Reboot (fiction)

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For other uses, see Reboot.

In serial fiction, to reboot means to discard all continuity in an established series in order to recreate its characters, timeline and backstory from the beginning.[1][2] The term is used with respect to various different forms of fictional media such as comic books, television series, video games, and films among others.[1]


The term is thought to originate from the computer term for restarting a computer system.[2]

Types of reboots[edit]


Reboots remove any non-essential elements associated with a franchise by starting the franchise's continuity over and distilling it down to the core elements and concepts.[3] For consumers, reboots allow easier entry for newcomers unfamiliar with earlier titles in a series.[3]


With reboots, filmmakers revamp and reinvigorate a film series in order to attract new fans and stimulate revenue.[2] A reboot can renew interest in a series that has grown stale, and can be met with positive, mixed, or negative results by both the consumers and film critics.[4] Reboots also act as a safe project for a studio, as a reboot with an established fan base is less risky (in terms of expected profit) than an entirely original work, while at the same time allowing the studio to explore new demographics.[5]

Video games[edit]

Reboots are common in the video game industry, particularly with franchises that have multiple entries in the series.[3] Reboots in video games are used to refresh the storyline and elements of the game.[3]

Comic books[edit]

In comics, a long-running title may have its continuity erased to in order start over with a clean slate, enabling writers to redefine characters and open up new story opportunities, and allowing the title to bring in new readers.[1][6] Comic books either use an in-universe explanation for a reboot – merging parallel worlds together[7][8] or destroying and recreating its fictional universe from the ground up[9] – or avoid an explanation completely.

List of reboots in fiction[edit]


Series Series start year(s) Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Godzilla 1954 The Return of Godzilla
Godzilla 2000
Planet of the Apes 1968 Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes[10]
Jack Ryan 1990 The Sum of All Fears
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Texas Chainsaw 3D
The Punisher 1989 The Punisher
Punisher: War Zone[11]
Batman 1989 Batman Begins
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
The Pink Panther 1963 The Pink Panther 2006
James Bond 1962 Casino Royale[12] 2006
Neon Genesis Evangelion 1995–97 Rebuild of Evangelion 2007
Halloween 1978 Halloween 2007
Hulk 2003 The Incredible Hulk 2008
Friday the 13th 1980 Friday the 13th 2009
Star Trek 1966 Star Trek 2009
Street Fighter 1994 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li 2009
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010
Alice in Wonderland 1951 Alice in Wonderland 2010
The Wolf Man 1941 The Wolfman 2010
Conan the Barbarian 1982 Conan the Barbarian 2011
Captain America 1990 Captain America: The First Avenger 2011
Spider-Man 2002 The Amazing Spider-Man
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Superman 1978 Man of Steel 2013
The Evil Dead 1981 Evil Dead 2013
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014
RoboCop 1987 RoboCop 2014
Ju-on 2000 Ju-on: The Beginning of the End 2014
Leprechaun 1993 Leprechaun: Origins 2014
The Grudge 2004 The Grudge[13] 2015
The Terminator 1984 Terminator Genisys 2015
Fantastic Four 2005 Fantastic Four 2015
Hitman 2007 Hitman: Agent 47 2015
Poltergeist 1982 Poltergeist 2015
Ghostbusters 1984 Ghostbusters 2016
The Smurfs 2011 The Untitled Smurfs Movie 2017
Ghost in the Shell 1996 Ghost in the Shell 2017

Video games[edit]

Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Ecco the Dolphin 1992 Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future 2000
Alone in the Dark 1992 Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Alone in the Dark
Wolfenstein 3D 1992 Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Shinobi 1987 Shinobi 2002
Prince of Persia 1989 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia
Doom 1993 Doom 3
Ninja Gaiden 1988 Ninja Gaiden 2004
Altered Beast 1988 Project Altered Beast 2005
Tomb Raider 1996 Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider
Need for Speed 1996 Need for Speed: Underground
Need for Speed: Rivals
Spyro the Dragon 1998 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 1997 Turok 2008
Silent Hill 1999 Silent Hill: Shattered Memories 2009
Castlevania 1987 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2010
Dead to Rights 2002 Dead to Rights: Retribution 2010
Medal of Honor 1999 Medal of Honor 2010
Splatterhouse 1988 Splatterhouse 2010
Mortal Kombat 1992 Mortal Kombat 2011
Syndicate 1993 Syndicate 2012
UFO: Enemy Unknown 1994 XCOM: Enemy Unknown 2012
Devil May Cry 2001 DmC: Devil May Cry 2013
SimCity 1989 SimCity 2013
Zoo Tycoon 2001 Zoo Tycoon 2013
Thief 1998 Thief 2014
Carmageddon 1997 Carmageddon: Reincarnation 2014
Star Wars: Battlefront 2004 Star Wars: Battlefront 2015

Comic books[edit]

Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
DC Universe 1934 Crisis on Infinite Earths
Legion of Super-Heroes 1958 Legion of Super-Heroes
Legion of Super-Heroes
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1984 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2011
Valiant Comics 1992 Valiant Comics 2012


Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Berts dagbok 1987 Bert och kalla kriget 2005


Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Doraemon 1973 Doraemon
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 2009
Hawaii Five-O 1968 Hawaii Five-0 2010
Hunter × Hunter 1999 Hunter × Hunter 2011
Teen Titans 2003 Teen Titans Go! 2013
Sailor Moon 1992 Sailor Moon Crystal 2014
The Powerpuff Girls 1998 The Powerpuff Girls 2016
DuckTales 1987 DuckTales 2017

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Thomas R. Willits. "To Reboot Or Not To Reboot: What is the Solution?". Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b c Orlando Parfitt. "Forthcoming Franchise Reboots". IGN. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d Erik Norris (2013-03-07). "Why Franchise Reboots Can Be A Good Thing". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  4. ^ "Twenty Film Franchises in Need of a Reboot - VideoHound Blogs - VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever". 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Sunday Discussion: The Mighty Hollywood Reboot Trend". 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Lorendiac’s Lists: The DC Reboots Since Crisis on Infinite Earths | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources". 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  7. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-12 (April 1985 – March 1986)
  8. ^ Flashpoint #1-5 (May – September 2011)
  9. ^ Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4-0 (Sept. 1994)
  10. ^ Kevin Melrose (2011-04-07). "Fox’s Planet Of The Apes Prequel Gets Renamed … Again – Spinoff Online – TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily". Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  11. ^ "Interview: Lexi Alexander - IGN". 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  12. ^ Day, Aubrey (2009-12-16). "Decade's Best: Casino Royale". Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike (1970-01-01). "Horror Movie 'The Grudge' Remake Coming From Ghost House Pictures & Good Universe". Retrieved 2014-03-21.