On May 2, I wrote a guest column comparing reboots and remakes to translating from one language to another. This series of columns will look at specific examples to see what worked and what didn't. Each installment will look at a specific reboot, remake, or adaptation, whether it's television, movie, game, animated, or live action. By looking at the successes and the failures (and, yes, we can learn from failures), we can figure out how to avoid another GI Joe.
As many, many entries have pointed out, adaptations have become almost the default big-budget production, beating out sequelitis. Some have worked. Many, well, failed is accurate but not descriptive enough. Disappointments abound. Points of failure are easy to see in hindsight; is it possible to spot them before the finished product reaches the audience? This, hopefully, regular spot will look at adaptations, remakes, and reboots; the successes, the failures, and the oh-so-closes. After all, it's easy to look at an abject failure and find what went wrong. It's also easy to look at the successes and see what worked. But the ones that just missed the mark and didn't quite work? Those have lessons on both.
Even outside big budget movies, adaptations are popular. HBO has had successes with two series of novels, True Blood and A Game of Thrones. Popular movies have been brought over to the small screen as ongoing TV series. Comics have been a source for TV, both animated and live action. Even games of all sorts have been adapted or are slated for adaptation for a different medium.
The first three entries will cover the Big Three science fiction franchies, all of which have received reboots. Afterwards, I'll examine works that are geek-friendly or well-known. Generally, I'll stick to subjects I'm familiar with, just to avoid writing about something I know nothing about. However, I can take suggestions, and will investigate anything that looks interesting.
Next time: Boldly going where no reboot has gone before.
– Scott Delahunt