This has become more apparent with the advent of computer generated imagery (CGI), making it easier to maker bigger, better and flashier high-concept features that hopefully will make lots of money.
So rather than spend upwards of $100million on a brand new, untested, concept- the money men would rather trawl through previous successes and re-hash them with the new technology.
One recent example of this was the remake/prequel of John Carpenter’s horror classic ‘The Thing‘. The original was actually not a financial success in 1982, but has since garnered an enormous cult following and critical appreciation, due in part to it’s wonderful special effects.
The re-make, without going into finer detail, is a competent enough film, if you try and excuse the fantastic movie that proceeded it.
Easily, one of the most surprising stories regarding re-boots is that of Starship Troopers.
The original was directed by Paul Verhoeven, and like The Thing has a massive cult following. It was made less than 15-years ago and is full of CGI, making it a strange choice for a re-make.
But, it just proves, once again, that the major studios are scared of taking risks- partly because there is so much money involved.
There are very few industries in the world that rely so heavily, and completely in some cases, on creatives to deliver projects that cost hundreds of millions.
In fact, the original Starship Troopers was made when Verhoeven still enjoyed huge Hollywood backing. He had a whooping $100million budget and the film grossed just over half that.
Yet, like The Thing, a cult following, aligned with DVD sales and television viewing figures are enough indication that the re-make will prove to be more successful.
Sony Pictures are producing and have selected the writers behind Thor and X-Men: First Class; Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz.
Studios like people who they can rely on- at least for massive projects such as this. And, that is exactly the reason Verhoeven has been shunned by Hollywood.
The Dutchman was infamous for overloading his films with gore and sex. However, when he first landed in America, with impressive art-house credentials, it seemed he could do no wrong.
His first three films; Robocop, Total Recall and Basic Instinct grossed close to $700million worldwide, despite being packed with sex and violence.
Robocop in particular is an interesting film, partly because it is one of the most violent mainstream film ever- and still did well at the box-office in 1987.
Those days of 18-certificate films grossing big bucks are over- however, the trend of re-hashing and watering them down for a new generation is just beginning.
Re-makes of Total Recall and Robocop are in production- with the former, starring Colin Farrell, set for release next year.