Remakes, Reboots, Variants: How the Old Continues to Trend as the New

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Entertainment is a huge part of everyday lives, with popular movies and games experienced in one’s past holding a special reverence as time passes. In the modern space of entertainment, almost every major and semi-major release is subject to intense scrutiny from trained and verified reviewers to just about anyone with a social media account. As such, creatives have sought solitude in works that have proven to be successful and hold a high-standing among older fans.

Nostalgia is a powerful tool, which some would say is underpinning the tremendous wave of remakes, reboots, and variants that have been sweeping across almost all mediums of entertainment. However, perhaps the real aspect behind the popularity isn’t nostalgia but more trust in a brand or logo. Having been documented as a success in the past, people are more than willing to try the new version or updated version of an old entertainment property, particularly when it comes to films and games.


Remaking and rebooting cinematic classics

Movies have been at the core of global entertainment for decades, with the collection of must-watch and classic films growing with each passing year. The medium is incredibly accessible and varied, which has allowed it to fit into just about any occasion, from a surprise evening for your partner to part of a day out with friends. However, despite there being an ongoing line of new movies coming out to suit new audiences, cinema isn’t shy of promoting a remake or reboot.

Cinema has long drawn from previous works for inspiration, with there being so many films that are based on novels: among the most famous being The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter saga, Goodfellas, Fight Club, and The Exorcist. In recent years, even in recent decades, cinema has been delving back into its own well for inspiration, releasing waves of remakes and reboots.

One movie which has even gained notoriety for its almost ritualized remaking is A Star is Born. Originally released in 1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Frederic March, A Star is Born was remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, and then again 22 years later with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson taking the lead. Of course, Hollywood couldn’t keep from it for too long, bringing it out again in 2018, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

In 2020 alone, the movie slate was set to feature a huge line of remakes and reboots, including Dolittle, The Call of the Wind, The Invisible Man, Mulan, Death on the Nile, The Witches, and Dune. With new actors, a modern aesthetic, and some tweaks to the storytelling, these movies manage to grab new audiences as well as entice some of the original fans.

Remaking and varying gaming classics

As one of the youngest mainstream mediums of entertainment, you might be forgiven for thinking that video gaming hasn’t created enough history to be plunging into remakes and remasters. Developers have been encouraged by their audiences to embrace remakes due to the speed at which consoles have improved.

Some of the greatest games ever made have become outdated or unplayable in less than a decade throughout the history of video gaming. As such, bringing back old titles for existing fans as well as bringing the proven gameplay of the old game to the modern audience is welcomed and effectively classed as bringing out a new game. Many developers go for direct remasters, as has been the case with the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare games.

However, players have also been seen to appreciate the efforts that come with creating a varied version of a classic that expands the game that they love. Among the oldest games ever made, table games have made their way to the online gaming space and have utilized the expansive nature of the digital platform to create many variants. For example, now, you can play several free variants of classic table games, including the likes of Monopoly Roulette: Hot Properties, Playboy Bonus Blackjack, Roulette: Home of Hockey, and Mike Tyson Blackjack. They’re the classic games established centuries ago, but with new tweaks to modernize the release.

The same is true in video gaming, with classic games that have been brought to the modern space with some tweaks being appreciated by returning and new gamers. The 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 was praised for resurrecting all of the best aspects of the 1998 classic, while also adapting elements that allow it to play like a new game. Equally, Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is a partial remake of the 1997 PlayStation release, has received a great amount of acclaim or going far beyond the mandate of a remake.

Some dislike the idea of classics being remade for the modern audience. Still, the practice has become so commonplace across entertainment that reboots, remakes, and variants class as brand-new releases in their own right, allowing the custom to trend as well as each ‘new’ release.

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