Christopher Nolan's critically acclaimed, mind-bending box office smash that impressed audiences worldwide with its broadly entertaining action sequences and highly intelligent sci-fi concepts? There's nothing sacred about that. Give it a decade-and-a-half and it'll be repackaged for broader audiences with more explosions, limp retreads of its most famous scenes and none of that pesky ambition.
It Already Happened: Total Recall
James Wan's scary supernatural thriller that brought horror home to a sympathetic family gradually torn apart by malevolent specters who want the patriarch for their own malevolent ends? It'll get repackaged in whatever the "house style" will be in ten years at a horror distributor who doesn't care what made the original work in the first place.
It Already Happened: The Amityville Horror
Anne Fletcher's financially successful romance with real world problems and beloved dance sequences? It's destined for a remake featured remixed or re-recorded songs from the original soundtrack, and for some reason a big-ass car chase in the middle just in case the audience gets bored.
It Already Happened: Footloose
Neill Blomkamp's bitter, ultra-violent and socially biting commentary about economic and social disparity, in which a cog in the corrupt machine is transformed against his will but refuses to be controlled any longer, using his newfound abilities to take a stand? That must have sucked. Hollywood's going to fix it right up with a PG-13 retread that gets the basic story right but tones down all the personality and intelligence and pointed violence that made it a hit in the first place.
It Already Happened: Robocop
Oren Peli's terrifyingly subtle haunted house story, about an emotionally fragile heroine driven insane by a supernatural presence, featuring a cinematic style that horror movies would rip off for years to come? Surely the thing to do is turn it into a CGI-effects driven blockbuster wannabe with an all-star cast, and explain away all the ambiguity that made it creepy in the first place.
It Already Happened: The Haunting
Henry Selick's beloved animated film about a child who falls prey to the obsessive machinations of a powerful witch? Why let that languish in mere animation? In 15 years it'll be a live-action melodrama about The Other Mother's traumatic childhood with emotionally devastating scenes that are completely inappropriate for all the children in the target audience, and it will claim that the heroine's real parents were the real monsters all along.
It Already Happened: Maleficent
The childhood fixation of millions, acclaimed for its positive values and catchy songs, a licensing bonanza wrapped in an TV series that adults probably enjoy best while high? The problem with that is it's not a combination of live-action and crappy CGI animation, and that it's not being exploited for endless, pointless product placement. Hollywood will get around to it eventually.
It Already Happened: The Smurfs
Sylvester Stallone's all-star lineup successfully overshadows a generic plotline that exists only to give the big stars tons of scenes together and scratch the audience's itch to see everyone they love on-screen? It doesn't matter what they do, and it doesn't matter who they are. In 15 years Hollywood will get around to exploiting the brand name again with a new cast of superstars, and probably a director to match, even though he'll clearly be slumming it.
It Already Happened: Ocean's 11
An enormously financial successful tale of grossly unhealthy teenaged love, aggrandizing obsessive behavior? Hollywood is... pretty much going to do the same dumb thing all over again.
It Already Happened: Endless Love
Todd Phillips's raucously funny ode to drunken behavior, bolstered by a winning and human cast that spawned at least one crappy sequel? There's nothing to do but the same thing again, but not as funny. Hollywood wouldn't want to actually try and do the original material justice, after all.
It Already Happened: Arthur
Shawn Levy's increasingly popular sci-fi sports tale about how the commoditization of a sport has diminished the appreciation of the players, forcing a once-great player to prove their mettle when the odds are stacked against him? Obviously Hollywood needs to set the story in a third-world country to make Americans feel blameless, cast a actor nobody believes could possibly be a badass sports star and film one of the key action sequences in night vision so no one can tell what the hell is going on.
It Already Happened: Rollerball
Adam Wingard's shockingly smart slasher about a positive female role model facing off against masked killers in a no holds barred fight to the death? The problem there is the female heroine. Surely it would be better if the focus was shifted entirely onto the killers and the grotesque life experiences that turned them into monsters, reserving the plot of the original film for the ridiculously rushed final act.
It Already Happened: Halloween
Joe Carnahan's cynical, biting commentary on the inherent fragility of machismo, an ironic statement about the way macho facades can lead to deadly consequences? What a downer. Hollywood can certainly take that premise and completely reverse the point altogether, negating the purpose of remaking the movie in the first place.
It Already Happened: Straw Dogs
Marc Forster's dramatic expansion of the zombie movie premise, exploring the real-world implications of a zombie outbreak and the science that might actually be behind it. Eh... It's probably best to shove a quick, cheap remake into the straight-to-video market, or whatever analogue that market will have in fifteen years.
It Already Happened: Day of the Dead
Gore Verbinski's expensive, ridiculous box office flop that did drastic disservice to the original character and the legacy that made it worth adapting in the first place? Why not make it even bigger, stupider and harder to watch? That'll fix everything.
It Already Happened: The Lone Ranger