Hollywood is a machine run on dreams, nightmares, recycled lube, and the souls of many, many people whose names we'll never know because they weren't interesting enough to matter. Box Office Mojo lists 693 movies released in 2014 that, together, made $10,428,870,453 at the domestic box office. That's a shit ton of money. You could buy so many Double Down Dogs with that money.
And for all that money, and for all the things that seem to work, Hollywood will continue to stupidly bang its head against the same walls over and over again because they never learn. Every time someone does something insane, like film a four-hour movie about hobbits or blue cat aliens instead of a traditional 90-minute one that includes a comedy sidekick, the rest of Hollywood snickers, and then those movies gross over a billion dollars. Every unique idea is seen as weird. Same ideas are the best ideas, no matter how often they fail. It's weird and shitty, and it seems to be the only way the industry works.
4PG-13 Will Be Better Than R
Did you ever see the movie Hellraiser? Far and away one of my favorite horror films, but only the first one! The sequels got real funky real fast. There's one that doesn't even have Pinhead in it, I think. And in Part 3 there's a guy who shoots CDs as weapons. It's tragic. Still, Part 1 was Clive Barker's horror opus. And for years there have been rumors of a remake. Taking the awesome story of the Cenobites and the Lament Configuration, but hitting it with a budget that can do it justice. And maybe even directed by someone who doesn't think Pinhead is a poor man's Satan who ran afoul of an acupuncturist in the underworld. It could be awesome. It got squashed, last I heard.
Many writers and directors have been bandied about for the Hellraiser remake over the years, and one of the last times I heard about it there was a script that was rejected because it was too dark and serious in tone. The studio was hoping to appeal to a younger audience. This means what it means for every horror movie produced in the last 20 years -- can we tone down that R-rating and make it PG-13? Can we replace that blood with maybe a ripped titty shirt? Not, like, actual titties, but just a ripped shirt with the hint of titties? Can we replace that F-word with something hip, like "bae"? Or "hashtag uh-oh"?
New World Pictures
Studio executives have a simple formula for R-rated movies. If an R-rated movie is good, wouldn't it be better if 13-years-olds could pay to see it too? And therefore make several million dollars more? This theory pans out at the box office where PG tends to rake in more cash than R, which means we'll sacrifice story quality for fuzzy good-time feelings if it means a studio executive can add a second floor to his yacht.
20th Century Fox
"Kids these days won't even know what a 'motherfucker' is, Bruce."
Now, this isn't to say PG-13 movies suck. You can make a decent PG-13 horror or action movie; a good script is a good script regardless of excess gore and sex and swearing, but taking a good script that's maybe about horrible things, like gore and death and madness, and trying to make it cool for eighth-graders, that's maybe a problem.
3Remake It The Same Way
If I have to see Superman get shuttlecocked away from Krypton or Peter Parker get bitten by that goddamn spider one more time, I may start hurling feces at a movie screen like some kind of proto-ape Roger Ebert. Remaking or rebooting a movie does not necessarily mean just filming the same piece of shit a second time. Or third time, as the case may be.
If anyone on Earth does not know Superman's origin story, I submit that they are not allowed to go to the movies to watch a Superman film. And if they do, and if they don't "get it," then management retains the right to doodle "fuck you" on their ticket stub and kick them out. Everyone knows where Superman came from, skip that part of his goddamn movie. Same with Spider-Man, Batman, Captain Kirk, Peter Pan, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Their name tells you their fucking origin.
Despite the fact that the only people who don't know Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive spider are also people who don't have access to clean water, housing, vaccines, or walls that prevent cheetahs from eating them, Hollywood will insist on telling us how Parker got those powers over and over again. If Sony can't think of another movie to make so they don't lose the rights to the property, they will reboot it again, just like they did last time, so they don't lose the cash cow that is The Amazing Spider-Man. And they will just make the same movie again, as if you could care.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
"This is the cinematic equivalent of a hate-fuck."
Every film franchise is pretty much marred by origin stories now. No one wants them. The sequels to superhero movies are inexplicably better than the originals because we're not hampered by all the exposition and back story everyone already knows. By the time we get a sequel, we just get to have fun with the characters we came to see, and that's the movie everyone wants.
Probably the best remake in recent history was J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, because it took the time to explicitly let you know that the old Star Trek you are familiar with just got time-porked into oblivion and we're now living in a whole new reality. So don't expect everything to be the same; we're going to make it not the same for shits and giggles. So now Spock and his haircut can get nasty with Uhura and Scotty can have a space midget and Chekov can be a toddler and it's OK.
Now if only we could figure something, anything, for Bones to do.