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The Remake

"I thought Chariots of Fire was a remake of Ben Hur with flamethrowers."
Red Green, The Red Green Show

It has become common in the past few decades to make updated versions of older films. This can be done for several reasons: the director may be a fan of the original work, the studios may want to capitalize on nostalgia, or the writers may want to approach the original plot from a different angle. A movie is not a remake if it is based on the same source as an earlier film, such as the 1967 and 1998 versions of Doctor Doolittle, which were both based on the book series.

A variation on The Remake is the Foreign Remake, an English version of a foreign movie. It can be between any two countries, such as The Ring, a Japanese film remade in the US.

The Video Game Remake is a subtrope of this, as is The Film of the Series.

TV shows can also be remade, but this is much rarer because of the tendency to instead make later series part of the same continuity as the earlier ones. When a series is remade it is often a Continuity Reboot as well.

It should be noted that remakes have existed almost as long as there have been movies.

Not to be confused with the REmake, which is a specific example of a Video Game Remake, or the 2006 Slasher Movie The Remake.

Remakes are also similar to Continuity Reboots, and there is occasionally some overlap. However, one of the key differences between a straight remake and a Continuity Reboot is that anything can be remade, but only a long-running series can be rebooted. Re Tool is also often congruent with both Continuity Reboots and remakes.

The terms "remake" and "reimagining" are somewhat interchangeable and fall under the same general heading, but there is a difference of degree. Reimaginings take more liberties with the original than remakes typically do, so billing a project as a reimagining is a signal that the audience should not expect it to closely follow the original.

A Tone Shift will often be part of the Remake, especially if it's billed as a reimagining.

Examples

Straight remakes

Foreign Remake
  • John Woo's 1986 classic A Better Tomorrow (which is itself a remake; see above) was remade in South Korea in 2010. Its Korean title is Mujeogja.
  • A Fistful of Dollars, a remake of the Japanese film Yojimbo.
  • The Birdcage, a remake of the French la Cage Aux Folles
  • The 2010 remake of the 2007 movie Death At a Funeral. Bizarrely unneeded, as the original came out not even three years before the film was made, has one of the same actors returning for the same character, and is exactly the same in every way except the characters are black.
  • The Debt, a 2011 remake of the 2007 Israeli film by the same name.
  • The Departed, a remake of the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs
  • Down And Out In Beverly Hills was a remake of a French farce which translated is Boudu Saved From Drowning.
  • Father's Day, the 1997 remake of the French film Les Compères
  • The 1998 American version of Godzilla.
    • The 2014 Godzilla remake by Legendary Pictures, supervised by Toho themselves.
  • Jungle 2 Jungle, a remake of the French film Un indien dans la ville.
  • Just Visiting, a remake of the French film Les Visiteurs.
  • King Kong has a few in Asia:
    • King Kong vs. Godzilla is basically a remake of the original Kong for about 2/3 of the movie. The only difference is that he goes on to fight Godzilla and doesn't die in the end.
    • There was a Japanese remake of King Kong, which was the first Kaiju film. It was titled King Kong Appears in Edo. Sadly, this movie is lost.
    • The Mighty Peking Man from Hong Kong.
    • There was a joint US/Korean production called A.P.E., which is famous for featuring the mom from Growing Pains and a giant monkey giving the finger to the military.
    • While not Asian, there is a Greek remake of King Kong as well.
  • Last Man Standing is another remake of Yojimbo.
  • The 2010 film Let Me In is an American remake of the 2008 Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In.
  • The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the Japanese film Seven Samurai, which was then remade IN SPACE! as Battle Beyond the Stars, remade and computer animated as A Bug's Life, then remade yet again as the anime Samurai Seven. This scenario is so prominent that it even spawned a trope, The Magnificent Seven Samurai.
  • Nightwatch, a remake of the Danish film Nattevagten.
  • France's Le Grand Chemin (1987) was remade in America four years later as Paradise with Thora Birch and Elijah Wood.
  • Pathfinder is an American action remake of the Oscar-nominated Norwegian film Ofelas.
  • The Point of No Return, a remake of the French film Nikita.
  • Quarantine, a 2008 remake of the Spanish film Rec (2007).
  • The Ring, a remake of the Japanese film Ringu.
  • Shall We Dance, the 2004 American remake of the 1996 Japanese movie. Neither is related to the 1937 movie musical of the same title.
  • Some Like It Hot, an elaborated remake of the 1951 West German film Fanfaren der Liebe.
  • Taxi, the 2003 remake of the French original.
  • True Lies, a remake of the French film La Totale!.
  • Vanilla Sky was a remake of the Spanish Abre los Ojos.
  • Welcome to Collinwood, the 2002 remake of the Italian film I soliti ignoti, with George Clooney reprising Totò's role. The same film was also remade earlier with Louis Malle's 'Crackers'' (1984).
  • The Wicker Man was remade in the States in 2006, with Nicolas Cage in a bear suit.

