The film franchise reboot

Following Predators’ reboot of a long-sullied franchise, we rate some other recent franchise revivals, and give you a taste of what’s next for resuscitation


The original Wobbly batmobile; unpersuasive Gotham; agreeable but randomly selected leading man.

Updated because
Mr Freeze’s ‘Cool it!’ puns; global neon shortage.

The reboot
The camp meltdown of the Joel ‘If It Moves, Tie a Glowstick to It!’ Schumacher movies left the caped crusader in dire need of a refit. Strange that it should fall to a floppy-haired English toff and a garbling Welsh non-actor to resurrect this towering American icon, but Messrs Nolan and Bale restored the Dark Knight’s battered dignity and have delivered two absolutely thumping installments so far.


The original Prim do-gooder with corset and kiss-curl flies around the place being jolly decent.

Updated because See above.

The reboot Bryan Singer’s monumentally boring retread Superman: Superman Lifts Things Up was quite simply more of the same straight-arrow all-American guff. Supes has been off in space going through some largely undisclosed cosmic mid-life crisis and now he’s back and – other than Lois having dropped a sprog – nothing’s really changed: Lex Luthor’s still around, world domination is still high on the agenda and there’s even a scene where the Man of Steel is exposed to Kryptonite and staggers around for a bit. Same old, same old.


The original ’70s/’80s Philly is rendered as a frosty dump from which Stallone’s lovable lunk rises high.

Updated because Stallone’s CV was starting to get log-jammed with entries like Avenging Angelo and Get Carter.

The reboot 2006’s Rocky Balboa unabashedly traded on the nostalgia of the source material with the added dangling of the old ‘is there one last fight in the old bludger?’ question. While attempts were made to mould ‘Rock’ as the classic tragic has-been in the opening reels, there was nothing more tragic than a film that asked us to witness a 60-year-old man taking on (and almost beating) a mouthy whippersnapper.

Forthcoming reboots

The original Peter Weller fails to read the small print on his organ donor card and wakes up as a clanking android super-cop.

Updated because
If you think of anything, let us know.

The reboot
The prospect of Darren Aronofsky’s on-again-off-again update of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 unhinged sci-fi satire is like yanking off a sticking plaster: it’s got to happen sooner or later, so why not get it over with and out of the way? It’ll no doubt hurt, but hopefully we’ll have forgotten about it soon enough and everything will be back to normal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The original The original, live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – released at the height of, ahem, ‘Turtlemania’ in the early ’90s – was, for a time, the highest-grossing independent film of all time, despite the fact that it was rubbish.

Updated because A semi-successful digimation was released in 2007, suggesting there may still be an appetite for pizza-chomping green goons with nunchucks.

The reboot Though no director is yet attached, this refit is due for 2012, with original creators Eastman and Laird pencilled in for writing duties.

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