5 Franchises That Actually Do Deserve a Reboot

At the moment, we seem to have 'reboots' coming out of various studio's unmentionable orifices on a practically daily rate. Yesterday, for example, someone appears to have decided it was a good idea to reboot Frankenstein, the day before it was Treasure Island, earlier in the week we had the Chris Nolan and Superman announcement. I'm currently sitting in my chair fully anticipating the headline: 'Howard The Duck Reboot Announced' and the sad thing is, when I really think about it, I don't think that announcement is beyond the realms of possibility.

So forget the fact that in all likelihood next week we'll be discussing the reboot of Blood Suckers From Outer Space and put out of your mind the potential for attempting to storm the studios to make them stop with this lunacy. Instead, embrace your inner desires for the franchises that never quite succeeded and join me in declaring your love for the franchises that really need a little bit of a pick-me-up.

5. Lemony Snickett's A Series Of Unfortunate Events

The first one was absolutely fantastic in my opinion and had everything that both parents and children want out of a family film. Less a reboot request as such then, more of a general plea for a resurrection, retaining the same actors and just inserting the framework of a new story from the other books. Right down to the Jude Law narration, the brilliant Jim Carey performance and the genuinely flawless visuals I thought this was a stellar film. Sign them up. Sign them up now!

4. Constantine

I thought Constantine had a lot to offer and I wouldn't mind seeing another Keanu Reeves fronted sequel. Really though, the film was a long way off the mark when it came to emulating the Hellblazer source material and it would be nice to see a British-made reboot come closer to the series' down-and-dirty style.

3. The Discworld Series

There have been many attempts to bring Terry Pratchett's barmy-as-a-hot-summers-day-in-Dubai series to the big and small screens, most recently with the Sky 1 incarnations of Hogfather and The Colour Of Magic. Whilst they were welcome efforts, for me they didn't really capture the magical sense of location or madcap zanyness of the books although they did bring some big names to the material. What this really needs is for someone to 'get hold' of it properly and develop it like a franchise, plotting out a bona-fide path and voice for the series. If that were to happen I guarantee you it would get me queuing in the street for tickets.

2. His Dark Materials Trilogy

Pullman's books are utterly fantastic but it's no secret that The Golden Compass was generally poorly received and I'm one of the masses that thought it was a particularly poor attempt at an adaptation. What this really really needs is someone to treat it with the care and craft that it deserves. Personally, like a number of Pullman fans I suspect, I'm thinking along the lines of Del Toro and Jackson - they wouldn't shy away from some of the more controversial tale elements, they have literary heritage, they know how to create a believable world and they recognise that just because a story has a child in it, it doesn't necessarily make it a children's story. Give it to them, start again and forget the first one ever happened. Chance of this happening? Next to none.

1. Spawn

I own two copies of Spawn Issue 1. Which pretty much explains why this is here. I don't think the first bash at it was all bad but it was ultimately a low-budget stab at a nineties action movie, rather than a comic book adaptation. 'Dark' is still in fashion (just) and Spawn has 'dark' by the bucket load. Again, give it to someone with a vision, establish a plan for the franchise, make me a happy man and keep your fingers crossed it makes some dough this time!

Look further...

So what do you think? Anything you would like to see remade or rebooted? Or is there really absolutely no value in that kind of endeavor and Hollywood just needs to get back to generating fresh original films... like Avatar... perhaps?

This Wiki nicely chronicles all the attempts to bring Discworld to the screen so far. The animated version of Soul Music is one true fans should really seek out.


  1. I agree with you on Lemony Snickett, but I guess the children would be too old now.

    I was one of the dozens who liked The Golden Compass, actually.

  2. I think if Sam Raimi were to ever get the rights to make a Spawn film the outcome would be fantastic.

  3. @Andrew - you're absolutely right and I must admit I'd never thought of that. Emily Browning is 21 now so you're looking at her being at least 23 by the time filming has finished and that's even if it gets greenlit tomorrow! Sadly, I don't think we'll ever see the 'proper' sequel to the first one but I have read recently that an animated reboot is in the works. The source material is so good that an announcement like that wouldn't disappoint me.

    @Wes - I think that's a good shout. It'd definitely be a good one to see someone with horror sensibilities tackle. I do honestly think that at some point, someone will go back to it although, admittedly, I have no idea where the licensing rights sit at the moment.