Classic Movies That Are Secret Remakes Of Other Films
Big franchise filmmaking is dominating the industry these days. You couldn't finance a biopic about Jonas Salk developing the polio vaccine without a scene where he befriends Don Toretto and his time-traveling Alfa Romeo.
That said, some blockbusters feel slightly out of place in their own series, like if Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear spent an entire movie doing heroin in Scotland, you might think to yourself "Hey, that felt more like another Trainspotting sequel" before promptly ordering a CAT Scan. Similarly, there are a few real movies we'd argue fit better in totally different series, such as how ...
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a Harry Potter Movie
When it came out last year, the latest entry in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker, prompted lots of different reactions from fans ranging from "It's great!" to "It's terrible!" to "Why is this Star Wars movie full of acclaimed actors in skintight cat costumes?" But despite the fact that it's clearly set in a galaxy far, far away and features multiple scenes where Lando Calrissian is horny, it surprisingly feels a lot like a Harry Potter movie. Even the central premise that Emperor Palpatine has inexplicably returned from the dead makes more sense in the world of Harry Potter, like how Voldemort comes back to life using whatever dark magic can stave off death but not resurrect a single nose, apparently.
Harry's hunt for horcruxes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is not dissimilar from Rey's Goonies-esque quest for a Sith Wayfinder. Hell, one even requires an ancient sword, the other an ancient dagger, for some confusing reason. Random set-pieces seem plucked out of J.K. Rowling's fictional universe, from the giant subterranean snakes to weird, robed cultists to a final duel that mirrors Harry's stand-off with Voldemort, right down to the supportive ghosts.
And the twist that Rey is Palpatine's granddaughter recalls the twist in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in which (SPOILERS) it's revealed that one of the characters is secretly the love child of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. Well, it turns out that the writer of Cursed Child, Jack Thorne, actually worked on the Episode IX script before J.J. Abrams came on board. So perhaps it's not a total coincidence that both projects forced us to grapple with uncomfortable questions about the functionality of elderly wizard genitalia. And speaking of Star Wars ...
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse is An Amazing Star Wars Movie
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn't just one of the best superhero hero movies of recent years, it's one of the best Star Wars movies. Obviously, we know that a lot of pop culture these days is influenced by the work of George Lucas, from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies to local dentist commercials for some reason, but Into the Spider-Verse moves through some very specifically Star Wars-y story beats. Like when Miles Morales watches his hero and role model get killed before his innocent eyes:
Okay, sure that happens in lots of movies. But then Miles is forced to learn about his newfound powers from a disheveled and reluctant mentor, who has the same abilities, but is living in the shadow of past failures.
And in a big twist, one of the villains turns out to be related to our hero. Not unlike Darth Vader revealing that he's Luke's deadbeat dad, we learn that the creepy Prowler is Miles' Uncle Aaron. Both die saving our hero in a final act of redemption.
And finally, the big climax finds our heroes battling a giant, world-destroying super-machine, which is somewhat uncharacteristic for a Spider-Man movie, but perfectly in keeping with the Star Wars series, which has featured roughly 5,000 Death Stars throughout the years.
Logan is a Terminator Movie
Logan is a weird fit within the X-Men continuity, mostly because of its "R" rating. So, unlike his previous bloodless escapades, Wolverine's fights left behind more giant red puddles than a rager at the Heinz factory. We feel as though Logan doesn't really belong in the bloated X-Men series, and would be more at home in the also extremely bloated Terminator franchise. Like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Logan is set in a near future in which a superpowered, yet emotionally distant, macho man shepherds a child savior to safety. Both are pretty much road movies in which the characters are constantly pursued (through New Mexico no less). And like in T2, Logan and his pals stop at a family home to rest and share awkward meals. Unfortunately, the patriarch dies in both.
In Logan we meet a rag-tag group of rebels fighting against the forces of oppression, not unlike the resistance fighters led by John Connor. And our hero fights a younger version of himself; Wolverine battles X-24, his clone, which similarly happened in the Terminator-verse when Arnold Schwarzenegger fought his 1984 self in Genisys.
Both heroes die in the end, leaving behind grieving children, which, in retrospect is a pretty messed up way to end any summer blockbuster. But unlike the T-100, Wolverine hasn't been brought back as a rustic beer-drinking dad. Yet.
The Dark Knight Rises is a Rocky Movie
Christopher Nolan's second Batman movie, The Dark Knight was pretty much a straight-up Michael Mann-style crime thriller that just happened to star a man in a rubber bat suit and a villain with a real "one star on Yelp birthday party clown" vibe. The final film of the trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is a bit harder to pin down. According to Nolan, it's influences include Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, and David Lean's epic Doctor Zhivago. But come on, Chris, it's totally a Rocky movie.
The first act of The Dark Knight Rises ends with Batman getting the guano beaten out of him -- not unlike what happens to Rocky Balboa in Rocky III at the hands of Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T, the Bane of 1980s children's rap albums.
Watching powerless from the sidelines is Selina Kyle and Apollo Creed, the hero's on-again, off-again ally.
Both Rocky and Bruce Wayne eventually end up in a remote location, where they go through a revenge-fueled training regimen. In Rocky IV, Rocky heads to a small Russian village after the death of Apollo. Bruce gets back into shape in that mysterious underground prison that oddly houses no guards, cooks, and is surprisingly chill with the inmates getting buff and repeatedly instigating escape attempts. And we know our hero is ready to return home and fight once they've staged a successful climb.
When Batman finally returns to Gotham City, his secret weapon for defeating his adversary is literally the same as Rocky's: just a whole fuckload of punches.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter!