Remakes and Requels

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal. It’s when forces and ideas that have laid dormant come back into bloom in new and surprising ways. It’s something that happens in life and art. You can see the former in action by stepping outside and looking at the flowers and trees. If you want to catch the latter, visit the library and browse our feature film DVDs.

In that section, you’ll find many examples of a phenomenon that’s been going on since the mid-point of the previous century and a relatively new cinematic trend. We're talking, of course, about the remake and the “requel.” Everyone knows what a remake is, but the requel is when a classic film franchise is revived with some legacy characters and the actors that portrayed them in the original films, but the focus is on a new installment and brand-new characters. So, it’s both a sequel and a remake.

The requel may be a relatively new trend, but moviegoers are actively debating which film is superior; the original, the remake, or the requel? To help you settle that for yourself, we’ve created a list of some of the remakes and requels (and, in a few instances, both) available in the library’s DVD section, along with the original film that inspired them.

Scream (1996) and Scream (2022)

The Scream franchise is the perfect place to start an examination of requels. The 2022 film offers a fun definition for them and is a meta look at their conventions and tropes in the same way the original film is a love letter and an examination of slasher films.

Scream (1996)

Scream (2022)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

If you want an example of a classic film and a remake that takes the original setup and presents it in a new and contemporary way, you need to see both versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Director Don Siegel’s original is a paranoid tale of a clandestine alien invasion in a small California town, and Director Philip Kaufman’s remake has the pod-hatching alien doppelgangers infiltrating San Francisco.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

In a world full of artificially created androids that look just like us, what does it mean to be human? Director Ridley Scott first asked that question in the breathtaking and groundbreaking sci-fi neo-noir Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford as a “Replicant” hunter. Thirty-five years later, visionary director Denis Villeneuve would return to and build out that world with Blade Runner 2049, a tale starring a new Replicant hunter (Ryan Gosling) who sets out on a dangerous investigation that eventually leads him to Ford’s character, Rick Deckard.

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

The Thing from Another World (1951), The Thing (1982), and The Thing (2011)

Director John Carpenter’s 1982 film, The Thing, is widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi horror/films of all time, but what some people might not know is the film is a remake of director Christian Nyby’s 1951 adaptation of John W. Campbell Jr’s 1938 novella “Who Goes There?”. Carpenter’s film was, at the time, classified as a remake, but would now be considered more of a requel. That’s because director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s 2011 Thing is set in the same universe as Carpenter’s. It chronicles the disastrous fate of the Norwegian team discovered by Kurt Russell’s R.J. MacReady and his comrades in the 1982 film. So, the 2011 Thing is the rare example of a film that’s both a prequel and requel.

The Thing from Another World (1951)

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (2011)

The Intouchables (2011) and The Upside (2017)

The secret to any good buddy film is having two solid leads. These films about the friendship formed between a wealthy quadriplegic man and the ex-con hired to be his caretaker have a pair of incredibly charismatic actors in both the sequel and the remake. They’re such perfect pairings that you might have trouble deciding which one you like better.

The Intouchables (2011)

The Upside (2017)

Jurassic Park (1993) and Jurassic World (2015)

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 epic Jurassic Park is a wondrous thrill ride of incredible visuals of dinosaurs existing in the real world. In 2015, director Colin Trevorrow tried to reintroduce some of that dinosaur magic with Jurassic World, a film that continues the story of Spielberg’s original film and its sequels. Only this time it’s set in a new high-tech park populated by tourists, new staff, and hungry dinosaurs where things will run amok very quickly. The film does feature one legacy character, B.D. Wong’s Henry Wu, one of the scientists that created the dinosaurs in the first film.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic World (2015)

The Mummy (1932), The Mummy (1999), and The Mummy (2017)

In director Karl Freund’s 1932 film, The Mummy, filmgoers were introduced to the titular monster Imhotep, who would go on to become part of the pantheon of classic horror characters, the Universal Monsters. Sixty-seven years later, a very different Imhotep returned in director Stephen Sommers’ beloved Mummy remake that mixed the classic Universal Monster formula with the pulp adventure elements of the Indiana Jones film series. In 2017, Universal tried to relaunch its Monsters franchise with a new remake starring Tom Cruise that proved significantly less successful than the 1999 remake.

The Mummy (1932)

The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy (2017)

Jumanji (1995) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Immersive action is taken to a whole new, ridiculous level in the 1995 action-comedy Jumanji, starring Robin Williams, which revolved around the dangerous powers of a mystical board game. That game resurfaces as a classic video game in the 2017 requel Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle starring Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillen, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. Welcome to the Jungle has connections to the original film but no legacy characters. Its 2019 sequel would feature a legacy character in a surprise reveal.

Jumanji (1995)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960) and Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

If you think Steve Martin was the first person to play Little Shop of Horror’s dentist, you’d be wrong. The 1986 feature film was actually an adaptation of an off-Broadway musical, which was also an adaptation of a 1960 feature film directed by legendary B-movie producer/director Roger Corman. And in it, the tiny role of the dentist was played by a little-known actor at the time named Jack Nicholson. Corman’s movie was a low-budget horror comedy that had the same setup and much of the humor as the latter musical, but none of the catchy songs.

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)