Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Finite Creativity

I saw an interesting tweet the other day that said (in paraphrase) that Hollywood has run out of original movie ideas. I suppose if you look at titles and themes you might think that. But, then, I subscribe to that school of thought that says there is only a finite pool of story themes to draw from. To me, the differences between the re-makes is in execution, in the re-imagining of the story.

For example, I can think of four different takes on the Snow White fairytale: there’s Disney’s “original” animated feature, many years later, “Snow White: A Tale of Terror” starring Sigourney Weaver in the late 90s and, most recently, “Snow White and the Huntsmen” with Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, and “Mirror Mirror: The Untold Adventures of Snow White” with Julia Roberts. Check IMDb and you’ll find several other versions. I have to say that the Huntsmen and Mirror Mirror movies – released a few months apart – were vastly different and refreshing for that reason. I wouldn’t even consider them the same story. And to me, they underscore the power of reinvention.

Singers who want to stay relevant in the industry find new faces to show to the public every few years. Think Madonna. So why shouldn’t Hollywood pander to audiences’ love for the tried-and-true by twisting underlying themes? It’s like they give us just enough familiarity to bring a certain level of mental comfort while mixing in a generous serving of whatever’s in style – be that darkness, edge, thrills or modern comedy.

I’m not disenchanted or disillusioned.

But what’s your spin? Any favorite re-makes? Overdone storylines that you don’t want to see on screen ever again?

Personally, I would’ve said no more Batman…until I saw the Dark Knight. Or even the Spiderman franchise until Andrew Garfield showed up as The Amazing Spiderman. I think there’s always room for a better idea.

How about you?