Why You Shouldn't Expect 'Jaws' or 'Back to the Future' Remakes Any Time Soon

Why You Shouldn't Expect 'Jaws' or 'Back to the Future' Remakes Any Time Soon

Sep 03, 2015

Yesterday The Hollywood Reporter ran a story about the movie production company DreamWorks (founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen) and its pending need to find a new distribution partner. It's a fairly standard industry story, but it generated some misleading headlines thanks to some big name Spielberg movies. So let's look at what is actually happening.

- DreamWorks' current contracts with Disney will be ending next year.

- DreamWorks is expected to not renew with Disney, but instead seek a partnership elsewhere.

- One of the companies DreamWorks may partner with is Universal Studios.

Here's the part where speculation got a bit rampant:

Universal Studios is where Spielberg directed not just Jurassic Park, but E.T. and Jaws and produced Back to the Future. THR's piece merely referred to Jaws and BTTF as "potential reboots" at the studio, but for some this news has morphed into the idea that Universal is going to partner with DreamWorks just so they can make Spielberg happy enough that he'll finally approve remakes of Jaws and BTTF.

So let's reiterate: That is not what THR said is happening. They simply identified those movies as "potential reboots." They are not being rebooted any time soon, however. In fact, director-writer-producer Robert Zemeckis said barely a month ago that he and writer Bob Gale would both have to die before they'd allow Back to the Future to be remade. So let's just go ahead and take that one off of the table for now.

But what about Jaws? Obviously at one point in time Spielberg was plenty happy with letting the franchise keep churning out sequels (there are four Jaws movies total, after all), but something must have changed for him. At some point he realized that letting Jaws continue beyond his active involvement wasn't resulting in the right kind of movies, and so the franchise went dormant. We haven't had a Jaws movie on the big screen in nearly 30 years, so clearly Spielberg isn't too eager to jump at the idea.

A reboot of something like Jurassic Park makes more obvious sense. You've got lots of characters and an open-ended invite to create some cool things thanks to the science-gone-wrong premise. Regardless of what you felt about the final film, there's a ton of potential in something like Jurassic World and it is understandable that Spielberg would readily go back to that well. But Jaws is a movie about a small town, a shark, and the three men who hunt it down. It's almost too simple to reboot.

Of course a reboot is about as close to a profit guarantee as you can get in this business, and a title as recognizable as Jaws would undoubtedly make a very large chunk of money, so it's always going to be a potential target. But if Spielberg hasn't said yes to one at this point, it's probably because he realizes it's going to be a huge creative struggle to deliver a movie that actually satisfies fans and his own legacy. We're not saying that's an impossible task. A Jaws reboot may blow everyone's minds. All we're saying is you should probably wait for some actual confirmation about it happening before you get mad or excited either way.


Categories: News, In Development, Rumors
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