Every year, there is a storm of remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, adaptations, and just about whatever else you want to call them. If you're not looking closely, you might have a hard time telling which is which. Here is a list of movies reviving franchises this year.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
It's been twelve years since "The Sum of All Fears", the last film to feature Tom Clancy's famous agent Jack Ryan, but Ryan is back this year with "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit". Chris Pine, the Captain Kirk of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" flicks, will be the fourth actor to play the famous character after Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. While other Ryan films were adaptations of specific Clancy novels, "Recruit" is a completely original origin story by David Koepp and Adam Cozad and will serve as a "reboot" to the franchise. The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh, the traditional Shakespearian actor/director, who surprised everyone with his action-direction abilities with 2011's "Thor". "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" opens January 17, 2014.
After years of delays, this half-robotic cop is to grace the screen, and the streets of Detroit, once more. Brazilian director José Padilla, known for his Brazilian "Elite Squad" films, directs Joel Kinnaman as the cyborg law enforcer. Other cast members include Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jackie Earle Haley. While the very idea of a "Robocop" remake sent the message boards a-groaning, the redesign of the cop's robotic armor really sent the skepticism-snowball rolling. It drew criticism from fans and critics alike for its Nolan-Batman-esque plating and uninspired design. But critics and fans weren't the only ones complaining. Director Padilla wasn't having a good time, either, and told his buddy Fernando Meirelles that working on the film was "hell" and that "for every ten ideas I have, nine are cut." He went on further to say "The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again." Yikes. Find out if Padilla was right when "Robocop" hits the States February 12, 2014.
Sixteen years ago, Roland Emmerich attacked New York in the first Godzilla movie ever to be made completely by an American studio. Now it's time to see the great lizard again. "Monsters" director Gareth Edwards helms this new incarnation about everyone's favorite dangerous amphibian. While the film does include an all-star cast (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen), the big star of the film will of course be Godzilla himself. To bring the monster back to the screen, the crew went back to the old designs (instead of creating something new like Emmerich's film). American versions of Japanese properties are often disappointing, but the trailer has already generated considerable buzz. Check it out and then run for your life when Godzilla opens May 16, 2014.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Ever since this reboot was announced, there has been a considerable amount of nerd rage toward it. First off, everyone was annoyed that Michael Bay, the king of brainless Summer fare, was the man producing it. Then came the leaked script that said the titular Turtles and their rat-master were space aliens (y'know, instead of mutated-by-glowing-goo accidents). After some damage control (the space-alien script turned out to be fake), ire about the "Turtles" production began to fade and seems to have been replaced with silent anticipation. To show the Turtles, the live-action "Turtles" movies of yesteryear used actors in big suits, but this time around, the teenage ninjas will be brought to life via motion capture technology, used in movies like "Avatar" and Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy. Alongside the Turtles will be Megan Fox as April O'Neil and Danny Woodburn as the voice of Splinter. The cast also includes Will Arnett and Whoopi Goldberg. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" opens on August 8, 2014.
Which reboot are you most excited about? Which franchise would you like to see rebooted in the future?