I wanted to dedicate a post to sequels and reboots because it is the most dominating trend in cinema right now, especially as they evolve into the concept of a cinematic universe (which I’ll discuss on its own). The idea of a sequel or some other artistic follow up to a story is not new and is not exclusive to films. However, it is now the biggest trend in the industry and this is because of financial aspects. Film production companies have realized that the one way to stabilize the return on investment on movies is to make every movie relate to something the audience previously saw and enjoyed.
There is definitely split opinions on sequels and reboots. A lot of people assume they inherently bad, that they are weaker works compared to the original or that they are a “cash-in” by the studio. This is subjective though, as sometimes sequels or reboots are rated higher than their predecessors, and sometimes sequels are what truly establish a movie in culture. Imagine Star Wars but never hearing about Vader being Luke’s father or Jabba the Hutt or the Emperor.
Reboots are on the rise now, since everyone is used to normal sequels. Reboots also have a bad stigma, but there have been some decent ones that offered something new to their originals. The new Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the best reviewed blockbuster trilogies and they were a complete reboot from a failed reboot in the early 2000s. Modern approaches to digital effects allowed for a recreation where instead of ape costumes from the 60s (which some looked great and other movies in the series were.. not) we got fully realistic rendered apes performed by the pioneer of motion capture performance, Andy Serkis. Because of this and the amazing scripts they wrote, the new Planet of the Apes not only offers character development and insights that the originals didn’t, it offers a look into characters that aren’t even human. Not to mention the apes in these movies are better written, more sympathetic, and better performed then most human characters in any other blockbuster.