I’ve never considered myself a hard to please person. I stay reasonable and open minded when I consider things close to my heart. However there is a simple line that must be drawn, a minimum requirement to taking on a project that is not your own: Respect.
Consider for a moment, all reboots/remakes are effectively ‘Fan Fictions’. The message is clear:
“Something already exists covering this particular work of fiction, but I feel something has not been approached that could potentially be interesting.”
This is my baseline of tolerance when it comes to reinterpretations of fiction. A common jump is from a novel or comic to the movie. The problem I see, is when the creator of the new media makes one of two fatal flaws.
- A particular aspect of this story isn’t interesting. I’m going to drastically change a few critical aspects. This will make the story better.
- The tone of this story doesn’t match my personal approach. I’m going to drastically change the tone, so it works for me. This will make the story better.
The problem with these two views stems from the fact neither of them are respecting the source material. Acceptable changes arise when you take something from one medium to another and you realize moving it 1:1 doesn’t work. A good example of this is any superhero. In a comic book characters wearing multi colored outfits works. The world is painted and bright. However, put a living actor in the same costume and it sticks out like a sore thumb. This is why Superhero moves consistently ‘drab down’ costumes.
The absolute minimum requirement of being a rabid fan, is to like the work of fiction in question. It never ceases to amaze me how many people write ‘Fan Fiction’ that would NEVER happen in the original work. To me it should be renamed ‘I-Only-Like-Some-Aspects-of-Your Story-So-We-Will-Plagiarize-It Fiction.’
Point blank. If you think the story can be told better, do it with your own characters. This isn’t a new thing in the creative world. Transformers and Go-bots were the same damn cartoon, they followed the same formula.
A critical factor in the writing of ‘what if’ stories (in my eyes) is retaining the integrity of the characters. “What if the Transformers landed on earth during the Wild West?” rather than “What if Optimus Prime and Megatron were lovers?” Ugh. Rule 34. I’m gonna need some WD-40 eye soap for that one.
I see cash grab remakes as no better. I’m not pointing any fingers.
Ok. Maybe two fingers. That’s it.