Remakes of foreign TV shows

TV shows remade as movies (The Film of the Series)

TV shows remade as TV shows
  • The 2003 miniseries and 2004-2009 version of Battlestar Galactica.
  • The 2007 version of Bionic Woman.
  • The 2011 version of Charlie's Angels.
  • The 2000-2001 version of The Fugitive.
  • Gundam SEED of 2002-03 was admittedly a remake of the original Mobile Suit Gundam from 1979.
  • The 2010 version of Hawaii Five-0.
  • The 2007 version of Police, Camera, Action!, although that was probably due to a Role Ending Misdemeanor
  • The 2009 Brit Com Reggie Perrin, a remake of the 1970s Brit Com The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
  • The 2015 version of Thunderbirds.
  • The 2011 version of Thundercats.
  • The 1992 version of the British sci-fi series "The Tomorrow People"
  • V (2009), the 2009 version of the 80s V.
  • A good chunk of Hispanic Soap Operas are either remakes of previous soaps (TV or radio) or adaptations of famous romantic books. One example who combine both is the famed "Corazón Salvaje" (title translates to Savage Heart), who began as a romantic novel, then was adapted as a soap in The Sixties, then later as a movie in The Seventies, and then again as a soap in The Nineties who unusually for the trope was claimed as the better version of them all.
    • Sadly, they remade it again in 2009, and ruined it again.
  • Game shows do this all the time. The best ones came during the '70s and '80s, where The Match Game became Match Game '7x, The Price Is Right evolved into The (New) Price Is Right, Pyramid kept climbing in dollar amounts, and Password would become Password Plus and later Super Password. There were numerous "Same shows, new hosts" examples as well, such as Family Feud (Richard Dawson, then Ray Combs) and Card Sharks (Jim Perry, then Bob Eubanks). More recent revivals tend to fall a bit flat by comparison (Match Game '98 with Michael Burger, Card Sharks '01...just, Card Sharks '01, Family Feud with pretty much everyone since Ray Combs — even an aged Richard Dawson — until John O'Hurley came along, and Pyramid with Donny Osmond).
    • On the other hand, GSN's remake of Lingo (hosted by Chuck Woolery) was actually superior to the original.
    • Same show, different name: Shenanigans (1960, local Los Angeles TV) became Video Village (1960) then became Shenanigans again (1964), P.D.Q. (1965) became Baffle (1973), Second Chance (1977) became Press Your Luck (1983), and Shoot For The Stars (1977) became Double Talk (1986).

Unusual/parodic remakes
  • Airplane!!: The plot and much of the "straight" dialogue were taken from Zero Hour!. Here's the dialog script, so you can see for yourself. The lines that also appear in Airplane! are in boldface.
  • Someone remade the opening song of A Goofy Movie in live action. And it is awesome.
  • Don Bluth's 1997 Anastasia is officially a Disneyfication/fantasticization of the 1956 Ingrid Bergman film (itself a play adaptation).
    • Fox specifically presented him with a list of works they owned the rights to that he could adapt. It boiled down to this or My Fair Lady.
  • The novel Beau Geste was adapted to film in 1926, 1939 and 1966. In 1977 a parody titled The Last Remake of Beau Geste was made. The title became not entirely true, because BBC made a television version in 1982.
  • For more non-TV or movie examples, we have The Calvinverse:
  • Gottlieb's 1975 El Dorado was remade nine years later as El Dorado: City of Gold.
  • Bally's classic electro-mechanical Fireball pinball was remade as a solid-state game fourteen years later as Fireball Classic, with revised rules, updated artwork, and changes to some of the game hardware.
  • Firepower II was a remake of Firepower, with only minor changes to the original rules and layout.
  • Last Man Standing is a remake of a remake, being a remake of a Fistful of Dollars which was a remake of Yojimbo
  • My Little Unicorn: Starfleet Magic is an ongoing remastered version of My Little Unicorn: Believing Is Magic. Beside minor changes regarding obvious narrative flaws, not much has really changed at all.
  • Non TV/Movie example: The NERF N-Strike elite series is mostly made of remakes of previous blasters. Compare the Firestrike to the Nite Finder, or the Strongarm to the Maverick
  • In the eighth season of Psych, the makers saw fit to remake a first season episode.
  • Gus Van Sant's Psycho was, save for a gratuitous scene of Mister Bates... misterbating (sorry), and a couple scattered lines of dialogue, a shot-for-shot remake of the Hitchcock original.
  • If you'll believe it, a group of teenagers did a shot-for-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the 80s. It's really awesome.
  • The movie State Fair got a 1945 musical remake, with songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. The musical itself was remade in 1962.
  • See the entire Film section of Recursive Adaptation.

Reimagining The ArtifactDerivative WorksForeign Remake
A Minor KidroductionFilm/Orphans Of The StormA Storm Is Coming

alternative title(s): Remake; Remaquel
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