Sequel, shmequel; more original content needed in films

It is always imperative that I am extra early to the movie theater. Part of it is because I need time to go to the bathroom, buy candy, and snatch a decent seat, but there’s a much more important component not many people worry about: the previews.

I have never been the type of casual movie goer who can leave late from my house because it is “no big deal if I miss the previews.” Every short trailer catches my attention, leads me to add more movies to my need-to-watch list, and increases my excitement for the actual movie when it begins. I am unashamed to say I can spend up to thirty minutes on Youtube, just watching trailer after trailer. From big action hits to little indie treasures, trailers give me hope for future, mind-blowing movies I can look forward to.

But, at my latest trip to the movie theater, I noticed something peculiar during the previews. I sat cross legged, popcorn in hand, and watched each trailer go by. It starting with a sequel to the first Lego Movie, which looked like an altogether fun family film. What followed was a live-action Dumbo trailer. Then a live-action The Lion King trailer. Next there was a new Aladdin and the third installment to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.

You get the picture: it was either a remake of an old animated film, or a new installment of a popular, successful franchise.

Of course, the idea of seeing animation brought to life makes me smile, but at the same time I can’t help but be disappointed in the lack of originality.

My adoration for novels surpasses my adoration for films, and this small distinction between the two is that novelists are always coming up with something new. Yes, there are series of books that I like to keep up with, but you never remake an old book. You move on, learn from past novels and grow into bigger and better ideas. The classics are appreciated, but left in the past, as new content always evolves from universal messages.

The same cannot be said for films in the current day and age. Even TV shows are just remaking old shows to tug on lost feelings of nostalgia. Just look at Will & Grace, Rosanne, Twin Peaks, Charmed, Queer Eye. We are being barraged by old news, old stories trying to become relevant again with varying success.

It all just feels like a cheap attempt to make more money by giving us the same stuff over and over again, not even bothering to create new characters, new stories, new universes that could be much more interesting than the ones that continue to get rebooted.

In some instances, I don’t mind the reboot if it creates a new, equally interesting story. This is the fact with Mary Poppins Returns. It is a continuation of the story, not a complete retelling that has new actors and better CGI. The film has a beautiful, original score and the proper script and plot line so that it could not be compared to its counterpart; it easily stands on its own.

But I digress; original content should be prized over countless reboots. There are plenty of people out there who are filled to the brim with new ideas. Some of them may be stupid, but some of them may be goldmines just waiting to be created. Giving these up and comers a chance is key to moving into a new age of film where originality can finally shine through.