As Hollywood exhausts its source of original movies, remakes of classics have become increasingly common. Some remakes may keep a similar cast to the original but have an updated take on the original plot. Others may update a film by replacing an originally white cast with a black cast or an originally male cast with a female cast. While modern remakes such as replacing an original cast with a more diverse cast are clearly attempts at improving equality in the film industry, sometimes the exact goals of these remakes are questionable. So, what’s the deal with female cast remakes of male cast originals?
FEMALE REMAKES ARE NOT ALL BAD
The first issue with some female cast remakes is that many are directed by men. The irony is that while female actors have opportunities to perform in films that already have a large reputation, male directors take the lead on these productions. Some examples of remakes of the large name are The Next Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and Ocean’s Eight. Other than the fact that men directed these films, the trend with these remakes is that they are all remakes of huge hits. This would guarantee that the remakes get attention which means that women would also get more attention. While this seems like a positive thing, the female remakes do not always receive positive attention. Some people cannot stand the fact that remakes would ruin their precious original movies with diverse casts. However, not all attention is bad.
Some all-female cast remakes can successfully portray women as capable and powerful as they take on originally male roles. The people who have issues with female remakes might be uncomfortable with the power women have on the screen in originally male roles. The same reactions can be seen with race remakes such as The Wiz (Sidney Lumet), The Karate Kid (Harald Zwart), and Annie (Will Gluck). While both types of remakes open dialogues about diversity and allow for society’s minorities to have a platform. Furthermore, young women and BIPOC, can relate more to these remakes and are shown that they can be just as powerful as white men. Although remakes with representation can be positive for those under-represented in society and media, why can’t minority groups have their own original movies successful?
ORIGINAL FEMALE CAST FILMS
One of the most infamous examples of an original female franchise is Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore). Although a man still directed this movie, the plot is original and launched a very successful franchise. Within the main protagonist group, there is also a diverse representation of both race and sexual orientation. Another example of a successful original female-centric film is Mean Girls (Mark Waters). This film was also directed by a man but created a historical film that is still heavily referenced in pop culture. Interestingly, although a man directed the film, it was based on a self-help book by a woman. The movie comedically reflects the book’s satire that depicts the societal view of women as self-absorbed bullies.
While diversified remakes can be powerful for minorities and depict the progression of society and growth of equality, diverse directors and actors should be able to achieve the same amount of success as original movies featuring primarily white men. By creating original female films, society also is exposed to the true talent and capabilities of women. Hopefully, as all-female cast remakes remain popular, all-female originals have a chance to blossom by themselves. The same can be said for BIPOC remakes because equality cannot stop at gender equality. Along with the issues of gender disparity in the film industry, it is no surprise that there is a racial disparity as well. Although I would like to see more female originals, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad that all-female cast remakes have had the success.