, Powerpuff Girls, and even Barney! are being repackaged and remarketed for a new audience.
While some find this reboot culture exciting and nostalgic, other fans aren’t keen on the idea of reiterating content.
We’ve rounded up how Rappler readers feel about these reboot announcements, and here’s what they had to say:
Is there really a need for it?
Reboots have been a staple in the entertainment industry, but with the sheer number of them in recent years, people can’t help but point out the lack of recent original releases.
In a November 2021 interview, Chris Colombus – the director of the first two films in the Harry Potter franchise, said there was “no point” in rebooting the hit project. “In this version of Hollywood that we live in, everybody is remaking everything, and rebooting everything,” he said. “What’s the point? The movie exists, let’s just live with the movie that existed…. There’s no point in any of us remaking the classic films. Make something original, because we need more original material.”
Working on new or unknown material, though, has no assurance of success compared to banking on familiar stories and franchises. While reboots aren’t guaranteed to replicate the success of its original material, having an already established following is much less of a marketing risk for producers.
But while there will always be a guaranteed audience for reboots, can new reiterations come too soon?
Both the Harry Potter and Twilight movie franchises only came to an end a decade ago – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two was released in 2011 while Breaking Dawn Part Two was released in 2012 – and in 2023, the two were greenlit for series reboots.
It came as a shock to many fans of both franchises, considering that the movie adaptations already stayed true to the original material and were well-received by their target audience. Plus, several recent reboots didn’t fly that high. Case in point: the Gossip Girl series reboot wasn’t renewed for a third season, while the Home Sweet Home Alone reboot received mixed reviews.
“Reboots nowadays are low-quality and always fall [into] mediocrity,” one Rappler reader commented.
Even cast members of the original films feel that these titles are better left alone. Oliver Phelps, who played George Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, told Digital Spy in March 2019: “It’s so iconic that it’s one of those things you don’t try to replicate something that means so much to many people.”
Cast members are in fact an important factor for reboot projects. There’s no denying how the careers of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, and Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner were defined by the success of Harry Potter and Twilight, respectively. It’s a big question whether a new generation of stars will be able to recreate their chemistry and quality of performances.
Rappler’s readers also wonder about how the new versions could surprise the audience, given that they already know how things play out. Will the Twilight television series reboot be able to recreate the collective shock that viewers felt after *that* particular scene in Breaking Dawn Part Two?
For them, it would’ve been better if, instead of a reboot, producers explored other related stories in the universe instead.
The Harry Potter franchise, for example, has expanded into video games, interactive experiences, and spin-offs such as the Fantastic Beast series and The Cursed Child, and several Rappler readers mentioned that they’re interested in getting to know different but connected storylines.
“I feel like they could’ve done something else rather than [this same] story line,” a comment read, listing down possible ideas such as focusing on the founders of Hogwarts or the other wizardry schools.
But reboots aren’t always a bad thing
A recent reboot announcement that had more positive reactions, however, was the Percy Jackson: and the Olympians television series.
The hit young adult novel was first adapted into a movie in 2010, with the sequel coming out in 2013. But the film adaptations missed huge parts of the source material, leading to mixed reviews from both critics and fans. The rest of the franchise was then scrapped, especially after Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan expressed his dislike for the adaptations on several accounts.
With the announcement of the new television series reboot, Riordan promised fans that he would be “involved at every step of the show” to ensure that they would produce a “live-action series of the highest quality.”
Even Logan Lerman, who portrayed Percy Jackson in the two movies, shared his excitement for the reboot. “Hope it gets the adaptation the books deserve,” he said.
Rappler readers also shared the same sentiment, with many being hopeful that the series reboot would do a better job than the movies.
“If they could just be faithful to the books with little to no alterations, it would be so worth it,” a comment read.
When Riordan introduced the new core of trio of Percy (Walker Scobell), Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries), and Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri), he even emphasized that there would be no ties to the previous movies.
“The whole point of me being involved in the TV show is to make sure this is a completely different production and a fresh start for Percy Jackson,” he wrote in a November 2022 blog. “That means, an entirely new cast putting their own spin on the characters, and it’s important for the cast and crew that they have a clean slate to work from. Because of that, there will be no crossover casting between the movies and the new TV show. This must be and will be its own thing.”
Several Harry Potter fans have also noted how a series reboot could provide a more improved adaptation.
“I always get angry with the movies because they feel like the Cliffs Notes version of the books and there were so many things done differently or left out,” one comment read, while another said: “Movies always skip details due to time constraints, but with a full season per book, this can be amazing.”
Other comments were: “I can’t wait. The films didn’t include a lot of details. This is going to [be] fantastic,” “Just hoping that they can finally get all those minute details from the books into the TV series,” “I’ve always said that the films were good but they left so much out,” and “[It] has a very high probability to be way better than the movies given it will have a huge budget.”
A Rappler reader also hoped for a Hunger Games reboot for the same reason, saying that the movies skipped so many important details.
Reboots could also potentially improve upon other areas such as special effects, especially given the newer technology. With more detailed storytelling and advanced visuals, reboots could give fans a better viewing experience.
How about you? How do you feel when your favorite show or film gets a reboot? – Rappler.com