Whenever people talk about the state of the modern movie world, there is a very good chance that the prevalence of sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots is going to come up. Of course, that makes perfect sense as it often feels like every week news breaks that Hollywood is set to reimagine another successful franchise from the past.
While there certainly are examples of franchise reboots that have added to the legacy of an already beloved series, a good percentage of them miss the mark. In fact, some of these reboots are so bad that they actually take away from the previously beloved franchise as a whole. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 15 franchise reboots so bad they ruined the originals.
15 Conan The Barbarian
Given how good Jason Mamoa has been in some other projects, there were reasons to have high hopes for his Conan The Barbarian reboot. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to compete with Arnold on the big screen and the remake certainly failed in that regard. Worse yet, anyone that came out of 2011’s Conan The Barbarian could have perceived the franchise as a by-the-numbers, boring swords and sandals series.
Given how poorly crafted the sequels to 1987’s Robocop were, at one point it seemed impossible that a series reboot could make the series seem worse off. However, those films were largely forgotten whereas 2014’s Robocop, which totally misunderstood the appeal of the original film, was high profile enough that it was impossible to ignore.
13 Tomb Raider
While Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider films were never considered to be classics by most moviegoers, they were perceived to be mostly fun adventure tales. On the other hand, 2018’s attempted gritty reboot took away the positive aspects of the original pair of films which is a huge disservice to the franchise’s legacy.
12 The Lone Ranger
Easily among the most beloved TV shows in the world during its heyday, The Lone Ranger held a special place in the hearts of an entire generation of youngsters. However, once that series came to an end, the show was largely seen as a relic of television history. Sadly, that is preferable to the franchise’s current perception as the recent film reboot made the series seem unwatchable as a whole.
11 Bad News Bear
Despite the fact that a lot of people came out of 1976’s Bad News Bears talking about how foul-mouthed the movie’s main character was, the original films had a lot of heart. On the other end of the spectrum, 2005’s reboot left most of the story at the door and double-downed on the vulgarity. Unfortunately, for some viewers that solidified their perception that the franchise is all about controversy.
10 The Mummy
When it comes to Tom Cruise’s version of The Mummy, it pulled off something truly impressive, it ruined two different pre-existing versions of the franchise. After all, Boris Karloff’s take on the story was far scarier than the 2017 film, and The Mummy trilogy that starred Brendan Fraser could be a lot of fun whereas Cruise’s movie was joyless.
9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
After Michael Bay’s Transformers movies made a fortune at the box office, Hollywood opted to hire him to produce a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie reboot. While that makes sense from an accounting perspective, 2014’s TMNT movie failed to recapture the charm of the original series and made the franchise as a whole seem soulless.
Unfortunately, it seems like Dudley Moore’s brilliant portrayal of an extremely wealthy and childish alcoholic in 1981’s Arthur and its lesser quality but still enjoyable sequel has largely been forgotten. However, at one point, it seemed like the franchise was set to be rejuvenated with the release of a remake that starred Russell Brand. Instead, that film’s titular character lacked any charm and made the series seem like a dud.
An example of a movie that tried to update a previously successful franchise for a modern audience, Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman’s Meta Bewitched reboot failed to find a young audience. On top of that, it also broke the reality of the original series that millions of people loved during its heyday.
Don’t get us wrong, we realize that Rob Zombie’s take on Halloween has a lot of fans and we can actually see that some elements of the film were interesting. However, Zombie’s film was far too sadistic. For example, the treatment of a female asylum inmate was particularly hard to watch. On top of that, Zombie’s version of Laurie Strode was such a huge departure from the original character that it tarnished a horror icon who had a huge role in the original franchise.
5 Planet of the Apes
Fortunately for longtime fans of the Planet of the Apes film franchise, the franchise’s recent trilogy of films was excellent. That fact has allowed moviegoers to move past Tim Burton’s 2001 Apes film which is great since that movie was so incomprehensible that even ruined the original movie’s time travel ending.
One of the longest-running film series in movie history, the Godzilla franchise has millions of fans so it made sense when it was rebooted for America in 1998. Unfortunately, the reboot’s story was so awful it turned virtually everyone off and we can only imagine how bad some younger viewers thought the original movies were as a result. After all, if the original movies also were written that poorly and featured incredibly dated effects, they would be unwatchable.
3 A Nightmare on Elm Street
When it comes to most horror movie franchises, it is perfectly ok to include some story elements that are not for the faint of heart. However, when A Nightmare on Elm Street was rebooted in 2010, the new film leaned heavily into portraying Freddy as a pedophile which even made the original movies feel icky.
Still considered to be among the best horror films of all-time for good reason, Psycho was a haunting film that inspired several sequels. While those films could never live up to the original, they had some merits and didn’t tarnish it either. However, Gus Van Sant’s shot for shot remake of Hitchcock’s film was pointless and took away the original movie’s subtlety which undermined some of the series’ best moments.
1 The Pink Panther
Long considered to be among the funniest films ever made, at their best Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther movies were chocked full of comedy gold. On the other end of the spectrum, 2006’s Pink Panther reboot film managed to make the imminently talented Steve Martin seem like a total hack and forever damaged the series’ reputation.