Q&As with student, teacher on their thoughts on rebooted movies, TV shows

Archit Kalra and Kruti Subbannavar

Arya Pinnamaneni


From a viewer’s perspective, why might a studio reboot a show or movie?

Senior West Inmon analyzes two separate screens: on the left is a scene from the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop, and on the right is the 2021 Netflix reboot, also titled Cowboy Bebop. (Zoe Tu)

“A lot of times I think it’s, ‘Why make something new when you already have something great?’ So they’ll take an original idea, add some modern elements and try to make it appeal to a newer audience. For a lot of times with reboots, the original may be great but it might also be dated. Or maybe it wasn’t great and they reinterpret it to be something better—I think it’s either a lot of fan outcry or something that was left off as a cliffhanger—and it’s like, ‘There’s been so much time now, maybe we can do a reimagining of (it) or continue where they left off.’ A lot of times that works out pretty well.”

How does nostalgia affect the way you view rebooted media?

“I think nostalgia’s one of the biggest emotions that affects (the) media, cause it can really have rose tinted glasses. When a classic is rebooted, people definitely can be way too harsh or be blinded by problems with it because, ‘Oh, this new thing is back.’

Archit Kalra

What are a few examples of “good” reboot movies or TV shows?

“I haven’t seen a lot of recent ones but I know you mentioned Rocko’s Modern Life. That was one of the recent ones I’ve seen. That reboot kind of did its own little thing but it was still a continuation of what it did. But it definitely changed a lot and made the show have a lot more commentary then it originally did. But I thought it was done really well, and it still had the same feeling as the show. When I watched it I enjoyed my time with it. But I hadn’t really seen much of the original Rocko’s Modern Life and then I went back and watched some and it kind of seemed like the same thing. The iCarly one (also) looked interesting, it didn’t look bad. I remember watching the trailer for it and I remember watching the original and it was enjoyable.”

Do you think audiences who watched the original version of a show should influence how reboots are made?

“I think it can be beneficial but a lot of times I think the best thing a reboot could do is introduce its original idea to a new audience. Instead of just trying to pander to a new audience. Like younger audiences haven’t seen the same thing.”


Why are reboots made?

“Usually they happen because they made money the first time and there’s a built-in audience. Producers are scared that they’re going to make something and nobody’s going to watch it, so reboots are easy because they have that built-in fanbase.”

Can reboots accomplish the same goals as the original for audiences?

“No, because you can never replicate anything that’s happened in history. You can make a version of it, but it’s kind of impossible to capture the same thing, just because times change. It would be kind of irresponsible to do that, especially recently because things have changed so much. Like to do stuff from back in the 90s and try to redo it today when there’s been so much cultural change, you can never really capture what it was. But I have seen it done successfully where they’ve made an adaptation and have made improvements (as) well. I don’t want to say improvements, but they’ve grown too.”

What makes a good reboot?

IB Film teacher Jim Peterson sets up a tripod. Peterson said production companies often create reboots to reach an already existing fanbase. Peterson said, “It’s just good stories. I think that’s the big thing—if it’s a good story we’ll watch it regardless of if it’s a reboot of an old story or not. If they bring something new to it, I think it will be interesting.” (Zoe Tu)

“It’s just good stories. I think that’s the big thing if it’s a good story we’ll watch it regardless of if it’s a reboot of an old story or not. If they bring something new to it, I think it will be interesting. I’m really excited about the Ghostbusters that’s coming out, because I think they’ve got the nostalgia of what I remember from the original—well, the first one: the second one I don’t like to talk about—but they kind of brought all that back. Which is a different thing from when they tried to do the all-female cast version that kind of fell flat and I’m not exactly sure why, because on paper it looked great. It just was not executed well and I don’t know who’s fault, there’s blame but I don’t know whose fault it would be.”