Is it a reboot or a remake? Whatever you want to call it, The Amazing Spider-Man came out swinging at the box office this holiday week, taking in an impressive $59.2 million in its first two days with the expectation that it will make between $125 million and $140 million before the weekend is out.
The film stars Andrew Garfield as the title arachnid and centers on the origin story of how Peter Parker becomes the web-slinging superhero. If you think that premise sounds familiar, you're not alone. In fact, it was only 10 years ago that the original Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire as the Marvel Comics icon, hit theaters nationwide, making it familiar to all but the youngest of moviegoers.
The latest Spidey began as a fourth installment of the original franchise, but when Maguire dropped out, producers enlisted Garfield and opted to start from scratch with a new film that's not really a sequel and not really a remake. Fortunately for the marketing team, the term reboot just sounds cooler. And while there are no universally accepted rules to what constitutes a reboot, there is no doubt that they work, as evidenced by Batman Begins, Star Trek, Casino Royale and countless others.
Given their potential to breathe life into a stale property, reboots will only continue. But they're not just for superheroes anymore. Here are five unlikely, unbelievable or just plain unnecessary reboots in the works.
Chatter about remaking Don Mancini and Tom Holland's strangely durable 1988 slashed flick began as early as 2007, but the new version started and stalled a few times since. The latest news is that the sinister Chucky will terrorize theaters some time in 2014.
There are unconfirmed rumors that the new film will be darker and less comedic than the original, which is another way of saying that they're nixing the cheap-looking animatronic doll.
Anyone who has seen the documentary Lost in La Mancha knows about the mythical bad luck endured by director Terry Gilliam, the brilliantly eccentric Monty Python alum whose quirky 1981 comedy, Time Bandits, defies categorization. Well, Gilliam's luck is about to get worse, as three former executives from Handmade Films are looking to reinvent Bandits as a children's action-adventure film.
The original never spawned its own franchise or even a sequel, so why are the filmmakers calling this one a reboot? It gets back to that whole reboot sounds cooler philosophy. Time Bandits is slated for a 2015 release.
Without the sturdy-chinned Bruce Campbell as Ash, this reimagining of Sam Raimi's cabin-in-the-woods meta-thriller is likely to be about as interesting as, well, a movie about a cabin in the woods. Raimi is producing the film but will reportedly not direct it. Seeing how he directed the original Spider-Man, you'd think he would know better than to hijack his own franchise, which has already been reimagined as an off-Broadway show. Not groovy, guys. Not groovy. Evil Dead is slated to hit theaters in 2013.
'Raging Bull 2'
Though billed as a sequel, this odd and unnecessary addendum to the classic tale of the real-life boxer Jake LaMotta has no cooperation from Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro or MGM. What it does have is a script written by LaMotta himself, who at 90 is just looking to tell his swan song.
MGM may not let it happen, though. The studio is suing LaMotta and the sequel's producers on the grounds that the film is plainly intended to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value. How's that for a punch in the face?
Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous character is 100 years old this year, so it was only a matter of time before we saw the umpteenth big-screen treatment of the vine-swinging man of the apes. Tarzan has been swinging his way through movie theaters since the silent film era. But between Johnny Weissmuller and Disney, do we really need another one? Director Craig Brewer thinks so.
Brewer, who already stretched the limits of superfluous remakes with last year's Footloose, is working with Warner Bros. on a new a hip new Tarzan that he hopes will be part of a trilogy. Tarzan is slated for a 2013 release, and with the new Spider-Man sequel hitting theaters the following year, summer moviegoers are going to be knee-deep in swingers for the foreseeable future.