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The Remake
aka: Remake

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Contractual hijinx, 1935 (top) and 1992 (bottom)
"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, or studios want to reduce risk by reusing a tried-and-true storyline.note  The remake often updates the cultural references to suit the new era.

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, as well as the 1969 and 2010 versions of the Wild West story True Grit.

A variation on The Remake is Foreign Remake, in which a work from one country is remade by creators from another, often with a hefty dose of Cultural Translation to make the source material's ideas, jokes, and references understandable to a foreign audience. It can be between any two countries, such as The Ring, a Japanese film remade in the US.

If the creator of the original version also directs, writes, or produces the remake, then it's a Self-Remake.

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. Retool 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. When a work makes fun of the concept, see Reboot Snark.


    open/close all folders 

    Straight remakes 

    Foreign Remakes 
  • 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.
  • 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 Little Indian, Big City.
  • Just Visiting, a remake of the French film Les Visiteurs. With the same director and leading actors.
  • King Kong (1933) 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.
  • Martyrs: A French film, it had a US version made in 2016. It is generally considered quite inferior. Some major differences occurred midway on: Lucie is captured rather than killing herself, Anna escapes to rescue her and alerts the police (so the torturers won't go unpunished-she also kills several). However still Lucie dies near the end, with both her and Anna viewing whatever the afterlife is.
  • 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 (2007) 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 (2004), 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.
  • Suspect X, the 2008 film adaptation of The Devotion of Suspect X, was adapted in South Korea in 2012, China in 2017, and India in 2019. An American remake has also been trapped in Development Hell since 2011.
  • 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 (1973) was remade in the States in 2006, with Nicolas Cage appearing in a bear suit.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
  • The seminal German expressionist 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was remade as a sound film in English in 2005 by David Lee Fisher with the same title. Many shots reproduced the distorted look of the 1920 version via greenscreen. (Dr. Caligari is a 1989 erotic film with no other connection, and The Cabinet of Caligari, 1962, used the name but is a completely different story.)
  • A common trend in Bollywood Movies is remaking films rather than redubbing them between Tamil and Hindi versions. Generally, the plot, and the name of the film, are entirely unchanged, and the remake comes out within a few years of the original. Almost as common are Hollywood remaking Bollywood films and vice versa.

    Remakes of foreign TV shows 

    TV shows remade as movies 
Or, 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 The Bionic Woman.
  • The 2011 version of Charlie's Angels.
  • The 2000-2001 version of The Fugitive.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED of 2002-03 was admittedly a remake of the original Mobile Suit Gundam from 1979.
  • The 2010 version of Hawaii Five-O.
  • 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 Tomorrow People (1973)
  • V (2009), the 2009 version of the 80s V (1983).
  • 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 '60s, then later as a movie in The '70s, and then again as a soap in The '90s 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:
      • Pantomime Quiz (1949) became Stump the Stars (1962)
      • Shenanigans (1960, local Los Angeles TV) became Video Village (1960) then became Shenanigans again (1964)
      • P.D.Q. (1965) became Baffle (1973)
      • Supermarket Sweep (1965) was renamed Honeymoon Race (1967) as an unseemed continuation.
      • Everybody's Talking (1967) became Hollywood's Talking (1973)
      • He Said! She Said! (1969) became Tattletales (1974) which became About Last Night (2022)
      • Showoffs (1975) became Body Language (1984)
      • Second Chance (1977) became Press Your Luck (1983)
      • Shoot For The Stars (1977) became Double Talk (1986).
  • Fiddler's Three the 1991 remake of the 1970s sitcom The Squirrels.

    Pinball remakes 
  • 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.
  • Alien: After the original release by Heighway Pinball in 2017 (which ended up shipping fewer games than anticipated due to turbulence within the company throughout production), Pinball Brothersnote  remade the game in 2021. This version is largely identical to the original, barring the screen on the playfield being moved to the backbox (as is the norm for pinball machines) and various mechanisms being altered for durability's sake.

    Unusual/parodic remakes 

In General:

By Work:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Arthur: The Season 13 episode "The Great MacGrady" was remade in Season 24, with the only major narrative change is swapping out the guest star Lance Armstrong for the recurring wrestler Uncle Slam. The reason for this is because it's an important episode, touching on The Topic of Cancer, but due to Lance Armstrong's doping scandal, the original version of the episode was pulled from rotation.
  • 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:
  • Doctor Who Missing Episode "Mission to the Unknown" got a live-action remake with techniques faithful to the '60s made by students and staff of the University of Upper Lancashire, using the original script. This remake premiered on the BBC's YouTube channel in October 2019, granting it semi-official status.
  • Someone remade the opening song of A Goofy Movie in live-action. And it is awesome.
  • Last Man Standing is a remake of a remake, being a remake of a Fistful of Dollars which was a remake of Yojimbo.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic is an ongoing remastered version of My Little Unicorn: Believing Is Magic. Besides 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.
  • For the CD release of Pac-Man Fever, Buckner and Garcia were not allowed to access their original recordings from 1982, and Sony Music refused to release the original album on CD. Therefore, the band had to redo all of the songs with modern sound-alike recordings. With the remake of "Mousetrap", the band had to make use of Stock Sound Effects of a cat, mouse, dog, and bird since there wasn't a functioning Mouse Trap (1981) arcade game machine around at the time of the recording.
  • 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, 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.
  • Technically, the Valhalla books are an adaptation of a movie that doesn't exist yet. Ari Bach is a filmmaker, and he's talked about using the books to reshape the way movies are seen and presented.
  • Looney Tunes had a habit of remaking older shorts (most of which were black-and-white cartoons that couldn't be rereleased under the Blue Ribbon program):
    • 1944's Tick Tock Tuckered was a color remake of 1937's Porky's Badtime Story, with the only significant difference being that Daffy Duck takes Gabby Goat's place.
    • 1938's Porky in Wackyland was remade in color as ''Dough for the Do Do" in 1949 by Friz Freleng (who left himself uncredited because it was a remake, and he didn't want to be seen as stealing Bob Clampett's ideas).
    • Slightly Daffy (1945) was a virtual drawing-by-drawing remake of Scalp Trouble (1939). In the similar vein, 1938's Injun Trouble was remade in 1944 as Wagon Heels only with a different ending.
    • 1941's Notes to You was remade in 1948 as Back Alley Oproar, but with Porky and the unnamed cat being replaced by Elmer and Sylvester.
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer did this as well with their cartoons. Hugh Harman's "Peace On Earth" (1939) was remade by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera as "Good Will To Men (1955), and Tex Avery remade his "Wags to Riches" (1949) in Cinemascope as "Millionaire Droopy" (1956).
  • Irma Vep: It's a remake of the 1996 French film by the same name. Both are also about remaking Les Vampires, a 1915 film, In-Universe as well.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: VHS Remake began as a straight remake of Squimpus McGrimpus' FNAF VHS series, before being forcibly cut short by Squimpus in April 2022, then re-tooled into a more original story in September that same year.

Alternative Title(s): Remake, Remaquel