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

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10 Movie Franchises In Need of a Reboot

Call it what you want: reboot, re-imagining, re-invention, or even “untold story”. It all amounts to the same thing: a do-over. As Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” proves, sometimes a franchise has simply run its course, and the only thing left is to start all over again from the beginning. “The Amazing Spider-Man” tried to sell it as an “untold story”, but let’s be frank, it’s basically the same story with a new element that, in the larger scheme of things, doesn’t even matter all that much. Which led me to wonder: what other franchises out there is in dire need of a do-over?

Here are our suggestions for 10 franchises that a reboot would give just the shot-in-the-arm it needs.

In no particular order…

1. THE PUNISHER

The Punisher Comic Book

Why Reboot It? Now you might be saying to yourself: “What? The Punisher … AGAIN?” You’re damn right The Punisher … again. Call it a personal fanboy thing if you must. The Punisher has always been the one character that I couldn’t go a week without buying back in my comic book reading days. He was my “in” to the Marvel Universe, what with all their flying superhero do-gooders and whatnot. The Punisher was human — but just slightly more than human. Batman, if you will, without the gazillion bucks. And that whole “not killing” thing.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Microchip. The Punisher’s weaponsmaster, best friend, and all-around guardian angel. I don’t mean as a throwaway background character, either. For a new Punisher movie to work, Microchip has to be in it. I mean, right there, side-by-side with The Punisher as they dispense justice on a bloody scale. In fact, it might work to introduce the world of The Punisher through the eyes of Microchip. That hasn’t been done before. Go low-tech with it. Microchip in a dank basement sweating over The Punisher’s toys. Hunkered in his beat-up, but ready-for-battle war van. We’ve tried to approach a “Punisher” movie through the main man’s eyes three times already. It’s time to change it up.


2. FLASH GORDON

Flash Gordon Comic Book

Why Reboot It? Why not? Especially since no one has done a decent “Flash Gordon” interpretation yet, whether on the big screen or on the small screen. The character is world-famous, with brand name recognition out the wazoo. Granted, much of that recognition is of the silly variety, thanks to the 1980 movie, the last time Hollywood took a shot at the character. As a result, Flash Gordon is wide open to be “re-imagined” as an intergalactic space hero. A cool, intergalactic space hero.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Avoid the jock background at all cost. I know, that’s part of the character’s charm. Well you know what? That charm has resulted in some pretty lousy movies and a pretty lousy TV show. Who says Flash Gordon has to be some blonde Aryan looking dude? Why not a space pirate? An intergalactic bounty hunter? Someone with charm, with verve, with actual personality. You don’t necessarily have to go dark and gritty with this one. With today’s special effects, a space movie starring a recognizable hero could make a killing. Just don’t, you know, drop him on Mars where everything is all brown and boring and whatnot. Get creative and don’t stick so closely to the source material that the film can’t breathe. What worked then doesn’t always work now. Ask Andrew Stanton.


3. THE LOST BOYS

The Lost Boys (1987) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? Haven’t you heard? Vampires are in. And it’s not like the franchise could possibly get any worst, with the last two entries going direct-to-DVD and starring, of all people, Corey Feldman. Let’s face it: when your film hinges on the starring power of Corey Friggin Feldman, you’ve already lost. The original “The Lost Boys” remains the best in the series, but even it could have used some updating. This was a franchise that always worked best when it was about outsider teenagers free from adult constraints. And that just happens to sell pretty well in today’s market, too.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Vampires + outsiders = today’s social network obsessed teenagers. In a time when everyone is on Twitter and Facebooking and Youtubing themselves doing life’s most mundane tasks, how do you incorporate vampires into that new reality? Obviously the screenwriter who comes up with a way to do that should get paid big bucks. If someone wants to pay me to think up an angle, I’m more than willing. You know how to reach me.


4. SPAWN

Michael Jai White in Spawn (1997) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? Because if not for the recent release of “Spawn” on Blu-ray, I wouldn’t have come up with the idea for this article. So, thanks, Spawn! Plus, Spawn is a cool character. Anyone who has read the Todd McFarlane comic books know this. Hell, even the HBO animated show that followed the 1997 movie was all kinds of rad. The character has it in him to be Batman with a supernatural element. In the right hands, this movie could be a spooky horror movie — except the monster, this time around, is the good guy.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: As long as the filmmakers keep repeating this mantra to themselves: “It’s a horror movie — except the monster is the good guy” — a rebooted “Spawn” movie could be something really special. A “Cabin in the Woods”-type of twist on the genre, if you will. Of course, for this to really work, you’d need Todd McFarlane to maintain total control over the production. No more PG-13 nonsense ala the 1997 movie. Go hard R or go home. Spawn needs to chain-whip bitches bloody.


5. DELTA FORCE

Chuck Norris in Delta Force (1986) Movie Image

Why Reboot It? This is a no-brainer, especially in a post-Osama world. America’s elite military services are constantly in the news and on the big screen, but it seems like the SEALs are the only ones getting the love. Which would make a rebooted “Delta Force” franchise a perfect change of pace — you still get the hardcore military action, but also get an inside look at another uber secret service branch. More of the same, but with just the right amount of newness.

