10 Movie Franchises That Could Use a Reboot (And How to Make Them Better The Second Time)

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Tony Todd in Candyman (1992) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? 1992’s “Candyman” scared the hell out of me when I first saw it in theaters. Of course, it’s since lost much of its power over time, but that’s true for most horror franchises you’re introduced to as a kid/teenager. But the character, I think, still has a lot of potential for exploration, with its combination of urban legend and a dark part of America’s past instrumental in the creation of the character. Talk about troubled psyche!

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: As with most rebooted franchises on this list, “Candyman” would benefit from the ubiquitous presence of the World Wide Web that has us all interconnected, where meme and viral videos can spread like wildfire. Now imagine the story of Candyman, spreading through social media, Youtube videos, etc. It could be what the recent “A Nightmare on Elm Street” reboot tried to do — only more successfully. Well, that goes without saying, doesn’t it?


Angus Scrimm in Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? It’s the cult horror franchise that hasn’t really gotten its due, but definitely deserves wider acclaim. The creation of writer/director Don Coscarelli, the franchise seemed to lose its way with each subsequent sequel, and for a while there seemed to be treading water instead of actually getting to a point. (There was a point, right?) A complete reboot could condense Coscarelli’s ideas into a more coherent, winning approach. Let’s face it; Coscarelli spent four movies doing something that wouldn’t necessarily take four movies. Two, at the most.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: As big a fan as I am of the “Phantasm” films, even I have to admit that they could have used bigger budgets. A reboot of a cult favorite franchise would provide that needed injection of funds, and with Coscarelli also back as writer/director, there’s no reason why a reboot of the franchise couldn’t be the same story — only newer and more improved. And let’s face it, Angus Scrimm ain’t getting any younger. Of course, Coscarelli has to come back. Without him, mind as well not bother.


Michael Ironside in Scanners (1981) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? This is a personal favorite. Why reboot it? Just cause I’d really, really like to see a contemporary take on the series about psychics doing battle. I’m a big fan of comic book/superhero movies, and while the “Scanners” franchise was never that exactly, it had plenty of rad superpowered battles that could benefit from today’s special effects. Plus, the exploding heads. Don’t forget about the exploding heads. The franchise got subsequently silly after a while, with titles like “Scanner Cop” and “Scanner Cop II”, so it can only go up from there, right?

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Combine the “Government conspiracy” element of the original entries with the “Bourne” films, and you’ve got Bourne 2.0 — with superpowers. Think about it: Jason Bourne running around with not only wicked fighting skills, but also the ability to explode your head with a thought. It would be mind-blowing. Literally.


Michael Dudikoff in American Ninja (1985) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? It started in 1985, the story of a white guy who somehow ended up a master ninja, who then used his skills to fight … other ninjas. The film came out during the big ninja fad of the ’80s, and was 100% a product of its time. Schlocky, cheesy as all get-out, but one hell of a good time. The action was over-the-top, but the franchise benefited from Michael Dudikoff, who knew actual martial arts. It’s time “American Ninja” got a face-lift, don’t you think? After all, there must be some evil ninjas out there plotting world domination or some such…

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Go gritty. Ditch the colorful ninja costumes and anything involving ninjas wearing anything other than black. It should be a down-to-Earth, balls-to-the-wall ninja movie, similar to 2009’s excellent “Ninja Assassin”. Combine that with a Hollywood/White leading man like in the original, and you have an instant hit with the boys. Add an Asian megastar in a co-starring role, and you’ve got an Asian hit on your hands, too. And No, Taylor Lautner must not be allowed anywhere near this reboot. EVER.


