Reboot (fiction)

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For other uses, see Reboot (disambiguation).
The Godzilla film franchise, which began in 1954, was rebooted with the films The Return of Godzilla (1984), Godzilla 2000 (1999) and Godzilla (2014). Pictured here is a promotional image from Godzilla Raids Again (1955).

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]

Etymology[edit]

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

Types[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]

Film[edit]

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 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] 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.[citation needed]

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 from the beginning, enabling writers to redefine characters and open up new story opportunities, and allowing the title to bring in new readers.[1][6] Comic books sometimes use an in-universe explanation for a reboot, such as merging parallel worlds and timelines together or destroying and recreating a fictional universe from the beginning.[7][8][9]

Soft reboot[edit]

Another type of reboot is a "soft reboot".[citation needed] Unlike a reboot, which discards all continuity, a soft reboot relaunches and introduces a film, television, or video game series to a new generation of consumers while still maintaining continuity with previous installments in a franchise. Examples include Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[10]

List of reboots in fiction[edit]

Film[edit]

Series Series start year(s) Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
The Phantom of the Opera 1925 The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera
1943
1962
1989
2004
Frankenstein 1931 The Curse of Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein
1957
1994
2015
Dracula 1931 Horror of Dracula
Dracula
Dracula
Dracula Untold
1958
1979
1992
2014
The Mummy 1932 The Mummy
The Mummy
The Mummy
1959
1999
2017
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ 1925 Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur
1959
2016
Batman 1943 Batman: The Movie
Batman
Batman Begins
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice
1966
1989
2005
2016
King Kong 1933 King Kong
King Kong
Kong: Skull Island
1976
2005
2017
Superman 1948 Superman
Man of Steel
1978
2013
Captain America 1944 Captain America
Captain America
Captain America: The First Avenger
1979
1990
2011
Flash Gordon 1936 Flash Gordon 1980
Godzilla 1954 The Return of Godzilla
Godzilla
Godzilla 2000
Godzilla
Shin Godzilla
1984
1998
1999
2014
2016
The Shadow Strikes 1937 The Shadow 1994
Gamera 1965 Gamera: Guardian of the Universe 1995
Planet of the Apes 1968 Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2001
2011
Carrie 1976 Carrie
Carrie
2002
2013
Jack Ryan 1990 The Sum of All Fears
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
2002
2014
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003
The Punisher 1989 The Punisher
Punisher: War Zone
2004
2008
Police Story 1985 New Police Story
Police Story 2013
2004
2013
The War of the Worlds 1953 War of the Worlds 2005
James Bond 1962 Casino Royale[11] 2006
The Pink Panther 1963 The Pink Panther 2006
The Poseidon Adventure 1972 Poseidon 2006
The Wicker Man 1973 The Wicker Man 2006
The Omen 1976 The Omen 2006
Halloween 1978 Halloween 2007
Neon Genesis Evangelion 1995 Rebuild of Evangelion 2007
Hulk 2003 The Incredible Hulk 2008
Friday the 13th 1980 Friday the 13th 2009
Street Fighter 1994 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li 2009
The Wolf Man 1941 The Wolfman 2010
Clash of the Titans 1981 Clash of the Titans 2010
The Karate Kid 1984 The Karate Kid 2010
Alice in Wonderland 1951 Alice in Wonderland 2010
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010
Hellraiser 1987 Hellraiser: Revelations 2011
Conan the Barbarian 1982 Conan the Barbarian 2011
Total Recall 1990 Total Recall 2012
Spider-Man 2002 The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Man: Homecoming
2012
2017
The Evil Dead 1981 Evil Dead 2013
RoboCop 1987 RoboCop 2014
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014
Ju-On 2000 Ju-On: The Beginning of the End 2014
Fantastic Four 2005 Fantastic Four 2015
Poltergeist 1982 Poltergeist 2015
Hitman 2007 Hitman: Agent 47 2015
Ghostbusters 1984 Ghostbusters 2016
The Jungle Book 1967 The Jungle Book 2016
The Smurfs 2011 Smurfs: The Lost Village 2017
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie 1995 Power Rangers 2017
Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2001 Tomb Raider 2018
Scooby-Doo 2002 S.C.O.O.B. 2018

Video games[edit]

Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Star Fox 1993 Star Fox 64
Star Fox Zero
1997
2016
Ecco the Dolphin 1992 Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future 2000
Wolfenstein 3D 1992 Return to Castle Wolfenstein 2001
Alone in the Dark 1992 Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Alone in the Dark
2001
2008
Shinobi 1987 Shinobi 2002
Prince of Persia 1989 Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Prince of Persia
2003
2008
Need for Speed 1994 Need for Speed: Underground
Need for Speed: Shift
Need for Speed
2003
2009
2015
Ninja Gaiden 1988 Ninja Gaiden 2004
Altered Beast 1988 Project Altered Beast 2005
Spyro the Dragon 1998 The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
2006
2011
Tomb Raider 1996 Tomb Raider: Legend
Tomb Raider
2006
2013
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
Double Dragon 1987 Double Dragon Neon 2012
FIFA Street 2005 FIFA Street 2012
Syndicate 1993 Syndicate 2012
UFO: Enemy Unknown 1994 XCOM: Enemy Unknown 2012
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2009 Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X
2012
2016
Devil May Cry 2001 DmC: Devil May Cry 2013
Shadow Warrior 1997 Shadow Warrior 2013
Killer Instinct 1994 Killer Instinct 2013
Gauntlet 1985 Gauntlet 2014
Thief 1998 Thief 2014
Carmageddon 1997 Carmageddon: Reincarnation 2014
King's Quest 1984 King's Quest 2015
Guitar Hero 2005 Guitar Hero Live 2015
Star Wars: Battlefront 2004 Star Wars: Battlefront 2015
Doom 1993 Doom 2016
Shadow of the Beast 1989 Shadow of the Beast 2016
Ratchet & Clank 2002 Ratchet & Clank 2016