Ways to Make it Better The Second Time Around: Obviously you can’t go Chuck Norris on this one, so no more missle-armed motorcycles. Hell, no more motorcycles, period. If you’re going to do a “Delta Force” reboot in today’s world, you’ll have to do it along the lines of the recent “Act of Valor” — strong, violent, and as real as you can get — with honest to goodness actors. And yes, they should be real actors. The biggest problem with “Act of Valor” was its amateur cast. These are super badass guys, but man, some of those non-action scenes were unGodly painful to watch.

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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.
  • The 14th Warrior

    Nix, I have to disagree with you about Terminator Salvation. I think what you see as a failure in properly representing John Connor is, a misinterpretation of the character as a whole. I believe the intention, of McG, was to show John Connor becoming the leader of the resistance over the course of three films.

    In the first Connor is just what you describe, a soldier. He has core group of loyal followers, who trust him and know that he is a natural leader. During the course of the first film, the leadership of the resistance is taken out by Skynet and I think that this creates the opportunity for John Connor to grow from ordinary soldier to a true leader.

    I see the second focusing less on the machines and more on the resistance trying to pull itself together after loosing its leadership. I think a story about the resistance turning on itself would be interesting, with each cell maneuvering for leadership. Ultimately growing to the point of open fighting between the two strongest factions. One of which is lead by Connor, who rather than fight his fellow man in an all out war that would spell certain doom for humanity, convinces the opposition to follow him. A film along this line would be well suited for Christain Bale, who is believe is an incredible actor. This sets up the third and final film.

    The final film should be all out chaos. Carnage from the opening credits, with resistance fighting its way to Skynet Central and the movie ending with John Connor attempting to stop the CG “Arnienator” from entering the time displacement device. Connor is mortally wounded in the process and the Terminator goes back. Reese finds the dying John Connor, who hands the photo of his mother to Kyle Reese and recites the “The future isn’t set” speech from the original film, that Kyle will tell Sarah. The closing shot being Reese stepping into the time displacement machine.The camera looking back, from Reese’s POV toward John Connor, who smiles and then bright white light fills the screen as Reese is sent back.

    That’s is my hope for the future of the Terminator franchise.

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

      Oh, I’m sure that was the intent, don’t get me wrong, I know absolutely what they were doing, I just didn’t want to see John Connor the Adult deconstructed. You can do that when he’s a kid, but when he’s got a wife and a kid on the way, he should be John Connor The Mythical Hero by then.

      • The 14th Warrior

        I see your point about Connor being the mythic hero. I think what they were attempting to do here was show Connor’s doubt in himself and through the course of the film and finding the courage to be that Mythical Hero. To paraphrase Worthington, “What it is that makes us human is the strength of the human heart.” I think after saving Reese, Connor finally comes to realize that he is humanity’s l greatest hope.

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

          Curiously, I think Connor was meant to be the mythical hero even in Salvation, but after they got Bale for the role, they went back and beefed up the character tremendously. So I think having Bale play him really hurt Connor in the long run, which is ironic.

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

            Agreed!

          • The 14th Warrior

            One of the things that I think detracted from the film, was the way it was cut. It seemed hurried in places, especially in the first half of the film. I would like to see an extended cut of the film. I think that might solve some of the issues.

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

            I think the beefing up of Bale’s part contributed to that. The film seemed unable to decide whose story it wanted to be about, so it just kept cutting back and forth between the Worthington cyborg and Bale’s John Connor. It really should have been about the cyborg who learned about this John Connor, a larger than life character, but instead of killing him, decides to join/save him. Connor would stay mostly in the shadows, always heard about, seen in glimpses, but never FULLY seen by his would-be assassin. That would have worked.

  • DougK

    Let Terminator rest, it’s already been driven into the ground! And do we really need another “American Ninja” or “Candyman?” Hollywood’s top priority for a reboot should go the Fantastic Four. They need & deserve it the most, and I’m thrilled to see it’s in the works.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWpK0wsnitc 7ruth

    Punisher does not need Micro, what he does need is a no limits movie based on the MAX run.

    Then you will get good films.

  • Tim Collins (Journalist)

    Flash Gordon being a blond looking Aryan would a refreshing change from all of the force diversity in Hollywood these days.

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

      Really? Forced diversity? It’s not forced if the world itself is diverse and people are actively trying to portray that. It’s not like anyone has come up with a Black Flash Gordon so I don’t even see what you’re issue is. And dang man your description of him kinda ruined it, I mean i’m all for blond hair blue eyed Flash, but as sooon as you throw in Blond looking Aryan it brings the wrong things to mind man. Much like Pagan, Aryan has too much negative connotation behind it, I immediately saw Flash with a superiority complex trying to enslave birdmen and such. Sorry I’m sure that wasn’t what you were gettin at but thats what popped in.