Nick Stahl in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? This is going to piss off all the Arnold Schwarzenegger fans out there, but it can’t be helped: He’s too old, and so is the franchise. They tried to continue the story of John Connor in McG’s “Terminator Salvation”, but only ended up deconstructing the character into a shell of what he should be. The man who was once a mythical hero of humankind, but in “Salvation”, he became a generic soldier played by Christian Bale. You can’t continue from there — but you can go back and start all over again, with a completely new angle on the character.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: The TV show “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” had it kind of right. The problem with that show was in the title, though. Sarah Connor is interesting and all, but she’s not what the franchise is about. A rebooted “Terminator” movie should be about a young John Connor living “off the grid”, similar to the Nick Stahl version in “Terminator: Rise of the Machines”. That was one of the few things that film did right — it presented a 20-something John Connor trying to scrape by, desperate to avoid any entanglements for fear of being found by Skynet. A rebooted “Terminator” centered around that character, as he attempts to survive while constantly being hounded by Terminators from the future, would be different and appeal to a younger audience bred on constant Internet connection. And oh, no more Arnold Schwarzenegger. Look, it’s just not plausible to keep him around any longer, okay? I don’t care how big a fan of his you are, you just have to accept that.

So there you have it. Ten movie franchises that we think could use a reboot. Thoughts? Suggestions of your own? Angry cries of sacrilege? Let’s hear’em.

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Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • Kajol

    Sarah Connor is the most interesting character of the Terminator Franchise. No wonder there was always a lot of focus on her and no wonder a John Connor movie failed on way too many levels.

  • jmarquez

    You didn’t include Top Gun, Robocop and TNMT because they are already being made, right?
    Omg, Delta Force, American Ninja…so many childhood memories coming back right now QQ

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix


  • Geniusbeing


  • LionHeart

    Punisher won’t likely happen, or at least not the way we want. Marvel got the rights back, which is great, but they’re not going to give out a dark, pushing-if-not-there R rating for the film, and thus Punisher gets toned down greatly.

    Spawn though…You have my axe.

    • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

      One day, before I die, I hope to god that I see a good Punisher movie.

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

        I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it — Person of Interest is the best Punisher fictional creation not called The Punisher. Finch = Microchip, Reese = Frank Castle. All they need is to slap a skull on Reese’s chest, and put Finch in a van.

        • http://twitter.com/BrentMMcKnight Brent McKnight

          I need to get on that train.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            It’s rad, man, you need to watch it. Jesus is awesome in it. A gimpy Ben Linus, to boot.

        • LionHeart

          Evidently I need to be watching this.

        • schnydz

          Never thought of Person of Interest that way, but it makes sense. Awesome show. Coming season is going to be great. Plot is getting much thicker for sure.

    • Dr Zaius

      the Punisher needs to be set in the 80’s, Keep him a Nam vet. You can have loads of fun with ‘chip’ doing ‘amazing’ things with computers that we take for granted already today. And for christ sake NYC not Tampa!

    • Eustace Cromartie

      Marvel did the last one and it was gruesome and Rated R. it was not very good but it was a gruesome as it was suppose to be.

  • baddog

    Got them all on DVD, watched them all in the theatre. Brings back good memories.

  • Untitled Clint Howard Project

    The Japanese have kinda been rebooting Candyman for the past 15 years.

  • justjoe

    Ok list, but rebooting “Flash Gordon”, while totally changing the character and therefore it´s silly charme is kind of pointless. And the (old black and white) TV serial and later the movie nailed the source material.

  • Zeroshot

    So basically you want T3 again. fail. I would say yes to some but others a solid no.

    • Matt Khourie

      My thoughts exactly

  • Cee Jay

    1. THE PUNISHER – Great comic but as a film series there is only so many times people want to see one man taking on the Mafia out of revenge. Very limited worldwide audience appeal, better off being done as an HBO tv series.

    2. FLASH GORDON – Like John Carter this year, FG is classic scifi and should be allowed to stay that way. If todays audiences don’t like that then they should be more creative and make something they do like.

    3. THE LOST BOYS – This could be a very popular re-imagining considering the advance in SFX and current popularity of vampire romance.

    4. SPAWN – Zero appeal on nearly all factors, never got past being a fanboy creation of a very limited artist. Like Ghost Rider before it, audiences don’t relate to demonic powers for heroes, even cheesier when you put them in a ridiculously contrived costume!

