With the recent DVD release of the remake, Annie starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx and Rose Byrne, it has since been discovered that there have been hundreds of films remade over the years, some using the same title, others just adapting the similar idea. There have been many New York-based films that have been remade over the past 2 decades including the classics Miracle on 34th Street, The Out-of-Towners and A Kiss Before Dying.
The term "remake" is generally used in reference to a movie which uses an earlier movie as the main source material, rather than in reference to a second, later movie based on the same source. For example, 2001's Ocean's Eleven is a remake of the Ocean's 11, while 1989's Batman is a re-interpretation of the comic book source material which also inspired 1966's Batman. In 1998, Gus Van Sant produced a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho.
With the exception of shot-for-shot remakes, most remakes make significant character, plot, and theme changes. For example, the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is centred on a bank robbery, while its 1999 remake involves the theft of a valuable piece of artwork. Similarly, when the 1969 film The Italian Job was remade in 2003, few aspects were carried over. Another example is the 1932 film Scarface which was remade in 1983 starring Al Pacino; whereas the setting of 1932 version is the illegal alcohol trade, the characters in the 1983 version are involved in cocaine smuggling.
Sometimes a remake is made by the same director. For example, Yasujirō Ozu's black-and-white A Story of Floating Weeds was remade into the colour Floating Weeds. Alfred Hitchcock remade his 1934 black-and-white The Man Who Knew Too Much in colour in 1956. Tick Tock Tuckered, released in 1944, was a colour remake of Porky's Badtime Story, released in 1937 with Daffy Duck in Gabby Goat's role. Cecil B. DeMille managed the same thing with his 1956 remake of his silent 1923 film The Ten Commandments. In 2008, Michael Haneke made Funny Games U.S., his English-language remake of his original Funny Games (this is also an example of a shot-for-shot remake), while Martin Campbell, director of the miniseries Edge of Darkness, directed the 2010 film adaptation.
Not all remakes use the same title as the previously released version; the 1966 film Walk, Don't Run, for example, is a remake of the World War II comedy The More the Merrier. This is particularly true for films that are remade from films produced in another language, such as: Point of No Return (from the French Nikita), Vanilla Sky (from the Spanish Abre los ojos), The Magnificent Seven (from the Japanese Seven Samurai), A Fistful of Dollars (from the Japanese Yojimbo), The Departed (from Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs), and Let Me In (from the Swedish film Let the Right One In or Låt den rätte komma in).
Nowadays, the popular phrase "reboot" is being used as a new meaning for remaking films. With reboots, filmmakers revamp and reinvigorate a film series in order to attract new fans and stimulate revenue. A reboot can renew interest in a series that has grown stale, and can be met with positive, mixed, or negative results by both the consumers and film critics. Reboots also act as a safe project for a studio, as a reboot with an established fan base is less risky (in terms of expected profit) than an entirely original work, while at the same time allowing the studio to explore new demographics.
The real question is... how many remakes are better than the originals?
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