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Some stories should not be redone

November 24, 2013
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

There are a lot of movies and television shows that have been redone or reimagined in recent years.

A few sequels have even been created several years after the original has finished airing.

Some have been successful, such as the new version of "Hawaii Five-O," while others, like the various incarnations of "Knight Rider"?have lasted only a short while.

Remakes of comic book stories have been a big thing, with various incarnations of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and others popping up every few years.

That's fine. Ideas change with each new generation and new takes on characters can sometimes bring it to new audiences.

But there are some which are classics and simply should not be revisited.

There are those which has a meaning that can carry on over the generations. The same feelings can be experienced universally, whether in a different country or several decades later.

Books aren't rewritten years after the original. People might do movies or television programs based off the book, but the original source material stays the same.

I recently read an article where there is some discussion of creating a sequel to "It's a Wonderful Life."

Apparently, the idea has been tossed around for quite some time, but this attempt seems to be on its way to actually moving ahead.

From the article, it appears a few of the surviving members of the original cast, namely some of the children, have even expressed an interest in taking part.

The idea would be similar to that of the original, jumping ahead several years later and focused on George Bailey's grandson.

Much like his grandfather, there will be an experience showing him how things would be for others if he didn't exist, or if certain circumstances had never happened.

It's a plot device which has been used in many stories since "It's a Wonderful Life" first premiered. The lessons have just as much meaning now as they did then.

We don't really need a sequel made, or a remake, or any kind of retelling. Just watch the original.

The movie is a classic for a reason. Certain stories continue to have a meaning for people, no matter how much time has passed.

They become a meaningful part of our culture and history. Some families create traditions around watching these movies, or reading a particular book.

You wouldn't try to write a sequel to one of Charles Dickens' novels, would you?

It just wouldn't have the same impact as the original. Without the vision of the original creator, the meaning would be different.

You can try to bring back the magic or continue a story, but it simply isn't the same.

Even if someone had learned how to tell a story directly from Mark Twain, for example, they wouldn't be able to match exactly his style, wording or feel for his characters or stories.

Each version of the story of Tom Sawyer shows that. You might take the character and use many of the qualities or the original, but you are putting your own vision and thoughts behind the performance or the story.

Ultimately, I realize what I say will have no effect on whether the "Wonderful Life" sequel gets made or whether anyone watches it.

To me, though, it just isn't the greatest of ideas.

The original is timeless. It is a story we all can identify with and learn from, so much so that everyone knows it, even if they have never seen the movie for themselves.

Trying to find a way to recreate that magic has never been matched, and I doubt can never be recreated even with some of those involved in the original project.

Just because something has been successful doesn't mean it always needs revisited.

Some stories are best off standing on their own.

Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to not be able to come up with an original idea of your own.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

 
 

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