Comic books[edit]

Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
DC Universe 1934 Silver Age
Crisis on Infinite Earths
The New 52
1956
1986
2011
Legion of Super-Heroes 1958 Legion of Super-Heroes
Legion of Super-Heroes
1994
2004
Saiyuki 1997 Saiyuki Reload 2002
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure 1988 Steel Ball Run 2004
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1984 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2011
Valiant Comics 1992 Valiant Comics 2012
Sonic the Hedgehog 1992 Worlds Collide 2013

Television[edit]

Series Series start year Reboot(s) Reboot year(s)
Dragnet 1951 Dragnet
Dragnet
Dragnet
1967
1989
2003
Popeye the Sailor 1960 The All-New Popeye Hour 1978
Spider-Man 1967 The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Spider-Man Unlimited
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Ultimate Spider-Man
1978
1981
1994
1999
2003
2008
2012
Cyborg 009 1968 Cyborg 009
Cyborg 009
1979
2001
Doraemon 1973 Doraemon
Doraemon
1979
2005
Kaibutsu-kun 1968 Kaibutsu-kun 1980
Astro Boy 1963 Astro Boy
Astro Boy
1980
2003
Perman 1967 Perman 1983
The Alvin Show 1961 Alvin and the Chipmunks
ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks
1983
2015
Heathcliff 1980 Heathcliff 1984
GeGeGe no Kitaro 1968 Gegege no Kitaro
Gegege no Kitaro
Gegege no Kitaro
1985
1996
2007
The Twilight Zone 1959 The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone
1985
2002
Himitsu no Akko-chan 1969 Himitsu no Akko-chan
Himitsu no Akko-chan
1988
1998
Mahou Tsukai Sally 1966 Mahou Tsukai Sally 1989
Land of the Lost 1974 Land of the Lost 1991
My Little Pony 1986 My Little Pony Tales
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
1992
2010
Superman 1988 Superman: The Animated Series 1996
Cutey Honey 1973 Cutey Honey Flash 1997
Super Friends 1973 Justice League
Justice League Action
2001
2016
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1983 G.I. Joe: Sigma 6
G.I. Joe: Resolute
G.I. Joe: Renegades
2005
2009
2010
Gensomaden Saiyuki 2000 Saiyuki Reload
Saiyuki Reload Gunlock
2003
2004
The Berenstain Bears 1985 The Berenstain Bears 2003
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2003
2012
Battlestar Galactica 1978 Battlestar Galactica 2004
The Adventures of Batman 1968 Batman: The Animated Series
The Batman
Batman: The Brave And The Bold
Beware The Batman
1992
2004
2008
2013
Care Bears 1985 Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot
Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot
2007
2012
Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 2009
Hawaii Five-O 1968 Hawaii Five-0 2010
Hunter × Hunter 1999 Hunter × Hunter 2011
Thundercats 1985 Thundercats 2011
Charlie's Angels 1976 Charlie's Angels 2011
Dororon Enma-kun 1973 Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera 2011
Looney Tunes 1930 The Looney Tunes Show
Wabbit
2011
2015
Teen Titans 2003 Teen Titans Go! 2013
Ninja Hattori-kun 1981 Ninja Hattori-kun 2013
Sailor Moon 1992 Sailor Moon Crystal 2014
The Flash 1990 The Flash 2014
Scream 1996 Scream 2015
Ed's Nite In 2005 Ed's Nite In 2016
The Powerpuff Girls 1998 The Powerpuff Girls 2016
Thunderbirds 1965 Thunderbirds Are Go 2015
Wacky Races 1968 Untitled Wacky Races reboot 2016
Voltron 1984 Voltron: Legendary Defender 2016
Ben 10 2005 Ben 10 2017
DuckTales 1987 DuckTales 2017

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thomas R. Willits. "To Reboot Or Not To Reboot: What is the Solution?". Bewilderingstories.com. 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". Movieretriever.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Sunday Discussion: The Mighty Hollywood Reboot Trend". FirstShowing.net. 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". Goodcomics.comicbookresources.com. 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. ^ Agar, Chris (11 February 2016). "Why Soft Reboots Are the Ideal Compromise Between Remakes & Sequels". Screen Rant. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Day, Aubrey (2009-12-16). "Decade's Best: Casino Royale". TotalFilm.com. Retrieved 2013-08-20.