In this age of Hollywood sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots, it’s easy for moviegoers to become jaded, demanding more original stories and franchises. But just because an old property is being revived for a new audience, it doesn’t mean the studios are completely out of ideas. Some revamps offer creative and exciting new spins for everyone to enjoy. Here are Screen Rant’s 5 Movie Reboots That Surprised Everyone.
After Batman & Robin killed the Caped Crusader on film, fans weren’t exactly hungry for a new take on the Dark Knight – especially one starring an unknown Welsh actor from a director untested in blockbusters. But Batman Begins revitalized the character’s popularity instantly, with a dark and gritty origin tale that stayed incredibly faithful to the comic mythology. Performances from respected actors like Michael Caine and Liam Neeson gave the project healthy doses of credibility, showing that a “comic book movie” could be taken seriously, if handled properly. After being burned by Joel Schumacher, iot was exactly what fans – and the genre – needed.
James Bond was in danger of losing his license to sell tickets after Die Another Day proved a critical dud, and The Bourne Identity had forever changed the spy thriller genre. Eon Productions opted to reboot the character, taking 007 back to his literary roots, controversially casting Daniel Craig for Casino Royale. Despite the outcries of “Bond purists,” the film arrived on schedule, fast becoming one of the franchise’s best entries. Director Martin Campbell grounded an emotional story in reality, not outlandish stunts, making Bond more relatable and human than ever before. The film’s sleek design and memorable action sequences were also a hit, showing audiences that 007 could still compete with the world’s top spies.
Following the failure of Star Trek: Nemesis, Paramount went back to the drawing board, bringing in director J.J. Abrams, and cutting loose the cast established on TV – recruiting a younger generation for the daunting task of rebooting The Original Series. Some die-hard Trekkies were less than thrilled at the new version’s emphasis on Star Wars-esque action, but it was just shot in the arm Star Trek needed. The cast proved up to the task as well, escaping the shadows of their predecessors to earn their rightful place on the Enterprise. After some bumps in the road, Star Trek found a way to live long and prosper after all.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The original film is one of science fiction’s most respected, but modern audiences didn’t care much about ANY Planet of the Apes when Tim Burton’s ill-advised remake failed to leave an impact. Ten years later, Fox took another crack at a reboot told from the perspective of the first modified ape, Caesar. Few expected it to be a worthwhile film, but Rise would become the sleeper hit of 2011, as Andy Serkis earned rave reviews for his groundbreaking performance as Caesar, ushering in a new era of motion-capture performance. The movie wasn’t short on substance, either, telling a cautionary tale about scientists playing God, but rooted firmly in Caesar’s search for home, family, and his place in a new world.
With the unforgettable disappointment of Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 turn as Judge Dredd combined with a plot that seemed derivative of The Raid, few expected 2012’s Dredd to be anything more than a soulless remake. Instead, it was a shockingly entertaining action film, full of slick visuals and practical stunts and effects that made each gunfight hit like a sledgehammer. Karl Urban turned out to be perfect for the faceless hero, delivering a Dredd that was completely faithful to the no-nonsense executioner comic fans first made a cult icon. The film may have not been a box office hit, but the team’s passion for doing the material justice was one of the most pleasant surprises in years.