Many consider remakes to be a modern day plague that has taken root within a creatively-barren Hollywood, fully infesting its decaying corpse until there’s nothing but remakes produced. While that’s certainly an entertaining thought, and one that might make you sound knowledgeable and intelligent at some boring dinner party, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
In short, remakes and adaptations have basically been around since the birth of cinema, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon (especially considering how much dough they tend to rake in.) That said, we’re not exactly “pro-remake,” ourselves. However, it should be noted (and important to do so) that there are remakes out there that are not only good, but better than their source material.
18 Don't Need: Shrek
Whether you’re a genuine fan of the franchise or simply fond of the inexplicable meme cult that the green ogre has farted into existence, we think both ends of the spectrum can come together and say that they don’t want a remake.
The original Shrek is a perfect early 2000s time capsule, fully immersed in the attitude and culture of the times. While some would argue that the film is aging poorly, we’re inclined to believe that it's purely 2000s soul is what keeps it fresh… and a remake would be totally void of such magic.
17 Need: The Last Starfighter
Structurally, The Last Starfighter remains an excellent and thoroughly charming film, but its once-revolutionary CGI has become so outdated that it’s becoming difficult to share the joys of Xur and the Kodan Armada with newer generations.
While a sequel has been rumored for decades, we’re of the mindset that the franchise would be better off with a full-on remake, keeping the very same charm of the original, but adding in a ton of cutting edge special effects.
16 Don't Need: Little Shop Of Horrors
The original Little Shop of Horrors is arguably one of the best “movie musicals” in existence, especially thanks to the pitch-perfect casting, stellar direction, and some of the finest puppetry to ever grace the silver screen.
That last bit, in particular, is what makes us adamantly refuse a remake.
Audrey II, the film’s blood-thirsty, musically-gifted antagonistic plant, is a breathtaking and jaw-dropping example of practical effects at their apex, and we can almost guarantee that the remake will use an awful CGI abomination instead, and that’s a crime we could never accept.
15 Need: Masters of the Universe
If we’re being honest, the infamous Masters of the Universe is one of our favorite films. It’s unabashedly goofy, yet somehow manages to produce an insanely inventive aesthetic and one of the best villainous performances of all time with Oscar-nominee Frank Langella’s Skeletor.
Alas, there’s no denying that the film’s hefty layer of cheese can be off-putting for those who don’t have a taste for it, not to mention the fact that there’s a ton of untapped He-Man lore just waiting to be shown off.
Our only demand is that Frank Langella returns as Skeletor. This is non-negotiable.
14 Don't Need: Gremlins
Remaking Gremlins is like giving a Mogwai water after midnight. You just don’t do it. Sadly, despite the warnings, it seems that a remake is still on the way.
Much like with the remake of Little Shop of Horrors, one of our biggest fears is replacing the adorable (or menacing) puppets and animatronics with garish CGI.
We tremble to imagine the kind of “humor” studio execs will demand that the awful CGI monsters take part in. Think all the cringe of The Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks, but much, MUCH worse.
13 Need: Starship Troopers
Anyone who considers Starship Troopers to be one of the “best worst films ever” simply doesn’t understand it. The 1997 satire isn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination: it’s an intentionally melodramatic film acting as a vehicle for a savage critique of fascistic ideals by means of ruthless satire… and we love it.
Still… we can’t help but wonder what a truly faithful adaptation of the source material would be like…
12 Don't Need: Pirates of the Caribbean
Excluding the odd fourth and fifth entries, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is a surprisingly tight and enjoyable franchise that has no right being as good as it is.
The direction, writing, humor, casting, and visuals all managed to come together to form something magical and unique, and there would be absolutely no treasure to be found in trying to chart a new course over such well-sailed waters.
11 Need: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
One of Disney’s black sheep, Hunchback’s beautiful story (and even more beautiful music!) needs to be experienced by more people, and a remake would be the best route. If they took the plunge, their best bet would be to incorporate the additional elements from the film’s Broadway-intended musical adaptation.
Unlike other remake “additions,” these actually have genuine substance: vastly expanded characters, incredible new songs, and an even darker story than the already-dark animation.
10 Don't Need: Ace Ventura
There are actually a few reasons that an Ace Ventura remake should never see the light of day. Unsurprisingly, chief among these reasons is the likely absence of Jim Carrey in the main role.
