Remakes and sequels in 2019 show a lack of creativity



Simba’s new CGI look for the 2019 Lion King Remake

Valerie Keys, Contributing Writer

It’s no secret that trends coming and going are a part of pop culture’s circle of life. We see it every day in music, television, film, fashion and vernacular. However, more recently there has been an influx in remakes and sequels that may not hold up to the test of time the way the originals did.

A few classics that have already made their 21st century debut include Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Mary Poppins, Fright Night, It, Footloose and Beauty and the Beast. In a list created and updated by IMDb, in the next four years we will see an increase in a variety of different remakes. Disney favorites including Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King will be making their way to the big screen in 2019.

As an avid movie-goer and a self-proclaimed pop culture connoisseur, I am not a fan of remakes. What makes entertainment such an incredible art form is its ability to capture a series of moments in a specific time and space whilst telling a story.

It is for those two hours that the members of the audience are no longer parents, students, employers, or employees but avid participants in the lives of the characters brought to life by their favorite actors. Often times, remakes are unable to capture the same essence when they are changed too drastically.

These culturally-acclaimed movies became highly praised because of their originality. While I understand that imitation is the highest form of flattery, these remakes do not shed light on the creative essence of the day and age that we are living in. Having to adapt modern day characters and situations to certain movies, takes the fun out of it.

For example, could you imagine Coming to America in 2019? It would be 5 minutes long. Lisa McDowell (Shari Headly) could Google Hakim (Eddie Murphy), figure out that he’s a prince and boom! Movie over. Or what about Mulan? Aladdin? The Lion King? All incredible movies that changed the Disney cartoon game forever, but do we really need a live action movie version? Isn’t that what we have Broadway for?

Instead of glorifying the works of the greats up close and personal, creators of all kind should take a step back and let themselves be inspired by the work. Our generation will never find its own John Hughes or Spike Lee if remakes begin to oversaturate the industry. On the other hand, I get it: There are so many movies and television shows with similar concepts, how can anyone these days have an original idea?

A great example of a television show that emulates a classic while standing on its own, is Kenya Barris’ Black-ish. Starring powerhouses Jenifer Lewis, Laurence Fishburne, Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish is a show about an upper middle class black family.

While the show is mostly based off of the life of the creator, it’s largely reminiscent the 1980’s sitcom, The Cosby Show. Both shows even have spin-offs about the endeavors of the eldest daughter in college with A Different World (1987-1993) and Grown-ish (2018- ).

In essence, remakes, no matter how good or bad they are merely bringing appreciation to the original cinematic masterpiece. Henceforth, despite my disdain for remakes, for 2019 I will be middle and center (professional movie-goers never sit in the front), with my Twizzlers and a medium slushy, prepared to watch whatever live action Disney movie is out that day.

Disney remakes coming out this year:

  • Dumbo – March 29, 2019
  • Aladdin – May 24, 2019
  • The Lion King – July 19, 2019

Remakes to look out for: White Men Can’t Jump, Coming to America, Dirty Dancing, My Fair Lady, The Bodyguard, Mulan, Weird Science, Drop Dead Fred, The NeverEnding Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Scarface, The Phantom Tollbooth, Gremlins, Mortal Kombat