    5. DELTA FORCE – Ha ha ha ha ha! Why bother? Cult movie for 80’s kids and will never arise above being a Z-list actor’s vehicle. These kind of propaganda crap has zero appeal outside brainwashed America.

    6. CANDYMAN – Concept was always ridiculous and served its purpose back in the 90’s as a splatter movie. This kind of thing simply has no place anymore aside of very small cult fans who still think watching an entire cast getting killed for lacking common sense, is great entertainment.

    7. PHANTASM – Again, why bother? The concept alone had nothing beyond a flying ball/swiss-army knife! They are doing better and more imaginative stuff on cable TV these days.

    8. SCANNERS – This is already being redone as a TV series. One of the few Cronenberg flicks that had real potential, a remake for the big screen could do well if they can do more with the plot.

    9. AMERICAN NINJA – Oh Please, this kind of stuff is retarded. The Boundaries and scope of modern martial arts movies have long moved beyond this kind of basic propaganda.

    10. THE TERMINATOR – Way too saturated, too many movies about the same thing happening again and again no matter how many times you stop it. Even a bloody TV show too! You really can’t reboot this thing since it never really went away and never seems to want to. 4 films by 4 different movie studios already and now a 5th by another new movie studio. Biggest whore in scifi award goes to this tired shit.

    America, the only country that has a film industry based on remakes and reboots, seriously time to grow up and learn how to leave things behind. Pointless having talented writers, directors and actors if you don’t give them the chance to show you what they can develop with their own creative juices.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      I have to agree with some of these unfortunately, no matter how much I love the property.
      Delta Force ould be Expendables basically. So we’ve got that, and hey, Chuck Norris is in E2! Phantasm I’d love to see be remade as Asylum pictures releases!!! Same for Scanners, but I had no clue about the show. That said i think a lot of these have potential.
      Candyman could easily be redone, and well. Nix’s suggestion of adding the internet to the equation works well, and would actually bring this into a Final Destination type thing, which is cool cause Candyman is in those. LoL.
      But seriously I Love the idea of a modern Lost Boys remake. Take it seriously, with dark humor, along the lines of the recent Fright Night remake. I do have to agree wtih both of you on Flash Gordon. I really think it needs to be a mix of the classic charm and modern setting. Imagine it set now, having him be a former football star, that joined the military for a stint but left after a brutal tour. Gets whisked away to some intense, crazy sci-fi adventure.
      As I mentioned American Ninja already had a spiritual sucessor in “Ninja.”
      Nix’s idea for the Punisher would be interesting. Though personally I think a tv series on HBO with that set up would work MUCH better than a film. Also I think it should be 50/50 split between Microchip, and Punisher. Where we spend as much time on Micro doing the research and the weapon work as we do on Frank taking out the bad guys.
      And Spawn, ah Spawn. Yeah you really need to read more of the comic cause it got a lot deeper than the first issues made it out to be. I had issues with it too at first but it got very good. The animated series was awesome and did a good job of telling the story.
      And Terminator, yeah definitely over saturated, but that’s because it’s a good story and people are still interested. I say screw Connors on the grid and lets get into the war we lost. I mean seriously, lets show the war. But also lets have it split between present and future. Lets tell a story where things are actually changing the future with events in the past(present)

    • Matt Khourie

      Agree with lots on your list, but think if they do a Lost Boys remake it should stay as far away from any teenage romance plot as possible, save for maybe making an awkward teenager blunder type seen in front of a girl he likes. I want absolutely no doting or pining.

  • Debo4735

    I think American Ninja was already done it’s called Ninja starring Scott Adkins. Also Person of Intrest is a really good show; by the way there’s a game comming out that follows the same premis as the show its called Watch Dogs. Everyone should check out the E3 trailer for the game on Youtubue…AWSOME!!!

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      Yeah I pretty much said the same thing when I saw “Ninja” and reviewed it right here on BH. LoL it was a great spiritual successor.