At first the sudden appearance TV shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time seemed fallout from the not one but two movies about Snow White made in the last year or so. But that was only the beginning. Now we’re seeing trailers for 2 Hansel and Gretel movies, at least one Red Riding Hood movie, a Jack the Giant Killer movie, a Jekyll and Hyde show, and so on. But why?
There are several theories. Some suggest that it’s an extension of the fantasy trend that started with Harry Potter and mutated into the whole Twilight fiasco. Others suggest that it’s part of the escapism that ramps up during times of social and economic tumult (although this theory is clearly wacky, since all of these fairy tale adaptations are made specifically to take idealized characters/stories and make them deeply flawed and nihilistic).
My theory? Its a combination of writers not being creative enough to come up with new stories (and using free, pre-fabricated, public domain content as a base), multiple media corporations buying variations on the same idea because of the banker/factory owner mentality that gave us an entire dial full of radio station that are all playing the Billboard Top 20, and the uptick in the trends previously discussed on this blog of the disappearance of the wide-eyed, idealistic hero and the Angsty, Angsty Antihero.
In the end, they’re all just lumped in with the innumerable other bad remakes of old movies. Unfortunately, they haven’t quite grasped the concept of what makes a good remake.