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24 reboots and remakes as good as the originals


A screenshot of the credits of the reboot of DuckTales with Scrooge, Donald and his nephews is a room full of treasures

Screenshot: Duck Tales / Disney +

We say we hate reboots. We will be happy to continue on and on about how we a lot rather to have something new, fresher, more original. And yet remakes and re-dos remain a reliable business.

In all fairness, it has been that way from the start, with film producers checking out books and plays more frequently than looking for new ideas. It’s pure economics: movies are expensive, and past success holds the promise of future success. It’s easy to forget that the 1939 Wizard of Oz was the Fourth film adaptation of the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum; these concepts had been circulating for nearly four decades before Judy Garland put silver ruby slippers.

It might not be quite in the same league as this classic, but the CW just provided details on the upcoming reboot of the cult mid-aughts series The 4400, the new version being intelligently differentiated from the original by dropping the article. (The network has had success in recent years restarting broadcasts from Charm, at Walker, at Roswell and Kung Fu.) And then there is the Denis Villeneuve affair Dune, the second trailer for which just dropped, promising a much more satisfying version of the novel than what David Lynch was able to handle in the 80s.

Why do we keep revisiting worlds we have already explored? It can’t all be attributed to Hollywood’s lack of imagination, it’s also our fault. And in fact, there are those reboots and remakes that are about as good as the originals and, at times, even better. Here are some of our favorite picks. And yours?

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