Film studios invest in live-action remakes

Mulan’s live-action hits theaters on March 26 (photo: Walt Disney / Disclosure)

In recent years, film studios have invested in a new investment in the industry: live-action remakes. The maneuver consists of re-presenting stories that were delivered to the public as animation, that is, as a drawing and now have “human” versions. This practice is old in the world of productions, however, it has gained notoriety in recent times due to the number of remake productions that have been released, as Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), Dumbo (2019), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Mogli (2016) and Cinderella (2015).

“This is not a very new phenomenon, but what calls attention is the quantity and how much these versions collect. It is not so new that many films were inspired by comics, and were adapted for animation, and then for live-action, like the films of heroes. So, it is not a novelty, but the volume draws attention ”, evaluates Dácia Ibiapina, researcher in communication at the University of Brasília with a line of research on communication and culture policies with an emphasis on cinema and audiovisual.

These animations can follow a script more faithful to the original or be adapted with changes ranging from creating characters to giving new insights about the plot. Proof of this will be the remake of the classic The Little Mermaid which will be starring Halle Bailey, a black actress, diverging from the original version of the film, in which the plot is explored by a white protagonist. Just like the new version of Aladdin in which the genie of the lamp was played by Will Smith.

The Lion King drinks directly from the classic animation and surprises (photo: Disney Enterprises / Disclosure)

“In the scenario of recent years, there have been some movements around values ​​and inclusion of groups that were not so represented, such as LGBTQ +, other ethnic groups, other faces and other bodies. It is interesting to have new versions of these films, these tales that we inherited from a white and bourgeois culture. There is always a dispute in the media world for representation, and it is interesting that it can be a space that completes this inclusion ”, points out Dácia.

“All of these products build imagery, so why do fairy tales always have white“ people ”as protagonists, with European standards. However, this is not the only imaginary that exists, the only possible one. And fortunately, they are now understanding the need to explore this other imaginary ”, he adds.

New versions

Profit is the main reason for investing in this type of production. A report promoted by Casumo in partnership with SEO Verve Search named Remake My Day revealed that 91% of remakes released in 2019 had less audience than the original versions and only 21% of these films were more profitable than the first versions. However, in addition to the money generated by these franchises, these productions aroused a nostalgic feeling in the viewer, as many people who went to the cinema, had seen past versions of the films.

“The media universe is always in motion and this type of production has a guaranteed audience of people who remember seeing a version of these films in the past and fell in love, but it also has a new audience, these are circumstantial moments”, reveals the researcher . “The industries are not concerned with maintaining narratives, but with the box office, but it is an unforeseen consequence. These narratives are already part of these stories, even without live-actions ”, he adds.

Live-action remakes are currently a trend for the film market, and by 2022, a wide list of remake productions are scheduled to debut. “It is a trend, but things are so dynamic that the news are consumed very quickly, at the moment,” he says.

Which is?

Live-action is the definition used for films in which the characters are experienced by real actors who can be filmed in conjunction with 2D animations or computerized productions.

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