Reboots and Spin offs: more of a good thing or ruining a good thing?+comment
Given the warmish reception to the latest Spiderman flick, it looks like the studio’s decision to reboot the franchise a mere 5 years after Sam Rami’s last was a good one, at least financially. As much as I like 500 Days of Summer and am a fan of Emma Stone, I’m not super motivated to check it out. Then again, I’ve never been much of a Spiderman fan, and I’m getting a bit tired of Superhero movies.
Given all the reboots and spin offs of late, the term ‘original programming’ is starting to seem intentionally ironic. But you can’t argue with it from a financial standpoint. For every failure (Joey spinning off from Friends), there are as many or more successes (Private Practice from Gray’s Anatomy, ad infinitum). The most popular scripted drama currently on TV is NCIS, which is actually a JAG spin off. And then NCIS spawned NCIS: Los Angeles, which is also inexplicably popular. For good or for bad, it is a lot easier, and potentially much more profitable, for a studio or network to produce a spin off or reboot a popular franchise than to do something from scratch. Presumably there is a built in audience. Sometimes they work well (Noland’s Batman reboot being the gold standard) and sometimes… no so much. (CSI Miami anyone?)
Coming up are two projects about which I have some serious mixed feelings. That’s right, I’m talking about The Carrie Diaries and the Bourne reboot. I’ve seen every episode of Sex and The City many, many times. They are like comfort food to me. The two movies undid some of my good will for the property, but the series will always be a favorite. But a prequel? Even though it is based off Candace Bushnell’s work, I’m dubious. Will it be anything but a kitschy nail in the SATC coffin? And there is Bourne. I love, love, love all three of the Bourne movies. As previously mentioned on this site, I consider the hair-cutting scene from the first film to be in my top 20 sexy movie scenes of all time. I love the movies so much that sometimes I wish I could Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind myself just to be able to watch them again for the first time. So I should be super excited about this new ‘chapter’, right? Meh. I really like Jeremy Renner, but he is no Matt Damon. And I can’t get past the fact that both projects seem much more like cynical attempts to make some easy money than that there is actually anything new or interesting. Will I check The Carrie Diaries and The Bourne Legacy? Probably. But I won’t feel good about it.
How about you?