Greg Cox wrote:
Just to show my age, I'd also add the early Hammer Films back in the late fifties and early sixties, which basically rebooted the old Universal Horror franchises . . . and quite successfully.
But those were more like re-adaptations of literary works.
I don't know. I've always found that an arbitrary distinction. By that reasoning, the remakes of PLANET OF THE APES, PSYCHO, and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (among others) should get a pass since the original films were all based on literary works, but those movies are commonly cited as bad or unnecessary remakes. Whether or not the original film was based on a book or not really has little to do with the quality or merit of any movie remakes or reboots. If the original movie is regarded as a classic, like THE WIZARD OF OZ or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, some people are going to regard it as untouchable, regardless of whether it was a literary adaptation or not.
Or to use more skiffy examples, is it okay to remake LOGAN'S RUN (which was based on a book), but not okay to remake FANTASTIC VOYAGE (which wasn't)? Again, that seems like a meaningless distinction to me.
(There's also the fact that moviegoers don't necessarily know or care if there was a book or short story first. Are people going to be more receptive to a remake of THE FLY or THE THING if they're familiar with the original short stories? I doubt it.)
As for Hammer, it was mostly the first films in the series that count as literary adaptions; otherwise they were churning out Dracula and Frankenstein sequels like Universal did. Plus, of course, their MUMMY movies were very much based on the Universal films, not any established literary work.