Das Reboot: 3 Forgotten Franchises that desperately need a comeback!
It is nearly impossible to think of a franchise that has not been rebooted, or at least being that’s rumoured to be in development. But today we look at three forgotten gems from pop culture past that need to be resurrected.
It’s difficult to think of time when the cinematic slate wasn’t dominated by reboots, sequels or adaptations of existing franchises. It’s not hard to see why, taking a property with a built-in fan base, a pre-established mythology and a wealth of premade stories ready to be rolled out. And while not all of these are work out, the success stories are too numerous to count.
With this winning formula we are seeing more and more cherished favourites of the past being re-tooled for modern audiences and brought to life again and often not in the same format the originated from. When done right, like in the highly entertaining Ash VS the Evil Dead series, we see new life brought to a classic, creating a new generation of fans while giving the original devotees enough to revisit.
This trend shows no signs of fading away any time soon, a quick google search will provide a laundry list of new remakes on the way, including everything from Gossip Girl to Thundercats (full disclosure I am massively excited for both)
Even with the wealth of reimagined properties we have at our disposal there are still some absolute belters that are in danger of being cast aside and here’s our top three right here!
1. Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island was a titan of the point and click adventure game, storming onto on the Amiga, MS-DOS, Atari ST and Macintosh in 1990. Following the hilarious adventures of Guybrush Threepwood, his quest to become a mighty pirate and his run ins with the infamous ghost pirate LeChuck.
The game was famed for its challenging puzzles, amazing graphics (at the time), intriguing plot and most of all its fantastically absurd humour. The swashbuckling franchise enjoyed a near twenty-year run amassing four sequels, a remaster of the first two games and even a long-rumoured movie adaptation.
Unfortunately, Disney’s 2012 acquisition of publisher LucasArts saw the cult favourite put on ice, many have speculated this was due to its similarities with the existing Pirates of the Caribbean property (ironically the original ride was said to be an inspiration for the game) and sadly, there has been silence ever since.
The rejuvenation of the adventure game, though Telltale game’s smash hits like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among us paves the way for a return to glory for Monkey Island, with old favourites like insult sword fighting being easily adapted for modern gamers and letting a new generation fall in love with this classic series.
If there is one thing that’s clear it’s that 2021 needs a dose of POWER-XTREME!
Centurions was a short-lived action figure line and cartoon series from 1986, helmed by legendary toy creator Kenner and boasting creative input from comic book master Jack Kirby.
The story focused on three heroes gifted with exo-suits that allowed them to harness the power of technology and attach vehicle parts to their own body. Each Centurions suit was related to an induvial element, Sea, Earth, and Air (only one had a fantastic moustache though) which they used to fight against the evil Doc Terror and thwart his plans to cybernetically enslave all humans.
In a crowded marketplace, Centurions never really managed to stand out and this sci-fi epic soon drifted into obscurity.
As far as toy line-tie in TV shows Centurions was standard and insane in all the best ways, did I mention it had a space station staffed by an Orangutan?) but what really makes me think it could thrive in the modern world is the higher-level concepts that the show snuck in.
One of the main themes of the series was humanity’s relationship with technology, while Doc Terror wanted to force the human race to forcibly become one with machines by converting everyone into his cybernetic slaves. The Centurions however used a temporary fusion with technology to help keep humanity safe, being able to disengage with their robotic exo-suits when the day was saved.
The show looked to address, what were at the time, emerging fears of the worlds increased reliance on technology by demonstrating how it could be used for both good and bad.
The discussion about technology and its place in the society has only increased in its relevance since Centurions first aired and combined with a modern anime style (that has been used to great effect recently by Netflix’s Godzilla and Pacific Rim series) we could be on to something awesome.
1988’s Dino-Riders was a short and inexplicably unsuccessful toy line tie-in animated series that only managed a run of 13 episodes.
It told the story of two warring alien factions who were transported back in time to the age of the dinosaurs and would recruit the gigantic beasts, the heroes through a shared telepathic link and the villains using mind control technology. As if having the ability to ride colossal prehistoric beasts wasn’t enough the dinosaurs were augmented by their new friends/masters with technology, arming them with cannons and the larger beasts becoming sentient battle stations.
Unfortunately, despite the sure-fire Star Wars plus Jurassic Park premise did not catch on with audiences and the show was soon extinct.
This one seems like a no brainer to me, dinosaurs, sci-fi guns, warring alien factions, it has everything!
This could easily be resurrected in it’s original animated format but why stop there. The recent success of Godzilla Vs Kong and the hype for the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion show that what the world wants is more giant monsters fighting! It would be a sight to behold to see this epic yet underrated story played out on the big screen.
It may be the case that the reboot culture of modern cinema has taken over to a ridiculous point but if we can see great forgotten franchise like these back in the spotlight, I’m OK with it.
But that do YOU think?? Are there other amazing classics I’ve forgotten? Should we cancel all the reboots? Let us know in the comments and on social media.