How Soon is Too Soon to Reboot a Franchise?

Our mission at SAW is to foster conversations about this thing we all love (or love to hate): film/TV. Many of our features are designed with you in mind. Your opinions, to be more to the point. You have ’em. We want to hear ’em.

Question of the Day (QOTD) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a film/TV-related question that we put to you, the reader. The comments section below is like the feedback box at work; except, in this example, we actually read what you write and care about what you have to say.

Hollywood studios are constantly bringing properties from the eighties and nineties back with the hope that nostalgia will lead to a larger box office. However, in recent years, we have seen a number of IP characters go through more than one reboot within a relatively short period of time. For instance,¬†after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombed in 2014, Sony partnered with Marvel to introduce a new Spider-Man into the MCU in 2016. After Jared Leto’s Joker failed to impress in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Joaquin Phoenix took over the role and won an Oscar for his portrayal in 2019’s Joker.

Are these casting changes happening too soon? Do we need more breathing room between different iterations of the same property? That’s the question I’d like to ask today: how soon is too soon to reboot a property?

I feel like anything under five years is too soon for the most part. There are some properties like Transformers where I wouldn’t mind seeing them remain dormant for a little while longer. I mean, it’s crazy to think that we have three live-action Batmen right now. I think we’re reaching the saturation point. We can only take so much.

But five or six years seems like a nice waiting period. Do I want to see a new James Bond film with a new actor as 007 next year? Absolutely not. I want Daniel Craig’s run to rest on its laurels for a bit before it’s replaced and forgotten about. I want to be begging studios to release the next film instead of begging them to stop releasing sequel after sequel.

If a franchise begins to underperform or flop, put it to rest for five years and then take another look at it and figure out how to be a creatively exciting and unique picture. Don’t just keep shoving garbage in our faces because you think a well-known property is a recipe to print money. ‘Cuz it’s not.

So what about you, screenagers? How soon is too soon to reboot a franchise and start over with the same characters? How long should a property rest before being rebooted?

I’ll see you in the trenches.

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"