In serial fiction, a reboot is a type of sequel. It has been described as a way to "rebrand" or "restart an entertainment universe that has already been established", discarding previous plotlines. Another definition is a remake which is part of an established film series or other media franchise. The term reboot has been criticised for being a vague and "confusing buzzword", and for being just a neologism for a remake, a concept that has been seen as losing popularity in the 2010s.
Reboots remove any non-essential elements associated with a franchise and start it anew, distilling it down to the core elements that make it popular. For audiences, reboots allow easier entry for newcomers unfamiliar with earlier titles in a series.
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With reboots, filmmakers revamp and reinvigorate a film series in order to attract new fans and stimulate revenue. A reboot can renew interest in a series that has grown stale. Reboots act as a safe project for a studio, as a reboot with an established fanbase 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. Reboots also allow directors and producers to cast a new set of younger actors for the familiar roles of a film series in order to attract a younger audience. Unlike a remake, however, a reboot often presupposes a working familiarity on the part of the audience with the original work.
In television, a reboot is different from a revival, in which many of the original cast, storylines, and locales from the original series are retained, whereas a reboot features an entirely new cast and timeline that doesn't take into account anything from the original series. In television, a reboot of a TV show can be a return to production after cancellation and a long hiatus, but is also understood to mean a remake of an older series.
Reboots are common in the video game industry, particularly with franchises that have multiple entries in the series. Reboots in video games are used to refresh the storyline and elements of the game.
In comic books, a long-running title may have its continuity erased in order to start over from the beginning, enabling writers to redefine characters and open up new story opportunities, and allowing the title to bring in new readers. Comic books sometimes use an in-universe explanation for a reboot, such as merging parallel worlds and timelines together, or destroying a fictional universe and recreating it from the beginning.
List of reboots in fiction
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|Series||Series start year||Reboot(s)||Reboot year||Ref.|
|DC Universe||1934||Silver Age||1956|
|Crisis on Infinite Earths||1986|||
|The New 52||2011|||
|Legion of Super-Heroes||1958||Legion of Super-Heroes||1994|
|Legion of Super-Heroes||2004|
|Saiyuki Reload Blast||2010|
|JoJo's Bizarre Adventure||1987||Steel Ball Run||2004|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||1984||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||2012|
|Valiant Comics||1992||Valiant Comics||2012|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||1992||Worlds Collide||2013|
|Sonic the Hedgehog||2018|
- Artistic license
- Canon (fiction)
- List of modernized adaptations of old works
- Reset button technique
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- Francis, James Jr. (11 June 2018). "Why did the television reboot become all the rage?". The Conversation. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Husser, Amy (27 February 2016). "Reboot overload? Fuller House leading pack of nostalgia-inspired TV revivals | CBC News". CBC.ca. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Swarts, Jessica (12 April 2016). "We've listed a few 'Twilight Zone' Remake Episodes which aren't terrible". Inverse. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Otterson, Joe (6 December 2017). "'Twilight Zone' Reboot From Jordan Peele, Simon Kinberg, Marco Ramirez Greenlit at CBS All Access". Variety. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Lorendiac (16 March 2009). "Lorendiac's Lists: The DC Reboots Since Crisis on Infinite Earths". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-12 (April 1985 – March 1986)
- Flashpoint #1-5 (May – September 2011)
- Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4-0 (Sept. 1994)