It simply wouldn’t be Ace Ventura without him, and you just know that whoever they hired to replace him would simply try to ape his performance. Secondly, Ace Ventura is just so…. 90s… like full-on Nick Studios 90s, and that’s where it should stay.
9 Need: Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
Mask of the Phantasm is generally considered to be one of Batman’s best films. Unfortunately, it never quite reached the audience that it so rightfully deserved.
Instead of giving us more of the same, we’d love to see Warner Bros. remake this excellent film in live-action, modernizing it as need be, but remaining faithful to the Animated Series spirit.
8 Don't Need: Scarface
Remakes should always be better than the original, and we don’t just mean in terms of visual fidelity. Remakes should enrich the source material, tapping into potential that the original couldn’t and creating something that both resembles its previous form, but something new and worthwhile as well.
A perfect example of this is John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing. An example of the exact opposite would be the proposed Scarface remake. There’s no room for innovation in Scarface; it’s perfect as is. A remake would be nothing but a soulless retread drenched in new paint.
7 Need: The Matrix
Regardless of how you might feel about the sequels or spin-offs, 1999’s original Matrix is a groundbreaking and truly iconic neo-noir masterpiece that continues to stand the test of time.
We’re not sure if it’s possible to successfully update the sunglasses, leather, trench coats and the rest of the 90s-edge atmosphere, especially without the leadership of the Wachowskis, but the movie could still benefit from an update.
6 Don't Need: Any Universal Horror Icons
There are few characters (creatures?) as iconic as the Universal Monsters. They’re universally recognized. Yes, it’s true that basically all of their films are based on books, but when you picture Frankenstein’s Monster or Dracula, you think of Universal’s films.
These monsters have universal appeal, so we don’t fault Universal for trying to reintroduce them to the world… but here’s the thing: no attempt so far has been artistically or financially successful.
Maybe there’s a reason why the old films have remained such stalwart classics: they’re perfect as is, and nothing could ever surpass them.
5 Don't Need: The Birds
We’ll be honest with you: we find Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds so unsettling, that we haven’t even been able to see the end of the movie. That’s unsurprising, though, considering how well-respected the “master of suspense” is, was, and will continue to be.
So why sully his legacy by foolishly attempting to duplicate his success while lacking his talent, creativity, and spirit?
Didn’t everyone learn their lesson after that awful Psycho remake!?
4 Need: Escape From New York
Here’s what we love about John Carpenter: he is clearly capable of creating genre-defining masterpieces like Halloween and The Thing but, in the same breath, is just as prone to poop out delightfully awful turds like Escape from New York (and we LOVE it.)
Despite being a major cult classic, we’d love to see someone tackle the intriguing concept with a proper budget and tighter script. In other words, someone should treat it the same way that Carpenter treated The Thing.
The heavily-rumored remake is all but confirmed, but if Kurt Russell isn’t Snake, count us out.
3 Don't Need: Akira
Hollywood, do us a favor: please don’t remake Akira.
We know you’ve tried for so, so long, but just give it up. There’s virtually no point in taking Akira, the premier example of Japanese cinematic animation and the artistic potential that this specific medium is capable of, and arbitrarily translating it into a live-action folly.
Truly, the ONLY thing that you’re capable of adding to the this bona fide classic is another dimension, and that’s simply not a good enough reason to justify a remake’s existence.
2 Need: The Phantom Menace
If we could, we’d say that the entire prequel trilogy should be remade from scratch, but we’re basically only dealing with movies from the pre-2000s, so The Phantom Menace will have to do. In the right hands, we could get a Rogue One-styled prequel that rewrites and retells the prequels in a way that isn’t garbage.
Truly, the best solution would be to declare the 2003 Clone Wars “micro-series” as canon, but since that’s never going to happen, this will have to do instead.
1 Don't Need: Basically Every Live-Action Disney Remake (Almost)
There’s one reason, and one reason alone, that Disney is turning their beloved animated classics into unsettling experiences in confronting the uncanny valley: money. Their “live-action” remakes are essentially just the same movie, except with people. There’s no point to them.
Even when they “add” stuff (like Gaston’s “backstory,”) it comes off as hollow and arbitrary, but now they’re even taking stuff away, like how the upcoming remake of Mulan lacks… well, basically everything people loved about the original.
Disney won’t stop this crusade until the money stops coming in… and we don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Sources: EW, Disney.Fandom.com, IGN