A remake is a piece of media based primarily on an earlier work of the same medium.



The term "remake" is generally used in reference to a movie which uses an earlier movie as the main source material, rather than in reference to a second, later movie based on the same source. For example, 2001's Ocean's Eleven is a remake of the 1960 film, while 1989's Batman is a re-interpretation of the comic book source material which also inspired 1966's Batman.

With some exceptions, remakes make significant character, plot, and theme changes. For example, the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is centered on a bank robbery, while its 1999 remake involves the theft of a valuable piece of artwork. Similarly, when the 1969 film The Italian Job was remade in 2003, few aspects were carried over. Another notable example is the 1932 film Scarface which was remade in 1983 starring Al Pacino; whereas the setting of 1932 version is the illegal alcohol trade, the characters in the 1983 version are involved in cocaine smuggling. Sometimes a remake is made by the same director. For example, Yasujirō Ozu's black and white A Story of Floating Weeds was remade into the color Floating Weeds. Alfred Hitchcock remade his 1934 black and white The Man Who Knew Too Much in color in 1956; as did Cecil B. DeMille with his 1956 remake of his silent 1923 film The Ten Commandments. Most recently, in 2008, Michael Haneke made Funny Games U.S., his English-language remake of his original Funny Games (this is also an example of a shot-for-shot remake).

Not all remakes use the same title as the previously released version; the 1966 film Walk, Don't Run, for example, is a remake of the World War II comedy The More the Merrier. This is particularly true for films that are remade from films produced in another language, such as: Point of No Return (from the French Nikita), Vanilla Sky (from the Spanish Abre los ojos), The Magnificent Seven (from the Japanese Seven Samurai), A Fistful of Dollars (from the Japanese Yojimbo), and The Departed (from Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs).

Although it does not meet the definition of a remake, a similar (and increasingly common) development is the use of a successful (usually older) television series as the source material for a feature film. Like film remakes, these often fare badly at the box-office and/or are considered a poor reflection on the source material (e.g. The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Dudley Do-Right); however, some have gone on to become successful film franchises (e.g. The Addams Family, Mission: Impossible).

Video games

There are video game remakes as well. Some are more complete remakes where much of the game was changed such as Metroid: Zero Mission being a remake of the original Metroid or Silent Hill: Shattered Memories being a whole re-interpretation of the original Silent Hill. Some of them are simply the original game with some added content, such as the Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Bully. Others are essentially the same game, perhaps with some added content, simply ported to newer video game consoles or operating systems. There are even some that are a mixture of the two, where there is a good mix of old and new content, such as the Final Fantasy remakes for the Nintendo DS and Super Mario 64 DS. OpenTTD is a fan-made remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Video games can be remade using better technology to enhance graphics such as Nintendo's translation of Nintendo 64 games to the 3D via Nintendo 3DS.


Remakes occur less often on television than in film, but have happened from time to time. Examples include Battlestar Galactica (1978, 2003), He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983, 2002), Hunter, Knight Rider (1982, 2008), La Femme Nikita (1997, 2010), Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, V (1983, 2009), Hawaii Five-O (1968, 2010), and Charlie's Angels (1976, 2011).

One area where television remakes are particularly common is trans-Atlantic ports, where US shows are remade for the UK (see List of U.S. television series remade for the British market) or more frequently, UK shows are remade for a US market (see List of British television series remade for the U.S. market). A notable example is Three's Company, a US remake of the British Man About the House: not only was the original show re-created (with very few character or situation changes made, at least initially), but both series had spin-offs based on the Ropers (in the UK, George And Mildred, in the US, The Ropers), and both series were eventually re-tooled into series based on the male lead (in the UK, Robin's Nest, in the US, Three's a Crowd).

While not, strictly speaking, remakes, television adaptations of theatrical films have occurred (e.g. La Femme Nikita, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H, F/X: The Series). There also have been TV series that are (more or less) direct spin-offs of successful films (e.g. Highlander: The Series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).

Other re-imagined pilots include Dallas (2011), Wonder Woman (2011), and Annie.[1]

Reimagine or renovate

In the 2000s reimagine (or re-imagine) and, to a lesser extent, renovate became popular in reference to remakes which do not closely follow the original. The terms are used by creators in the marketing of films and television shows to inform audiences that the new product is not the same as the old one.[citation needed] Reimaginings and renovations often contain tongue in cheek references to the original, with characters of the same name and similar concepts, while remaining significantly different from the original. In Tin Man, a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz, for example, the main character is named DG, a reference to Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz, and the land she enters is called the Outer Zone (O.Z.).

The imagining of a franchise often leads to controversy within established fan communities as to which is more legitimate or more popular. There are various examples of remakes which are most associated with the reimagine or renovate terms, and these include Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, Nora Ephron's Bewitched, Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, Rob Zombie's Halloween, Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica, David Eick's Bionic Woman, Nelson McCormick's Prom Night, Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, and Kenneth Johnson V. Tim Burton has denied that his 2010 film Alice in Wonderland is a renovation of Lewis Carroll's classic novel; however, the plot line of the film bears very little resemblance to the original or derivatives of it, such as the classic 1951 animated film from Walt Disney.

The reimaginging or renovation practice has also occurred within other media, such as video games and comic books. One example in gaming is Bomberman Act: Zero, a more hardcore version of Bomberman, which was not well received. Another is Bionic Commando Rearmed, which changes some elements of the game and story to fit into a sequel, while paying homage to the original. In comics, the new Sgt. Rock, with the Rock character as a member of the U.S. 442nd Infantry regiment, and the unknown "Easy Company", as well as Unknown Soldier, which takes place in Uganda in 2002, both change the character's background or setting in order for the story to be more realistic and interesting for modern readers. The term reimagine has also been applied to music releases, such as Brian Wilson Reimagines Gerswhin (Disney, 2010) and Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis: The Album" (Sony Legacy, 2010).

See also


  1. ^ Fleming, Mike (February 9, 2011), "‘Glee’s Ryan Murphy Courted To Direct ‘Annie’ With Willow Smith". Deadline Hollywood.

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  • remake — [ rimɛk ] n. m. • 1946; mot angl., de to remake « refaire » ♦ Anglic. Film reproduisant, avec de nouveaux acteurs, la première version d un film à succès. Nouvelle version (d une œuvre littéraire). ● remake nom masculin (américain remake, de l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • remake — / ri:meik/, it. /ri meik/ s. ingl. [da (to ) remake rifare ], usato in ital. al masch., invar. (cinem., teatr.) [nuova versione di un film, di uno spettacolo] ▶◀ rifacimento …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • remake — /reˈme(I)k, ingl. ˈriːˌmeɪk/ [vc. ingl., da to remake «rifare»] s. m. inv. (cine.) nuova versione, rifacimento …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

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  • Remake — Re*make (r? m?k ), v. t. To make anew. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • remake — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. rimejk – akcent na ostatniej sylabie] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż IIa, D. remakeke u {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 8}}środ. {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} powtórna realizacja tego samego scenariusza… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

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