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Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Tragedy of Remakes: Revisited

Let's see, back when I first started this site I discussed how tragic it was that people just keep remaking movies and how this stunts creativity. This is particularly sad when the movies are almost completely the same. One of the most painful or these I have seen was The Omen. The seemed to almost literally go scene by scene and just did the same exact thing. Why bother with the remake?

Now the reason I wanted to come back to this was because at the time I wanted to note how ridiculous it is that this is acceptable to do with movies, TV, and music, but you never see it done with books. Well things might have changed. Recently one of my current favorite writers, John Scalzi, decided to take up the "challenge" of rebooting a book series. So not necessarily a remake but a reboot ala Battlestar Galactica, Batman, V, but with a book series.

"...I took the original plot and characters of Little Fuzzy and wrote an entirely new story from and with them. The novel doesn’t follow on from the events of Little Fuzzy; it’s a new interpretation of that first story and a break from the continuity that H. Beam Piper established in Little Fuzzy and its sequels." - John Scalzi

For his full take on it: Fuzzy Nation

He originally did as a fun project for himself on the side. My question is, is releasing this to the public for profit opening a new can of worms in the field of writing? If he is commercially successful in this attempt to reboot a written series will we see other authors go back and rework other older works? I don't think this is going to destroy the world or writing by any means. It is much more open than movies and music are. It is not as controlled as those industries. I also don't see the rights of books being bought and sold as readily. I actually wonder if he will be paying any commission to the estate of the original author?

I haven't read the original work Little Fuzzy and I might now that it has been brought to my attention, which was one of Scalzi's goals. So maybe in a way this can be a good thing. I guess time will tell on that front. It will be interesting to see where this leads and if he is successful with it.

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