?As much as we might cry foul every time a beloved childhood franchise gets added to the long list of remakes and re-imaginings, some of them have been pretty cool. Take Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics figures, which combine modern figure sculpting and articulation with the feel of the classic He-Man figures. Unfortunately, for every Masters Classics or Predators — which looks amazing… so far — there’s a dozen G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobras which seems to completely miss the point of what made the property cool in the first place. Of course, those aren’t going to stop companies from remaking the nerdy properties of our youth, and it’s not going to stop us from wanting them (mostly). Here are nine cartoons, movies, toylines and games which seem especially ready for second shot at fame.
9) Captain Planet
The blue and red uniformed Captain Planet was as still green as his hair long before the term became a household name. Yes, the original environmentally friendly cartoon took a hamfisted approach to getting kids to think about recycling and pollution, but there was a good enough message behind the ridiculousness. We’d like to see a grittier, unhinged Captain Planet wreaking havoc on the common litterer with past-their-prime Planeteers Kwame, Wheeler, Linka and Gi trying to get him back on the right path after the death of Ma-Ti. Yup, we’d kill off the heart wielder because, well, it’s a stupid power to have.
8) Inspector Gadget
Children of the ’80s loved Inspector Gadget because the lovable cyborg loser just could not function without the aid of his niece Penny and her dog Brain. As much as we’d love to see a more competent noir cyber detective taking care of business like an actual super sleuth, we’ll settle for a re-imagining of the character voiced by Steve Carell with a his wits about him a little bit more and plenty of new go go Gadget gadgets.
The Wrestler and Pi director Darren Aronofsky has supposedly been working on a relaunch/sequel of the RoboCop series. He’s got our vote of confidence as he makes some seriously crazy movies and he seems to be a big fan of the original(s) — is anyone really a fan of RoboCop 3? Anyway, whoever finally gets their hands on the next RoboCop movies needs to take a few notes from the original: make it dark, dirty and violent. And please, avoid campiness at all costs.
6) Rock Lords
Spawned from the muck of GoBots, RockLords were, well, transforming rock,s basically. First appearing the 1986 theatrical release of GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords, the Rock Lords went on to get their own toy line and that’s about it. The whole franchise deserves a reboot starting with the release of the movie on DVD, followed by an animated series featuring the adventures of Boulder, Nuggit, Magmar, Tombstone and the rest along with a brand new toyline. The toys should look as much like real rocks as possible, because everyone knows there’s nothing more fun that playing with rocks.
Sectaurs combined action figures with giant bug puppets. How did they not take over the universe? Obviously, they need to be resurrected immediately. Considering nearly every toyline now needs a movie or animated tie-in, let’s have both. Do a more adult oriented flick with the special effects wizards at Weta (Lord of the Rings) pitting Prince Dargon and the Shining Realm of Prosperon against Empress Devora and the Dark Domain of Synax. Go Avatar with that craziness! Then, do an animated series to get the kiddies interested, which should coincide with the brand new figures which will sport Marvel Legends-like sculpting and articulation with even more lifelike giant bugs. You know, so adults like us can buy them.
This is a tricky one. The original Halloween remains one of the greatest horror movies of all time with some surprisingly good sequels. Until you get to the sloppy, all-over-the-placeness of 1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers starring a young Paul Rudd. After that, star of the first two Jamie Lee Curtis came back, but the story in Halloween H20 and Resurrection completely ignores the events of the fourth, fifth and sixth installments. Plus, of course, Halloween III was intended to be the next installment in a Halloween-themed anthology instead of a sequel. All of which was rebooted when Rob Zombie made his painfully bad Halloween in 2007 followed by its own sequel. Usually, we’d just want the terrible remake universe to die-out, but in this case, we want to see a sequel to the original series — not a reboot — which tries to tie all the original movies together and move on from there. Sure it could be a huge mess and not very interesting to new fans, but a good writer and director can overcome anything. Literally anything would be better than another Zombie installment.
3) Puppet Master
Alfred Hitchcock always said that you shouldn’t make movies out of good books, but crappy ones you could improve on. We’d like to see that attitude taken with some of these horror remakes instead of churning out starlet-filled PG-13 drivel. Take the Puppet Master movies. for example. They all kind of suck. There’s not enough actual killer puppets which is disappointing considering how cool Blade and Pinhead look. Give this one to Eli Roth and just see where it goes. If it sucks, no big loss, you can always go back and watch one of the ten movies in the original series.
2) Double Dragon
When trying to think of a classic NES game series with a good number of sequels, it wasn’t easy coming up with something that hasn’t already been updated for the Wii or other systems. Heads were slapped in astonishment when we realized Double Dragon hasn’t had a new installment since 2003’s Double Dragon Advance, which was really just a port for the Game Boy Advance. How is that friggin’ possible?! Someone needs to snatch this franchise up immediately and give us the girlfriend-losing adventure we’ve been waiting for on the next gen systems with graphics that give Billy and Jimmy their rightful place in the updated pantheon of video game legends.
Sure, it’s a bit on the nose, but with the huge leaps and bounds computer and gaming technology have made since ReBoot went off the air, there’s plenty of new storylines that could be explored. There’s been word of a ReBoot reboot for a while now, but we’ll believe it when we see it. The new series should take full advantage of the advancements in CGI, maybe even pushing the envelope even more by going 3-D. Appearances by actual videogame characters would also be a welcome addition to the ongoing saga of Bob, Dot, Enzo and the evil Megabyte. Pft, Megabyte? He’ll definitely need an upgrade.