Dear Hollywood Executives,
It’s time to put all of the reboots to rest. I get it. I too have nostalgia, as a millennial who grew up in a time when a fantastic diverse range of fantasy, action, and sci-fi stories was born. We have a lot to be grateful for, like the many Disney movies (now collecting dust as VHS tapes in my parents’ basement because I can’t bear to part with them), or Harry Potter, The Matrix, and Lord of the Rings. But, it’s time to put my foot down – enough is enough. There are only so many Star War movies and so many Harry Potter movies you can produce before it starts to feel like you are just hanging on tooth and nail, like a whiny child crying about leaving Disney World. Sure it’s fun to visit at first, but after a while, it gets so damn boring.
It’s hard to let a good thing go.
Emma Watson was charming in Beauty and the Beast. A Series of Unfortunate Events television show was entertaining, humorous, and beautifully reimagined (and totally made up for the sub-par movie). The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the perfect Buffy-esque show I need, and A Lion King reboot featuring Donald Glover, Beyoncé, John Oliver, and Billy Eichner?! I’m in.
But just because a film was loved by billions doesn’t mean it needs to be rehashed every single time. Of course, I enjoy the new Star Wars movies. I love the empowering female characters like Rey and a tough General Leia.
But a Han Solo movie? Unneeded and trite, considering the character was killed off (rest in power, Solo!) and also the fact that no one can do it better than Harrison Ford.
At some point, it just seems a little overdone.
As an audience, my generation (as well as the rest of the tv and movie-loving world) has grown and we need more. More stories that are fresh and maybe even add some new diversity to the mix.
Why create yet another Stieg Larsson movie (with a female lead who falls flat compared to Rooney Mara)? Why remake all of the Disney stories into live actions?
There are better stories out there, waiting to be made into movies and tv shows that will do the job, if not an even better one. Dig deeper, work harder to find them. There are more stories out there – like the young-adult book fantasy series Throne of Glass, which Hulu is currently adapting into a tv show. Missed out on that one, didn’t you?
Or what about any or all of Zadie Smith’s book, like White Teeth or Swing Time? Though White Teeth was made into a British series, it hardly got the attention it deserved. Swing Time is a story that raises thoughtful questions about race, class, and friendship that we would be privileged to watch.
If we want to go the nostalgia route, what about Esperanza Rising or Walk Two Moons – two narratives that we could desperately use in a time where new racist, anti-immigrant headlines emerge every day?
Or if you need new streams of inspiration, why not look at graphic novels which are seeing a wave of diversity in stories and characters? Try Monstress, which features a psychic protagonist in a women-only world fantasy world, Bitch Planet, or Fun Home, written by Alison Bechdel, creator of the Bechdel test.
Legends and fairy tales are important because they fuel our imagination and teach us lessons (albeit sometimes problematic ones) about life. Putting them aside for new ones doesn’t mean we don’t love them any less or that we don’t enjoy them. It just means we are looking for new things to learn about.
Maybe we even skip over reboots altogether?
Try diversifying your scriptwriters or seeking out new narratives that will lift up the voices of writers overlooked by ones that you and I both know are just being made into movies because they are easy to do and will make tons of money. We want visual media that digs a little deeper.
Can you give that to us?
A Tough Loving Movie Fan