Every time a new remake is announced, moviegoers cry out in protest, arguing that the source material is already perfect, or that the new version is a cash grab or that filmmakers are too lazy to come up with something new.
Many of these complaints are justified. I'm dreading The Lone Ranger with werewolves as much as the next movie buff (and yes, that's actually happening).
Still, reboots have brought us some truly spectacular films. The Manchurian Candidate with Denzel Washington bristles with a psychotic intensity the original couldn't quite capture and X-Men: First Class rejuvenated a failing franchise in the eyes of fans and critics alike.
I was ecstatic when the Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man was announced. Tobey Maguire was never Peter Parker to me, and superhero films have come so far since Sam Raimi's admittedly groundbreaking original trilogy. It's a little soon, but I can't wait to see a new and less campy version of Spidey swing onto the big screen.
And then there are the dueling adaptations of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sure, people could have just watched the Swedish version, but what an opportunity for film studies! David Fincher created his version directly from the book – he never saw the Swedish film. Book-to-movie adaptations are tricky, and in the two Dragon Tattoo films we can examine how two different filmmakers interpreted the same material.
Regardless of what cynics say, there is plenty of originality left in the world and it's always pleasant when something new and exciting like Kung Fu Panda or Inception comes around.
There is, however, an enormous amount of old material just waiting for a more visionary director, a more talented screenwriter or more advanced technology. There's no reason to leave all that potential on a shelf. If we did, we wouldn't have revelations like BBC's "Sherlock" or J.J. Abram's fresh glossy take on "Star Trek." It would be a crime to say that the rich material of Nickelodeon's "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is off limits for future cinematic interpretations because of M. Night Shyamalan's catastrophic take on it.
So when it comes to reboots and remakes, try to keep an open mind. You never know what could be the next Dark Knight.
Still, if they ever announce a remake of Some Like It Hot, I might just burn down Hollywood myself.