Remakes of classic movies seem to be a theme of this decade; with Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), filmmakers can now create everything with just a computer.
In the past, there was more of an emphasis on handmade props, heavy costume makeup, and animatronics.
For example, in the 1931 film Frankenstein, director James Whale sought out actor Boris Karloff to play the monster because of his tall stature.
The actor, while slightly offended due to his comparison to a hideous monster, accepted the role. His makeup gave his forehead a flat appearance and his eyes sunk under his protruding eyelids. The final design was the result of several arguments and sketches among crew members.
Jaws, directed by Stephen Spielberg, is another film praised for the presentation of its iconic title character.
The film utilized three full-sized prop sharks, powered by pressurized air, and the scenes that took place in the open ocean were actually filmed there. Spielberg refused to film in a controlled environment, such as a tank.
Rumors about a Jaws remake have been circulating, but Spielberg isn’t touching that idea with a ten-foot pole. According to him, Jaws was the shark movie that kept people off the beach years after it was made. There can’t be another.
This has not been the case with other franchises. The Batman series has been recreated again and again.
Director of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan believed the past films were more stylistic works that focused too closely on the costumes and makeup. Nolan wanted his reboot to have an all-star cast and be all about the acting and delivery of the storyline. Unlike many 21st century directors, Nolan shied away from using CGI and preferred that his actors have stunt doubles in the fighting scenes.
The makers of Terminator Genisys, on the other hand, did not follow Nolan’s lead.
The only returning cast member to the franchise was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played a reprogrammed T-8 Terminator who was sent back in time to protect the story’s heroine, Sarah Connor, when she was a little girl.
The reboot revisits events from past movies, but the parts of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are not played by the original actors Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn but by actors who somewhat resemble them. For the scenes which required a younger version of Schwarzenegger, a CG double was created.
The recreation of beloved film franchises is a concept which may seem exciting to some but might spoil the thing which was so amazing about films in the first place—their art form—for others.