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7 franchises that need a reboot right now

It seems like every classic media franchise is getting rebooted by Hollywood these days. And given the varying degrees of success, people have grown understandably wary of this ongoing practice.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of beloved IPs that deserve reboots, as they still have the potential to grow and explore uncharted territories, all while appealing to new audiences. While some franchises are better off left untouched, these seven quite frankly need to get the reboots they deserve as soon as possible.

X-Men

The X-Men stand and pose in "X2: X-Men United."
20th Century Studios / 20th Century Studios

For a while, fans have been anxious to see the X-Men join the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the franchise has been slowly gearing up to return to the big screen. Professor X already made a cameo in the last Doctor Strange film, and Deadpool 3 will bring back Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine back for at least one more ride.

Despite this, Marvel Studios should arguably bring in fresh faces to play the X-Men, as it can’t rely on fans’ nostalgia for these mutants to forge a new identity in the MCU. Harsh as it may sound, audiences probably shouldn’t bet on Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen sticking around for much longer.

The Dark Tower

Roland Deschain in a poster for "The Dark Tower."
Bloody Disgusting / Bloody Disgusting

Aside from The Stand, The Dark Tower series is arguably author Stephen King’s greatest work to date. This Lord of the Rings-style epic connects all of King’s stories in a sprawling multiversal conflict between the Gunslinger, the evil Man in Black, and his master, the Crimson King.

However, Hollywood still hasn’t given it a proper adaptation, as the 2017 film with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey didn’t do enough to please newcomers or devoted fans of King’s novels. Fortunately, horror veteran Mike Flanagan is now working on a five-season series based on the books that will lead to two standalone movies, so it looks like the franchise is on the right path.

The DC Extended Universe

The DC Extended Universe's Justice League posing together.
DC / DC

This one will surely set off the many toxic Snyderverse fans swarming around on Twitter. While there have been some spectacular stories in the DC Extended Universe over the years, the franchise has repeatedly suffered from studio interference and many conflicting visions. This has led to many critical disappointments with diminishing box office returns, particularly in the last three years.

Though the studio previously planned to reboot the DCEU with Michael Keaton returning to take over as Batman, The Flash‘s spectacular flop proved that nostalgia alone wasn’t enough to salvage this chaotic universe. All in all, this decline shows that audiences have lost interest in the current status quo and that James Gunn’s upcoming reboot of the DCEU might be the only thing that can revive the franchise.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Freddy Krueger "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984).
New Line Cinema / New Line Cinema

With slashers like Halloween, Child’s Play, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre getting recent reboots, now’s the time for Freddy Krueger to don his glove of knives once more. A Nightmare on Elm Street has had many sequels that failed to live up to its scary good name.

Despite this, the third film, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, proved the franchise could grow as it built upon Freddy’s dark humor and the frightening potential he carries as a dream demon. An Elm Street reboot can take these even further while finding the right balance between fun and frightening in Freddy’s Funhouse of Horrors.

The Terminator

A terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
Tri-Star Pictures / Tri-Star Pictures

Ever since it peaked with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the Terminator franchise has failed to reinvent itself time and time again, going wrong every which way. Even when it seemed like Terminator: Dark Fate would be what the series needed, it still bombed hard after repeating some of the franchise’s biggest mistakes (e.g., killing off John Connor and retreading the same basic plot of its predecessors).

Though it seems just about everyone has gotten sick of the Terminator films, the rise in A.I. technology has only made them much more relevant and could inspire new material for another reboot, one that, hopefully, James Cameron will actually direct.

Alien

A Xenomorph in "Alien: Covenant."
20th Century Studios / 20th Century Studios

Like The Terminator franchise, the Alien films only seemed to get worse after the second raised the bar for them all. The prequels and sequels featured many plot points that rubbed audiences the wrong way, with fan-favorite characters facing unceremonious deaths and the Engineers not being explored enough to fit in with the Alien mythos.

All in all, the franchise tried to introduce many ambitious stories, only to end up repeating old plots that failed to present anything new or satisfying. Thankfully, writer/director Fede Álvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) is helming a standalone film set between Alien and Aliens that is expected to bring the franchise back to its slasher roots.

Frankenstein

The Creature encounters a little girl in "Frankenstein" (1931).
Universal Pictures / Universala Pictures

There have been many unique interpretations of Frankenstein’s monster on the big screen in the past 100 years, but there hasn’t been a modern version that seems to reach the high bar of Boris Karloff’s classic films. But this is not for a lack of trying, as The Bride of Frankenstein almost got rebooted in Universal’s short-lived “Dark Universe.”

While this may have discouraged audiences, the standalone reboot of The Invisible Man proved that classic monsters still have some spark left and can be successfully revived for the 21st century.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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