The sentiment that Hollywood has run out of original ideas is not exactly a new one. For years now, thanks to a barrage of superhero films, adaptations, and remakes, people have been proclaiming that the movie industry is gone of the originality it once thrived on. However, if you just look and think a little deeper, you’ll find that when it comes to entertainment, creativity and innovation is rarely ever the problem.
When it was recently announced that a The Matrix sequel/reboot was in the works, people all over the internet seemed to be universally pissed, with sites and articles once again claiming that Hollywood had officially run out of ideas. And while it is indeed a bit dumb to reboot a series that isn’t even a twenty-year-old yet, the reason for its being is definitely not because of a lack of originality; go around to any independent film festival and see for yourself. Or better yet, talk to the slews of wannabe screenwriters dying to get their original ideas put on the silver screen. Clearly, there is no shortage of creativity when it comes to film, but I’ll be one to tell you that there is a shortage of courage in the business of modern blockbusters.
The reason why year after year we keep seeing sequels and remakes for things nobody ever asks for is due to the fact that names sell. It’s the reason why pretty much all the Summer movies hitting cinemas this year, are some kind of sequel or variation on a known quantity. Rather than invest money into something entirely new, studios seem largely content on exploiting the fan bases and popularity of previous works. The same goes for the video game industry and almost all other sectors of entertainment media. However, with film, the problem is a little more unique, as you’d almost never hear of people moaning about the unoriginality of Nintendo always making Mario or Zelda games.
When it comes to any kind of brand, having a product and name that is known by the public, is half the challenge. So honestly, who can blame studios for never being able to let a good thing die? The only problem from there on is whether or not they can pull off the rest of the challenge and actually make a good movie. Last year saw the flops of several films with a brand name behind them, from sequels like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Independence Day: Resurgence, to reboots and remakes like the new Ghostbusters and Ben-Hur.
While at first glance, this issue can be simply solved with the statement ‘Hollywood has run out of ideas,’ what should be really said, is that seemingly like always, the onus is on the viewers and moviegoers. As I’ve said before, vote with your wallet, and the producers will follow. This really should go without saying, but if you’re sick of watching an endless stream of reboots and sequels, maybe don’t see the new Matrix film when it comes out. And for those who are fine with the situation as is, then go ahead and enjoy what you want. Hopefully now, though, people will stop saying that film is ‘out of ideas,’ when in reality, it’s one of the most original and creative art forms out there.