- With Mad Max: Fury Road right around the corner, expectations are high on behalf of the studio and fans for interest in the franchise to be renewed. And really, that's the sign of a great reboot. When a filmmaker takes a franchise that is seemingly dead in the water or mostly gone from public conscience, and reignites interest and excitement around it, you know that the reboot has succeeded.
So, on that note, before Max Rockatansky hits the silver screen once again, let's take a look back at 7 movie reboots that proved to be absolutely necessary.
X-Men: First ClassAfter X-Men: The Last Stand, many had written off the X-Men franchise, and rightfully so. While the first two entries were great, the third one kind of went off the rails, resulting in an utter mess and one of the worst superhero movies, ever.
But then Matthew Vaughn came along and 20th Century Fox had the brilliant idea to reboot the franchise with an origin story, using a fresh cast of actors to play younger versions of everyone's favorite mutants. It was an ambitious idea, to say the least, but it kickstarted a brand new set of X-Men films that have set a very high bar within the genre.
Dredd 3DWhile the Dredd reboot proved to be absolutely necessary, especially in light of how atrocious Sylvester Stallone's 1995 version was, it unfortunately wasn't enough to spark a sequel. Well, not yet at least. Though the producers have time and time again stated that Dredd 3D didn't make enough money to warrant a follow-up, fans are still holding out hope. And why wouldn't they?
Pete Travis' film was an absolute blast from start to finish, nailing the tone of the character, staying faithful to the source material and building an intriguing world for everyone's favorite Judge to play in. With impressive visuals, expertly choreographed action scenes and Karl Urban's superb take on the titular hero, it really is a shame that we haven't seen a sequel to this film yet.
Casino RoyaleAfter the Pierce Brosnan entries got a bit too campy and whacky, it was time to ground the James Bond franchise. While Casino Royale isn't a full-on reboot in the sense that some of these other entries are, it did introduce a new actor whose take on the iconic character was quite different than what we had seen before. It also presented a grittier and more realistic story that felt like a huge departure from where the franchise had just come from.
After years of what was almost self-parody, Casino Royale made James Bond cool again. Daniel Craig's brilliant portrayal of the super spy went a long way in making him relevant in pop culture and combined with the dark tone, lean plot and stylistic direction, 007 once again found himself as an audience favorite and a beloved cinematic property.
Rise Of The Planet Of The ApesI still think that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is far superior to Rise, in almost every regard, but 20th Century Fox's reboot played a pivotal role in reigniting interest in the classic sci-fi franchise which had become all but obsolete in recent years.
Taking us back to the beginning so that we could see how it all started was a fantastic idea and thankfully, it was brilliantly executed, as director Rupert Wyatt brought back the human element that previous entries in the franchise had been sorely missing. Throw in some jaw-dropping effects work from WETA and Andy Serkis' groundbreaking motion capture performance and you have a reboot that not only served its purpose, but also erased the horrible Tim Burton version from our memories.
Batman BeginsWhere would Batman be without Batman Begins? After the dreadful Batman & Robin, both interest and respect for the Caped Crusader plummeted to an all-time low. Enter Christopher Nolan. Coming off the psychological thriller Memento, he seemed an unlikely candidate to turn the once great franchise around, which was a monumental task given how badly it had been damaged.
However, by taking us back to Bruce's origins, grounding the story in a gritty and believable Gotham, and making Batman intimidating (thanks to Bale's intense performance), he proved to be just the shot to the heart that Bats needed. Thanks to his fantastic trilogy of films, the Caped Crusader is now one of the most beloved properties in Hollywood, proving that any franchise, no matter how badly it had been damaged, can be resuscitated.
Man of SteelSay what you want about Man of Steel's ending, and its numerous other problems, but it's hard to deny that it did a commendable job of rebooting the character after the utter horror that was Superman Returns. Like Nolan's Batman films, it went for a grittier, darker tone, a tone that will undoubtedly follow through into the upcoming slate of DC Cinematic Universe movies. And really, that was one of Man of Steel's main purposes: to set the tone and begin the world building for the DC Cinematic Universe.
In that sense, I think it succeeded. It was far from perfect, and I wouldn't even call it a great reboot, but it was most definitely necessary for Warner Bros. and DC to kickstart what looks to be a very exciting new journey into a massive universe.