Egypt in Hollywood
A blog about the pros and cons of antiquity films

Out with the Old and in with the New

Hollywood Sequels and Remakes

Hollywood Sequels and Remakes

Hollywood has a habit of recreating movies using new technologies. Sequels and remakes allow Hollywood to produce a movie without actually thinking of a new idea, produce a movie that had previously done well in order to create new profits, and recreate interest in a product that may have been forgotten.

The original Mummy produced in 1932, now a classic, was considered one of the top horror flicks of its time. The movie showed very little in terms of violence, using shadows and foreshadowing methods to create suspense. The newer version of The Mummy produced in 1999 is the opposite. The story of the mummy is elaborated on, and action scenes create suspense by showing violence and blood. In 2001, Hollywood produced The Mummy Returns, showing even more violence and building on the original character stories. Again in 2002, Hollywood continued the tale with The Scorpion King, a spin-off of the Mummy series. This film carried on the theme of Egypt but blurred history into a common action flick to produce a profit. The result is an original, a remake, a sequel, and a spin-off that have almost nothing in common but an overall theme.

Cleopatra is another classic movie filmed in 1963 that has since been remade several times; but the most well known remake is the 1999 version. Both movies depict the same characters and information with a few differences. The 1963 version was six hours and the 1999 version was only three hours. The 1999 version cut many scenes involving the details of Cleopatra’s relationships with Caesar and Antony, and increased the number love scenes. The 1999 version provided more of a summary than the detailed description of events from the 1963 version. In addition to removing some of the details, the 1999 version of Cleopatra added some of the glitz and glamour of 20th century Hollywood.

So what’s the difference? Does it matter? Well, it might matter to older generations that are fond of the older films, but it will definately matter to younger generations. Most ‘kids’ will not watch old films. Anything in black in white is pretty much out of the question. In my opinion, the remakes are a good way to reintroduce old stories to the younger generations.


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