2017 - The year originality dies?
When one thinks of the upcoming movies people are waiting to see in 2017, thoughts tend towards Star Wars Episode VIII, Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2, Spider-Man Homecoming, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Woman, Kong: Skull Island, or Baywatch. Read that list again. What do they all have in common? Every single one is either a sequel, a reboot or a remake. I could expand the list ten-fold and the same would still be true; and whilst there are a few exceptions such as Dunkirk that are highly anticipated, wholly original movies they are very much in the minority. The big question, therefore, has never been more apparent: is originality dead? The answer is, of course, no. But you won't find it in the big studios and the problem is not a new one, although it is certainly getting worse. CinemaSins' own Jeremy explores this question succinctly and dares Hollywood to do better in one of his Dear Hollywood open letter videos from back in 2014.
And while, like many geeks, I will be awaiting Star Wars with a fervour that will see me counting down the days before we even hit June, it is the original films that stick out in my mind, and stay with me longer after. Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is anticipated as any film in recent memory. And Ex Machina has stuck with me since I viewed it more than any other film I saw last year (except perhaps Star Wars - but come on, it's Star Wars!).
Hollywood needs to be reminded that it exists to tell stories, to push boundaries, and to take risks. The sequels, and the reboots are here to stay because as good as something like Ex Machina is, sadly, the most recent Transformers movie will still appeal to a wider audience and make more money. The only way we can remind Hollywood of our love for original stories is by doing our best to have those make just as much money, and in the meantime play Flip the Script and come up with our own stories.
What are your thoughts on this current trend? What films are you looking forward to most?