Those who can direct, make; those can’t, remake. And those who can’t remake, remake remakes.
Look, cinema has been around for over a century by this point, so it’s somewhat inevitable we’re going to see some ideas getting stuck on repeat, but remaking remakes is something further. That’s a director going “Oh, this is a good idea” and pilfering an earlier film’s concept, then another filmmaker coming along and doing the exact same thing a few decades later.
It’s not a new trend either – some of the most untouchable classics in the history of film are actually direct lifts from earlier, less well-remembered films.
It may seem completely reductive, reducing once great ideas to marketable buzz words, although while the knee-jerk reaction is that it’s the nadir of the medium, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Jungle Book (and Cinderella) have shown that Disney’s current trend of rethinking their animated classics in live-action isn’t a fools errand, and what are they if not remakes of reinterpretations of stories that have existed since before the dawn of cinema?
Not every case is quite as successful though, as seen with these eight remake remakes, ranging from long-standing classics to some of this year’s most perplexing blockbusters.
For reference, this doesn’t include movies that have been remade multiple times (King Kong has several distinct versions, but John Guillermin and Peter Jackson’s takes were both rooted in the 1933 original) or cases where the same story has been adapted independently (The Ten Commandments was a remake of Cecil B. DeMille’s own silent film, but Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings was, despite telling the same story, returning to the Biblical source).