It’s been a while since I last gave my thoughts on Hollywood’s franchise-building techniques; almost exactly six months, in fact. Back then I talked about when it’s acceptable for Hollywood to remake a film. This time I thought I’d take a broader approach and look at when it’s appropriate for Hollywood to reboot an entire franchise.
Now, technically, even a single film can be viewed as a franchise. But for the purposes of this discussion, I’m looking at those situations where there is either more than one film in the franchise (e.g., Rocky), or where there’s one film but a pre-existing character and story from other media (e.g., The Phantom). (I’ll note that those examples were chosen specifically because I am unaware of any reboots in the making for either… and in the case of Rocky, I hope there never will be. But more on that later.) I’ll also note that I’m not really counting cases like Robin Hood and King Arthur, where there are dozens of films on the same characters, but they aren’t really connected as such.
Rebooting a franchise has a certain logic to it. It’s a known money-maker, or at least is strongly hoped to be. But for one reason or another simply continuing the series as it stands is untenable. So, assuming Hollywood wants to reboot a franchise, what are the things to consider? Continue reading