Contractual hijinx, 1935
(top) and 1992
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
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
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.
- Believe it or not, the 1986 John Woo movie, A Better Tomorrow, the movie that kickstarted the Heroic Bloodshed genre, was actually a remake of a 1967 Cantonese movie called Ying Xiong Ben Se or "Story of a Discharged Prisoner." Tsui Hark had been toying with the idea since his days in the TV business, but because of an overwhelming workload, Hark had to pass the directorial reins to Woo.
- The 1954 and 1976 versions of A Star Is Born, respectively with Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. The original film was from 1937 and starred Janet Gaynor. Interestingly, while all three have very similar concepts, they are all about stars in different industries (movie star in 1937, Broadway star in 1954, and rock star in 1976). There are talks of another remake, possibly starring Beyoncé.
- The 2005 version of The Bad News Bears.
- The 1959 version of Ben-Hur is a remake of the 1925 silent movie of the same name.
- The 2010 version of Clash of the Titans.
- The 2008 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- Doraemon does this for newer audiences and to keep the series alive - with Art Evolution (and, unfortunately, more censorship).
- The 2009 remake of Fame.
- Flubber was a remake of a 1961 film called The Absent-Minded Professor.
- The 1986 version of The Fly is a remake of the 1958 version.
- The 1995 and 2003 versions of Freaky Friday.
- The 2011 remake of Fright Night.
- The play The Front Page by Hecht and MacArthur was first adapted into a movie in 1931, starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien. Howard Hawks remade it in 1940 as His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel, gender-flipping the role of reporter Hildy Johnson. In 1974 Billy Wilder flipped Hildy Johnson's gender back to male in his screen adaptation with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Then in 1988 Ted Kotcheff remade it for the satellite television age with Burt Reynolds and Kathleen Turner, flipping Hildy back to female.
- TvTomeAdventures, which ran from 2004-2007 on Newgrounds and Fireball20xl, has recently gotten a remake named TOME, much to the surprise and satisfaction of fans.
- Heaven Can Wait (1978) was a remake of the 1941 film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, and itself was remade in 2001 as Down to Earth. It has nothing to do with the 1943 film Heaven Can Wait (directed by Ernst Lubitsch).
- The Housemaid (2010) was a remake of The Housemaid (1960)
- The 1999 version of House on Haunted Hill.
- In 1977, It's a Wonderful Life was remade as the Made-for-TV Movie It Happened One Christmas with Marlo Thomas as a Gender Flipped version of the Jimmy Stewart character.
- The 2010 version of The Karate Kid
- The 1976 and 2005 versions of King Kong.
- Mighty Joe Young is also a friendlier remake of King Kong. Incidently, that movie was also remade in the 90's.
- An unusual triple threat: Leo McCarey's Love Affair (1939), starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, was remade (by Leo McCarey) as An Affair to Remember (1957) with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, which was remade again (by a different director) as Love Affair (1994) with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. Ironically, An Affair to Remember is regarded as the best of the three, which has led to a general assumption that An Affair to Remember was the original.
- Many people don't realize that The Maltese Falcon (1941) was actually the third screen adaptation of the original Dashiell Hammett novel.
- The 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much, directed by Alfred Hitchcock is the remake of his own 1934 film with the same title.
- The 1994 remake of Miracle On34th Street.
- There was also a 1955 remake for television, abridged to 45 minutes.
- Mogambo (1953), starring Clark Gable, was a remake of Red Dust (1932), also starring Clark Gable.
- The 1999 version of The Mummy (1932).
- The 1996 version of The Nutty Professor.
- The 2001 version of Ocean's Eleven.
- The 1998 version of The Parent Trap.
- The 1961 Parent Trap already was the third adaptation of the same book, Erich Kästner's Das doppelte Lottchen, and thus can itself legitimately be described as a Foreign Remake.
- Piranha 3D, the 2010 remake of ''Piranha.
- The 1983 version of Scarface (1983) is also a little better known than the 1932 version.
- The 2007 version of Sleuth. Notable in that it kept one of the original leads, but in the opposite role.
- The 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives (1975).
- The 1998 and 2009 versions of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.
- The 1956 version of The Ten Commandments is also a remake of the 1923 silent movie of the same name. Cecil B. DeMille directed both.
- The 1982 version of The Thing (1982), which is also more loyal to the book (Who Goes There?) than the original film, The Thing From Another World. The film got harsh reviews in its day, which is not surprising given how audiences had just been enchanted by E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Now, you'll be hard-pressed to a find a "Best Horror Movie" list that doesn't include it.
- The 2011 remake of TvTomeAdventures, reborn as "TOME"
- The 1939 The Wizard of Oz was a remake of a version made in 1925, which also wasn't the first Oz film. There were two silent-era versions of Oz. The earliest one can be viewed here.
- Disney was to have released a motion-capture remake of Yellow Submarine in 2012 with Robert Zemeckis directing it, but it was scuttled after going over budget and Zemeckis' 2011 film Mars Needs Moms tanking at the box office.
- Cracked gives us this list of remakes that missed the point.
- Frankenweenie was a 1984 short subject before it was remade in 2012 as a stop-motion animated feature.
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 remake of a 1964 film called Bedtime Story, which starred David Niven and Marlon Brando in the roles later taken by Michael Caine and Steve Martin.
- Brain Donors is a modern remake nee retelling of The Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera — the names and details have changed, but the broad strokes and Rapid-Fire Comedy remain intact.
Remakes of foreign TV shows
TV shows remade as movies
- 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 Compčres
- 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 Totň'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.
- The David Fincher remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
(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).
- 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.
- In 2014, Stern Pinball announced a remake of their Iron Man game. "Iron Man Pro Vault Edition", adds LED lighting, updated cabinet construction, and molded one-piece playfield figures.
- A common practice for abridgers, who usually look back on their early videos poorly and decide to make new versions of them (count on it being episode 1 at the least). This has occurred with Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Pokémon The 'Bridged Series and Sgt. Frog Abridged, and whole series remakes occurred with Code Geass: The Abridged Series and Code MENT.
- 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:
- 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.