It’s easy to get a headache when you shake your head so often wondering why Hollywood can’t get it through their head to create something that’s still capable clinging to old stories but is still something new and exciting. When hearing that The Nutty Professor is being remade again the only thing that might go through a person’s mind is whether or not it will be something entirely different from what Eddie Murphy did in the 90s and Jerry Lewis did in the 60s, or if it will be more of the same old thing. To be fair, Murphy’s version was different from Lewis’, but isn’t there any way to come up with a new title in order to at least get people to think that it might be something different? Apparently not since at this time there aren’t a lot of details about the movie, apart from the fact that it is going to be made and that for now the title is being kept. It’s true that a title can be affixed to many different ideas, but at the same time the proclamation that this movie will be something along the line of what Murphy did is enough to make a person groan since it’s still enough to wonder just when Hollywood is going to reach another revelatory stage in which it will come up with original stories, even if they have to go fringe to do it.
Trying to be nice about this any longer is difficult since as a writer it’s a bit insulting to think that Hollywood scriptwriters are being paid to come up with these ideas and aren’t being brought to task for the effort of recycling old ideas and using them as reboots. It speaks of a serious lack of creativity when there are stories out there are being brought to the people but are typically buried by the efforts of studios that want to go with the ‘tried and true’ formulas that have worked in the past but….somehow….are NOT working in the present. Did anyone get that? It’s become quite easy for the studios to push ideas that are essentially the same with a new wrapping and a ‘new’ story for people to enjoy while convincing them that they’re being innovative and fresh with their ideas. And people are still going for it. They’re still allowing themselves to be spoonfed old ideas that are becoming less and less effective through the years as they’re peddled again and again in ways that many are somehow thinking are effective. It is wrong to state that there is no innovation or creativity left in Hollywood, as there’s plenty still to be had if anyone found themselves willing to tap into it to bring forth an idea that might be considered enticing and worthwhile. But reboots, remakes, and continual sequels became the norm a while ago, and people have somehow had a hard time moving on from these ideas as they see a new, shiny veneer laid over an old idea and somehow accept that this is the best idea to come along in a long time.
Sounding cynical of the writers that peddle this stuff is way too easy, and to be certain, they’re easy targets since their work is on display quite often. To be honest, some reboots and remakes haven’t been too bad, but the mere idea of thinking that they’re the way to continue forward is problematic since it inspires another generation to think that digging in the archives is the only way to move forward and that trying to make something out of a classic that could possibly outdo the classic and bring attention to a revamped idea is what is being taught to film students these days. Some resist this trend and create new ideas that either get buried or garner some attention and are then nearly forgotten, but too often the reboots and the remakes become the stories that gain the most attention thanks to nostalgia and the overt push of those that want to please the people with something quickly and not bother developing something that could be turned into a great story. That’s one of the major foibles of Hollywood though, this incessant need to bring back old material and create something that people will somehow embrace simply because it’s being pushed in one way or another.
The Nutty Professor was a great movie for its time both in the first and second versions, but obviously the sequel that Eddie Murphy came up with wasn’t a great idea since it didn’t even come close to doing what the first movie did and it was panned by critics. Another reboot sounds like less of a good idea than it does an attempt to make a cash grab at something that might have been popular back in the day, but is best left where it was.