Hollywood is all out of ideas. All we get is reboots and remakes. We’ve all heard it a thousand times. But they’re not all bad, as these 19 films and television reboots were looking forward to in 2019 prove.
Some of our favorite films have been remakes, like “Cape Fear,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Scarface,” “True Grit” and even this year’s breakout hit, “A Star Is Born.” Sometimes it’s the advancement of technology that can breathe new life into an old story, or sometimes it’s a more current connection. Sometimes a more dynamic cast, a sharper script or just better production values can make an old story shine like its brand new.
After all, reboots and remakes are almost never shot-for-shot remakes of the originals, and when they are it can get a little weird like Gus Van Sant’s ill-conceived and poorly-received “Psycho” remake. The best reboots and remakes take the concepts and spirit of the original and revitalize them to the modern era, making them fresh and new.
The bottom line is that we don’t have to roll our eyes when we hear about another reboot or remake. Sure, it’s familiar, but it can also be brand new in so many exciting ways, like Stephen King’s “It” remake that mesmerized moviegoers all summer long.
For the following list, we tried to stick with projects we know are going to come out in 2019 in theaters or on television, but there’s no guarantee that something won’t slip its schedule or find some other reason to get delayed into 2020 or beyond.
Here’s hoping all 19 stick their 2019 landing, because we’re too excited to wait much longer.
While the first film had its problems, “Pet Semetary” remains one of Stephen King’s most haunting books, and the first trailer for this latest reboot of the property looks like they got the tone just right. Because we’re kind of already freaked out about it and we’ve only seen two minutes of it. With the success of “It” in theaters and King projects everywhere, the master of horror is having a bit of a Hollywood moment, and it looks like “Pet Semetary” is poised to be another deliciously terrifying chapter in it. (April 5, 2019)
The Lion King
We don’t care of it’s called a live-action remake or just a CGI remake, the new “Lion King” looks absolutely breathtaking, and that opening number is as powerful now as it was in the original animated film. Honestly, they had us when they announced James Earl Jones as back as Mufasa but the rest of this cast is just stellar: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key and Beyonce! Yes, please! (July 19, 2019)
Son of Shaft
We are so glad that this is a sequel to the original as Richard Roundtree’s 1970s “Shaft” films were so much a products of their time, he didn’t quite work as he was in the modern era, as Samuel L. Jackson learned in the 2000 remake as his nephew. Now both Roundtree and Jackson are back as the original John Shaft and John Shaft II, serving as support for Jessie Usher’s John Shaft III. That’s a legacy we can get behind, and we’re certainly excited that “Girls Trip” and “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is co-writing the script, so it should be sharp, witty, topical and funny … just like the original. (June 14, 2019)
Despite some early criticism of the first teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of the 1992 classic, we’re still cautiously optimistic that “Aladdin” is going to bring some of the charm of the original to the screen. Robin Williams is hard to replace, but we felt much better when new genie Will Smith assured us he would be blue and not look like he did in that poorly-received Entertainment Weekly cover. We love the authenticity of the cast and the sweeping shots of Agrabah make us believe this will be a stunning visual treat. We can’t wait for Mena Massoud’s Aladdin to take us on a magic carpet ride. (May 24, 2019)
Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Ryan Reynolds takes on the role of Pikachu, which is almost enough reason to watch this reboot, but add to it that the film is the first-ever live-action take on the popular franchise and Pokemon fans are already salivating at seeing their favorite Pokemon realized like they’ve never seen them before. A little nervous about it at first, we’re relieved to find out that they’re taking the crazy world of Pokemon seriously — which is much darker than most people realize — rather than trying to be hip and above it all and make a kind of parody. It’s absolutely bizarre, but if it works, it’s going to be just amazing. (May 10, 2019)
What Men Want
While some gender-swapped projects just seem rather pointless, this remake of “What Women Want” is positively inspired. And who better to get let into the terrifying inner thoughts of men than “Empire” breakout Taraji P. Henson. Rather than use it for personal gain, Henson’s Ali Davis uses her newfound ability to find out why she got passed up for a promotion at work and really explore the man’s world she lives in as a sports agent. Okay, it also deals with personal stuff, but we can’t wait to see what thoughts the writers are brave enough to put in Tracy Morgan and Max Greenfield’s head for her to overhear. (February 8, 2019)
The original film made us cry, the trailer for this new film made us cry and just thinking about watching it in such stunning live-action is making us cry again. But it’s the kind of crying we’ll gladly do, because “Dumbo” looks like it’s going to be one of the most beautiful live-action remakes of the Disney library. Tim Burton has put his stamp on it, creating a visually unique palette colored with Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green as the adults circling the children and the adorable little elephant with big ears, an even bigger heart and the biggest talent of them all. (March 29, 2019)
Hellboy is a tragic character, misunderstood and feared when he’s just a regular guy, despite how he looks. “Stranger Things” breakout star David Harbour is an inspired choice to take over the lead role from Ron Perlman in this darker, R-rated reboot. A more psychological exploration of Hellboy — who is unique in popular culture — promises a film with more depth and sophistication than the first two. While some are nervous about “Hellboy” without Guillermo del Toro, we’re hopeful that creator Mike Mignola’s involvement will help keep things in the spirit of his character. (April 12, 2019)
Men in Black: International
Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith were iconic as Agents J and K in the original “Men in Black” films, so it’s nice to see that this sequel film is mixing it up by introducing Agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and M (Tessa Thompson). Emma Thompson reprises her role as Agent O, the head of US MIB, and we expect plenty of other Easter eggs and fun. The “MiB” films were still just tapping into their full potential, and we expect modern filmmaking techniques to make this even more of a visual delight to go with its sharp wit and hilarious alien moments. (June 14, 2019)
While “The Grudge” is also coming and might be more exciting to some, we can’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the little guy who made us afraid to play with dolls of any kind as kids. Coming this summer, Chucky gets a reboot with Aubrey Plaza as the mother who gives her son a seemingly innocent doll only to have it becoming a murderous monster instead. Okay, we’re already afraid of dolls again, but super excited for this movie. (June 21, 2019)
The Addams Family
After a popular television series and two blockbuster films, many fans probably don’t even realize “The Addams Family” all started with as a single-panel comic series. The latest film revival takes them back to those roots, styled as Charles Addams envisioned them and voiced by an all-star cast including Chloe Grace Moretz, Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Bette Midler. The weirdness of the family should translate well into the modern world, where they’ll square off against a reality-TV host. This should be an easy hit. (October 18, 2019)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
One of the most fully-realized fantasy worlds in Jim Henson’s massive catalog of creations, “The Dark Crystal” was a visually stunning film ahead of its time in many ways. He brought puppets to life in a more mature and sophisticated way than ever seen before or since. More in line thematically and tonally with “The Labyrinth” than “The Muppets,” we can’t wait to see what Netflix does with ten episodes for a prequal saga to the 1982 film executive produced by Jim’s daughter, Lisa Henson. (Netflix, 2019)
The Twilight Zone
Jordan Peele proved he knows how to get under your skin and serve up a brilliant twist like no other, so we couldn’t be more stoked that he’s taking the helm of a reboot of the classic “Twilight Zone” series as executive producer and host. “Black Mirror” has us hyped for the possibilities of modern dark anthologies, and we can’t wait to see what Peele’s distinct vision brings to the iconic format. Finally, a reason for non-“Star Trek” fans to get CBS All Access. (CBS All Access, 2019)
Roswell, New Mexico
After three seasons around the turn of the century, cult classic “Roswell” is returning to The CW as “Roswell, New Mexico.” Our anticipation for this new series is almost solely based on our love of the original, though casting “Pretty Little Liars” superstar Tyler Blackburn and “Vampire Diaries” hottie Michael Trevino certainly aren’t making us mad. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “SYTYCD” winner Jeanine Mason takes the lead opposite “Originals” star Jackson Kenner, and it’s like they know exactly who we like to see in our weird sci-fi/supernatural programming. Bring on the alien weirdness, already! (The CW, January 15, 2019)
The Hills: New Beginnings
We’ll be the first to admit that this was trash TV, but it was addicting trash TV, even if it pushed “reality” television further from true reality. But just like the guidos and guidettes of “Jersey Shore,” we’d be lying if we said we weren’t super excited to see this crew return to our televisions. And even though we’ll miss the likes of Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari (not returning), we’re pumped to step back into the now-adult worlds of Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Audrina Patridge, Brody Jenner and more. (MTV, 2019)
Party of Five
One of the smartest “kid” shows of the ’90s, “Party of Five” gave us Matthew Fox, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf, but also gave us plenty of heart, smart stories and the challenges of five siblings trying to survive after their parents deaths. The reboot modernizes it to five Mexican kids after their parents get deported, which sounds about as culturally relevant as it gets. Add to it original creators Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman and we’re sold. Now let’s talk OG cast cameos. (Freeform, 2019)
Daria & Jodie
“Daria” spoke to a generation disenchanted with the world around them, and her message resonates perhaps more strongly now than ever. In MTV’s reboot of the popular series from the late ’90s and early ’00s, Daria is joined by Jodie, the top of her class and one of the few black students in their school, and basically do what “Daria” does: offer scathing criticism of the status quo on every issue you can imagine. (MTV, 2019)
One of the shows that defined the notion of a quaint small town filled with quirky citizens, “Northern Exposure” was a national phenomenon in the early 1990s. America fell in love with the Alaskan townsfolk and fish-out-of-water Dr. Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow) who is reportedly set to return to the role, though now he wouldn’t be the newcomer as CBS is looking at a continuation of the original, that could land as early as this fall. (CBS, 2019)
Adding a hint of racial tension into its narrative, “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is helming the upcoming reboot of “Bewitched,” which will cast Samantha as a black woman in an interracial couple. Unaware of how race works in America, the show will explore how even her magical abilities can’t overcome certain obstacles society might have in place. Tackling important issues with a laugh is something Barris does very well, so this should be both provocative and funny. (ABC, 2019)
As if the 2014 revival movie weren’t enough, Hulu is now looking to bring back Kristen Bell and “Veronica Mars” for an eight-episode limited series sometime in 2019. While it’s still in the early stages of development, we’ve got confidence that much of the original cast will return, and even if some don’t, it’s got Kristen Bell, who is a national treasure at this point. And with “The Good Place” only doing 13-episode seasons, she’ll have plenty of time to get to sluething. (Hulu, 2019)
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