Other times, they can come across as a cheap attempt to perpetuate a brand while having little in common with the source material.
While most of these remakes are usually done by filmmakers looking to make their mark on the industry, there has been a recent trend in which people who were heavily involved with the source material have given their blessing, acted as executive producer, or even straight up remade their own films.
This leaves one to wonder whether or not a line has been crossed when a filmmaker has remade their own work.
In the past, filmmakers have reworked, reedited, and revisioned past films in one way or another
Whether it was something as simple as reworking the sound for an older film, releasing a definitive edit of a film like one can find for either Blade Runner or Superman II, or going so far as to shoot new scenes or make drastic changes to the original, as in the various “special editions” of the original Star Wars trilogy.
At what point does a film no longer belong to a filmmaker? Does it always belong to a filmmaker, or is it owned by the audience? This is not an issue of copyright nor profits but rather an issue of artistic integrity.
Some people would argue that no piece of artwork is complete, only abandoned, while others could argue that having a piece constantly reworked could do more harm than good.
We now see a case where filmmakers are taking ideas they have used in the past and are giving them a new form, the most notable example being the remake of Frankenweenie, which was a remake of a live action film that Tim Burton had made while working at Disney.
Here it becomes a question of whether or not the filmmaker has run out of ideas and is resorting to recycling past ideas to make money
In some regards, that can be seen as true, as the film industry, like any business, is an industry that relies on money.
In other regards, it can also be seen as someone returning to the roots of their career, going back to what got them started in the first place, like a writer revisiting a set of characters they hadn’t written about for a while.
In the end, there’s no clear answer as not all filmmakers are cut from the same cloth. Some care more about the money and box office numbers, while others care more about the art of film-making.
Some filmmakers are able to revisit their old material and inject new life into it while rekindling their passions, while others who are looking to cash in will simply re-release their films into theaters, sometimes with a 3D conversion.
It ultimately depends on the intentions of the filmmaker and whether or not there’s an audience for it or not. It’s up to the free market to decide whether or not there’s something to be gained from such practices in the present and future economic climates.