Reimagining Failure: 15 Films That Deserve a Remake to Get it Right


A solid premise will take a movie far but won't save it from awful execution. Without charisma, intentional direction, great acting, and good chemistry, to name a few, even the most interesting premises will fall flat. According to online movie buffs, these 15 films' interesting premises roped them in, but the film's poor quality ultimately left them fleeing the cinema.

1. Downsizing (2017)

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

In this sci-fi comedy-drama, humans can shrink to a fraction of their size to reduce their environmental impact and improve their quality of life. However, when the main character, played by Matt Damon, undergoes the procedure, he struggles to adapt to his new life. Fans found the premise interesting but were disappointed by the lackluster plot, lack of humor, and confusing direction for what otherwise could have been a solid film.

2. The Dark Tower (2017)

the dark tower
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Based on Stephen King's acclaimed series of novels, this movie follows a gunslinger, played by Idris Elba, as he travels through different worlds in pursuit of the Man in Black, played by Matthew McConaughey.

Fans of the book series were excited to see it adapted for the big screen but were disappointed by the film's rushed pacing, lack of character development, and deviation from the source material. They want a remake that stays true to the books and fully explores the complex world-building and characters. If another attempt at an adaptation is made, fans would prefer it to be an HBO or Amazon Prime TV series.

3. Hancock (2008)

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures Industries/GH Three LLC.

Will Smith stars as a drunken, cynical superhero with a bad reputation who finds redemption and love after saving the life of a public relations expert, played by Charlize Theron. While the premise of a flawed superhero was intriguing, fans were let down by the movie's tonal shifts and underdeveloped plot. They want a remake that explores the concept of a superhero who isn't perfect but still strives to do good instead of shifting into a “stupid, improbably love story.”

4. Vivarium (2019)

Image Credit: Vertigo Releasing.

This psychological horror movie follows a young couple, played by Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg, as they become trapped in a seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood with no way out. The eerie atmosphere and existential themes drew fans in, but the movie's slow pacing and lack of resolution disappointed them. They want a remake that fully explores the movie's themes and gives a satisfying conclusion.

5. Passengers (2016)

Image Credit: Jaimie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures.

In this romantic sci-fi movie, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence play passengers on a spaceship who wake up from hibernation 90 years too early and must navigate their newfound isolation together.

The movie's unique premise and star-studded cast generated excitement, but fans were let down by the movie's plot holes, lack of chemistry between the leads, and problematic narrative choices. They want a remake that fixes these issues and does justice to the movie's intriguing concept. Rather than leaning into the romance drama it became, it should have tonally been a horror or thriller.

6. Knowing (2009)

Image Credit: Summit Distribution.

Nicolas Cage stars as an astrophysicist who discovers a coded message predicting disasters that have yet to occur. The movie's apocalyptic themes and Cage's intense performance intrigued fans, but the plot's implausibility and lack of satisfying resolution left them wanting more. They want a remake that explores the concept of fate and free will more deeply and provides a more satisfying ending.

7. Cats (2019)

Judy Dench in
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Based on the famous stage musical, this movie follows a group of cats competing for the chance to ascend to the “Heaviside Layer” and be reborn. However, the movie's poorly received CGI and bizarre plot choices left fans disappointed and confused. They should give us a remake that takes a more traditional approach to the musical and improves the visual effects.

8. Dragonball Evolution (2009)

Dragonball Evolution
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This live-action adaptation of the popular anime and manga series Dragon Ball follows Goku, played by Justin Chatwin, as he trains with Master Roshi, played by Chow Yun-fat, to defeat the evil Lord Piccolo, played by James Marsters. Fans of the original series were let down by the movie's lack of faithfulness to the source material, goofiness, and poor special effects. This movie should only be remade by someone with passion and faithfulness to the original series with a substantial budget to pull it off.

9. Mortal Kombat (2021)

mortal kombat
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

This recent adaptation of the popular video game franchise follows a group of Earth's greatest fighters as they compete in a high-stakes tournament to save their world from destruction. While fans appreciated the movie's faithful representation of the game's characters and brutal fighting scenes, they were disappointed by the lack of depth in the plot and character development. They want a remake that expands on the lore of the game and delivers a more engaging story. At the very least, fans think this film should have sequels.

10. R.I.P.D. (2013)

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

This action-comedy follows two deceased cops, played by Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, who work for the Rest In Peace Department to protect the living from rogue spirits. Fans found the movie's concept intriguing but were disappointed by the lackluster execution and unmemorable characters. Some think there should be another attempt to explore the concept more deeply, while others don't have high hopes.

11. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Bram Stokers Dracula 1992 Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

This horror-romance film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, follows the classic story of Count Dracula, played by Gary Oldman, and his attempt to seduce a young woman, played by Winona Ryder, to become his bride. While the movie was praised for its gothic aesthetic and strong performances, some fans were let down by the deviations from the source material and the inclusion of some cheesy elements. They want a remake that stays true

12. When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Camilla Belle in When a Stranger Calls (2006)
Image Credit: Screen Gems.

This horror movie follows a teenage babysitter who receives mysterious phone calls from a stranger stalking her and the children in her care. While the movie's opening sequence was well-received, fans were let down by the predictable plot and lack of scares in the rest of the film. A remake that delivers more tension, a more engaging story, and better casting is in order.

13. World War Z (2013)

world war z 1
Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk – Paramount Pictures.

When it comes to World War Z, a lot of people love this zombie movie while others were let down by it. The movie did come at a time when we had a lot of zombie media, though. There is a book that this movie was based on, but it's a completely different story than what was written.

14. Ender's Game (2013)

Harrison Ford Films Enders Game 2013 Summit Entertainment
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

Even Harrison Ford couldn't save this horrible adaptation of the beloved book, Ender's Game. People who had never read the book loved the film, but for the Day 1 fans, the movie fell short. It seems that poor book adaptations often result in fans being disappointed with the series.

15. Eragon (2006)

Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Like a lot of entries on this list, a lot of fans of the book were excited when they heard that Eragon was being adapted for the screen. Unfortunately, the movie fell short for a lot of fans. Some people online feel like this book would have been better suited for a full-run TV show, which is more plausible nowadays than back in the early 2000s.

This thread inspired this post.

Film & Culture Writer | Website | + posts

Jaimee Marshall is a culture writer, avid movie buff, and political junkie. She spends the bulk of her time watching and critiquing films, writing political op-eds, and dabbling in philosophy. She has a Communication Studies degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she flirted with several different majors before deciding to pursue writing. As a result, she has a diverse educational background, having studied economics, political science, psychology, business admin, rhetoric, and debate.

At Wealth of Geeks, Jaimee places an emphasis on film and television analysis, ranking the best [and worst] in media so you can find more diamonds in the rough and waste less time on box-office duds. You can find her articles on politics and culture in Evie Magazine, Katie Couric Media, Lotus Eaters, and Her Campus. You can also find her find her episode of Popcorned Planet, where she analyzes the Johnny Depp & Amber Heard trial. She has written extensively about due process, free speech, and pop culture.