The 2010s are fast becoming the decade of the reboot. Eager Hollywood executives have spent the better part of the past decade prospecting in the rich lands of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s sci-fi and fantasy cinema—and wow, have they struck some gold. In recent years, we’ve seen big-budget revivals of and sequels to Ghostbusters, Independence Day, Mad Max, Robocop, Alien, Star Trek, and even Tron—and that’s to say nothing of Star Wars.
Fans have mixed opinions on all of these revivals, but it’s time to stop fearing the reboot. Nothing can destroy the glory of our favorite films, and the chance to see some killer sequels and reboots is pretty tantalizing. With that in mind, here are the franchises we think deserve to get the modern blockbuster treatment next.
The first Timeline movie came out only 13 years ago, but adaptations of Michael Crichton books are having a moment right now. Between HBO’s Westworld and the onslaught of new Jurassic Park movies, audiences are more invested than ever in Chricton’s unique blend of science, horror, and history.
Timeline follows graduate students who travel via wormhole to medieval France in search of their missing professor. The quantum theory-based tale is thrilling, romantic, and doesn’t shy away from the horrors of the Medieval Ages. A reboot would probably connect with modern audiences … although it would hurt to see someone replace the late Paul Walker in the role of Chris Johnston, Professor Johnston’s son.
Waterworld earned a cult following for its watery warfare, intriguing mythology, and the dubious charm of Kevin Costner as the amphibious “Mariner.” Considering climate change has brought us closer than ever to living in the oceanic dystopia predicted in the film, the time is right for a Waterworld reboot or sequel.
Expanding the franchise would also allow for improvement on the original’s dubious gender politics: The Mariner is a huge jerk to his female companions in Waterworld, but the movie never condemns his sexist behavior, and even holds him up as a romantic hero. Like Mad Max: Fury Road, a Waterworld sequel could flip the misogyny seen previously in the franchise, and show a post-apocalypse world through the women’s perspective.
Waterworld was co-written by Joss Whedon, and if he ever decides to dip his toes into this story again, we’d be particularly excited.
Back to the Future
Back to the Future is a beloved classic that most fans probably want to remain untouched. But didn’t we just talk about not fearing the reboot? No less a figure than Christopher Lloyd himself has advocated for a Back to the Future reboot, and you should, too. The franchise has the heart that is sorely missing from some modern-day sci-fi blockbusters. Folks, it’s time to go back to Back to the Future.
When you think of big-time reboots, you probably think of beloved movies coming back for a (sometimes ill-advised) curtain call. And that’s usually how it works, because nobody is really interested in rebooting a flop. But, sometimes, a good remake can give a franchise a second shot at greatness. And if there’s ever been a case for remaking a non-classic, it’s Dune–a mediocre adaptation of arguably the greatest science fiction novel ever written. With all due respect to director David Lynch, it’s time to forget his version (if, you know, you hadn’t already) and start fresh with a huge budget. Hey, does J. J. Abrams’ schedule have room for one more sci-fi blockbuster? [Editor’s Note: The day after this piece was published, IndieWire wrote that Legendary Entertainment had acquired the film and television rights for Dune.]
The Monster Squad
Many millennials are emotionally attached to this tale of monster-obsessed kids, but a reboot wouldn’t erase the original from existence, or negate its considerable charms. Like Ghostbusters mixed with The Goonies, The Monster Squad follows a group of monster-loving friends, who find themselves in an all-out battle with The Mummy, The Gill-Man, Dracula, and other classic movie monsters. Shane Black, who wrote the original movie, has said he’d be interested in possibly returning to the franchise down the line, but Black’s plate is currently full with other nostalgia-fueled projects like the new Predator movie.
If we do ever see a Monster Squad reboot or sequel, we hope it features a few more female monster fans than the original, and that it’s geared towards the adults who grew up with it, instead of today’s kids. A Monster Squad reboot would essentially be a movie about a movie about movie-lovers; we’d love to see how a self-referential concept like that would turn out in the hands of monster aficionados like Crimson Peak‘s Guillermo del Toro or The Babadook director Jennifer Kent.
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element is one of the strangest blockbusters ever made, which is why a reboot would be so good for film right now. Modern blockbusters could use a shake-up, and the unique tone and feel of The Fifth Element seems like just the thing to make sci-fi weird again. And before you say that The Fifth Element isn’t old enough to re-make, you should know that it’s 20 years old; plenty of younger films have already been rebooted, with varying degrees of success. The Fifth Element is slowly but inevitably growing older, and so are all of us. But, hey–that means it’s the perfect time to refresh things with a reboot, right?