It has been said many times before, but Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas. Tinsletown argues otherwise, but films of the last few years prove them wrong. There are sequels everywhere this summer — TRANSFORMERS 5, the fifth PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5, CARS 3. Disney has also announced plans to translate most of it’s animated films into live action. This announcement follows years of studio remakes that stretched from the pointless (CARRIE, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) to ones that embarrassed the source material (PSYCHO, CLASH OF THE TITANS). Successful films suffer from being fine endeavors, but still unneeded remakes (THE DEPARTED, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST). Even comic book movies function as adaptions or reimaginings of characters and stories that have been around for decades. It’s a formula that’s wearing down, as the afore-mentioned summer sequels failed at the box office. Fans are clamoring for new stories and new ideas. They may already have the answer, and here’s how I know.

READ: Want to read more about remakes? The IT remake attempts to make some changes to its story!

Personal Experience

I am an author outside of my day job and ComicsVerse work. I wrote the first two books of a fantasy trilogy, with a third on the way. The promotion of my work is up to me, and I find a great source of sales and word of mouth comes from attending comic conventions. I’m not offering a comic, obviously, but the con crowd is very sympathetic to a fantasy story, and I generally break even at these shows. It’s not always easy though.

I’m realistic about my book — I don’t expect everyone to be interested, and I’m grateful to people who purchase a copy. Cons have also taught me another truth about people’s interest though — many of them gravitate towards the familiar. That’s fine, nostalgia is part of any con. It does, however, provide a unique frustration for artists and authors trying to get their work out to a new audience. I have been at cons where people have shown interest in my book, only to be unsure about spending ten dollars. They will then go two booths down and gleefully spend twenty-five for an old Ninja Turtles toy. Artists make more money with renditions of established characters then they do with their own work. Again, nostalgia is part of a con, and fans should be able to enjoy it while they are there.

Fans and Remakes

They cannot, however, enjoy nothing but nostalgia, then complain that there are no new ideas going around.

The Cold Hard Cash Of Remakes

Hollywood obsesses over remakes and sequels for a multitude of reasons. Fewer people go the movies now, and films are more expensive to make. Hollywood prefers to use established names people know to get them into the theaters. It has gotten worse over the years — no one would’ve thought to make a gritty, realistic version of POWER RANGERS ten years ago, and we just got one. Hollywood follows along though because these films have made them money. Fans only add to this.

Talk of getting new ideas is strong, but my con experience shows that fans can have the reluctance as Hollywood. Something new is something unknown. Fans don’t know if they will like my book or a new comic. They go to the table of Marvel comics, or the nostalgic toy area. They spend their money on familiar childhood images, and Hollywood follows their interest. It’s an old truth, but a relevant one — Hollywood will follow the money every time. Despite the desire for something new, fans still go to see TRANSFORMERS. They still buy old toys and books while being nervous about new ideas.  Is it any wonder Hollywood follows suit?

READ: What makes a good comic book movie? ComicsVerse takes a look!

What Fans Need To Do

Hollywood’s obsession with the dollar means fans have a fair amount of control over what gets considered for films. If those fans want new ideas, then the answer is simple.  They have to support new ideas.

That can be a scary prospect. Fans, like everyone else, want to spend their money wisely. Familiar images seem like a safe bet.

Most of the time…

Fans are capable of taking risks though. They know what they like and can certainly tell if something might fit those parameters. There’s still a risk of disappointment, of course. Still, if fans don’t take a risk on something new once in a while, then the remakes and sequels will just keep going. It’s up to fans to trust their own judgment and buy something unknown that looks good. So the next time you’re at a con, or a movie theater or bookstore, don’t grab something you’ve seen before. Take your time, look around, and grab something you’ve never seen before. Maybe it won’t be great, but you aren’t going to know if you don’t try. It could be your newest obsession, something you help push through the tired franchises and into Hollywood’s camera.

Because I can’t take TRANSFORMERS 7, guys.  I just can’t.

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