I was reading up on Oceans 8 (the all-female reboot of Oceans 11) this afternoon, and I couldn’t help but notice how many people were complaining in the comment section that it would destroy the integrity of the original—right up there with “it ruined my childhood” as far as non-specific melodramatic criticisms you hear every time a reboot of anything is released.
We talk about movie reboots the same way we talk about spiders—horrifying, disgusting, sometimes they even eat their mothers. Yes, some species of spiders trigger their hunting instinct as hatchlings by eating their mothers, and yes, reboots often claw their way up the box office moneyladder the way spiders creep, unnoticed, up your leg until all of a sudden it’s on your shirt and you decide to spend the rest of your day half-naked.
But here’s the thing: the reboot is not going to eat the film that spawned it.
I loved the Ghostbusters reboot. I’m ticking the days off my calendar until Oceans 8 comes out. Will it be any good? I haven’t the slightest idea, but even if it’s a horrendous mess, it’s not going to gobble up the integrity of the original.
You can hate the 2016 Ghostbusters all you want, but it’s not going to eat is mother. It exists. It got mixed reviews. The original Ghostbusters isn’t made any better or worse because of it. They’re not going to stop selling the Bill Murray movie just because a new one came out, so how can a reboot consume its source material?
I know a million horrible movie reboots, but they didn’t come crawling out of an egg sac in 2014 with Godzilla to eat every monster-smash epic the 1960s gave us. Indiana Jones 4 doesn’t make Raiders of the Lost Ark any less fun, and the all-female Oceans 8 isn’t going to kill George Clooney’s career. Trust me.