Stars Who Trashed Reboots Of Their Work

It's hard to disagree with the common complaint that there are no original ideas left in Hollywood. In 2018, Den of Geek reported that there were no fewer than 142 sequels, remakes or reboots in the works. Barely a month goes by without the announcement of yet another superhero origins story. And on the list of America's highest-grossing Top 10 films of 2021 published half-way through the year, only one, "Raya and the Last Dragon," wasn't based on an existing property.

Of course, it's not only cinemagoers desperate to see a new idea at the multiplex who get frustrated at such a lack of imagination. Several actors, producers and directors have taken aim at Tinseltown's recycled approach, particularly when it comes to rebooting a hit that they've previously had a hand in.

From sci-fi icons to slasher legends, here's a look at 14 stars who had no qualms about trashing the films that dared to try and improve on their originals.

Gene Wilder didn't care for Tim Burton's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

The late comic legend Gene Wilder graced countless Hollywood classics during his decade-spanning career. But for many, he'll always be the brilliantly eccentric, and essentially child-murdering, chocolate factory owner in 1971's "Willy Wonka."

More than three decades later, Tim Burton decided to bring the Roald Dahl story back to life again with a new title, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and, of course, a new Wonka, Johnny Depp. Sadly, for many of those who had grown up with the original, the two regular partners-in-crime were deemed to have needlessly messed with perfection. And for the man who'd assumed the titular role first time around, their reboot was nothing short of a travesty.

Before the film had even been released, Wilder told The Telegraph (via Gothamist), "It's just some people sitting around thinking, 'How can we make some more money?' Why else would you remake "Willy Wonka?" I don't see the point of going back and doing it all over again. I like Johnny Depp and I appreciate that he has said on the record that my shoes would be hard to fill. But I don't know how it will all turn out. Right now, the only thing that does take some of the edge off this for me is that Willy Wonka's name isn't in the title." 

Michael Caine believes Jude Law's 'Alfie' was miscast

We'd like to have been a fly on the wall the next time Michael Caine saw Jude Law after his candid chat with The Independent in 2009. Although he was friends with the "Primrose Hill" alum — the pair had co-starred in a remake of "Sleuth" two years previously — the British acting legend didn't think twice about slating his turn in 2004's "Alfie."

Caine's performance as the London playboy in the 1966 original had helped cement his reputation as one of the decade's most charming leading men. But the two-time Oscar winner believed that his younger upstart lacked the innocence that enabled his character to get away with all his womanizing. He said, "At the end of the movie, Alfie says, 'What's it all about?' But the minute Jude walks on, you see a young man who knows exactly what everything is all about."

After claiming that his take on the titular character was far less self-aware, Caine continued, "Jude, being so knowing looking, looked like it was deliberate and it became sinister instead of funny. It just became some guy who doesn't care about women, he just screws them and leaves them — a male chauvinist pig, but with knowledge. I played an innocent male chauvinist pig."

Kirsten Dunst claims the 'Spider-Man' films are 'milking the cow for money'

Eyebrows were raised in 2010 when it was revealed that just three years after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy wrapped up, the webbed superhero would be getting another origins story, only this time with Andrew Garfield in the lead role instead of Tobey Maguire. But following disappointing returns for 2014's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," Peter Parker's cinematic adventures appeared to have come to an end.

However, those eyebrows were raised even further just a year later when news emerged that Spider-Man would be getting the reboot treatment once again. Relative unknown Tom Holland bagged the leading role on this occasion, teasing the character with a cameo in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War" before fronting his own vehicle, "Homecoming," in 2017. That same year, Kirsten Dunst pretty much spoke for everyone with superhero fatigue during an interview with Marie Claire.

Dunst, who'd portrayed love interest Mary Jane in the three Spider-Man movies of the '00s, told the magazine, "We made the best ones, so who cares? I'm like, 'You make it all you want.' They're just milking that cow for money. It's so obvious. You know what I mean?" Just a few weeks earlier, the actor had told Variety: "Everyone likes our Spider-Man. C'mon, am I right or what? Listen, I'd rather be in the first ones than the new ones."

The director of the original 'Space Jam' describes 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' as an 'uninteresting mess'

"Space Jam" director Joe Pytka certainly didn't hold back when asked for his opinion on the 2021 reboot which saw LeBron James team up with Looney Tunes' finest to defeat a villainous A.I. "An uninteresting mess," was perhaps the kindest comment the octogenarian made about "A New Legacy" to TMZ.

Pytka claimed he needed five attempts to finish Malcolm D. Lee's mix of live-action and animation, argued that James didn't hold a candle to the original's basketball hero Michael Jordan and described the soundtrack as "insignificant" before insisting that its array of supporting characters lacked the star quality of Charles Barkley, Bill Murray and co.

Even the new Bugs Bunny couldn't escape Pytka's wrath, with the filmmaker remarking, "He looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long." Most reviews appeared to align with Pytka's, with its Rotten Tomatoes rating hovering just below the 30% mark (Luckily, James appeared to handle the criticism well). However, although the original remains a favorite of '90s kids, its critical response wasn't that much more glowing — its RT rating stands at just 44%. 

Angela Lansbury questioned the necessity of 'Beauty and the Beast' remake

You wouldn't expect Angela Lansbury, aka the 90-something star of "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and voice of Mrs Potts in animation "Beauty and the Beast," to start dissing a Disney movie. But the transatlantic national treasure did just that after hearing that the latter was getting the live-action treatment.

Like many of us who grew up watching the likes of "Dumbo," "Cinderella" and "Aladdin" in perfect cartoon form, the "Murder She Wrote" star wondered aloud about the necessity of such a project. Referring to the 2017 remake starring Emma Watson, Lansbury told Entertainment Weekly, "I was a bit taken aback, naturally. I thought, 'Why? Why are we doing this over again?' But, I guess, I don't know why they're doing it. But they are, and it will be interesting to see what they do with it."

Lansbury then threw some expert shade at the new version, adding, "I can't understand what they're going to do with it that will be better than what we've already done. And how they're doing it live — it may turn out to be very entertaining and wonderful. It won't be like the cartoon that we did." However, by the time she'd finished answering the question, the actor appeared to have convinced herself that, actually, it might be a good idea: "It's one of the famous fairy stories that is known worldwide by children. Therefore, why not? I don't blame them for doing it."

Ernie Hudson felt that the 'Ghostbusters' reboot was a mistake

"Who you gonna call?" Not Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and co. if you're one of the many "Ghostbusters" fans who deemed their reboot of the '80s classic to be sacrilegious. Yes, the 2016 comedy somehow caused more controversy than the entirety of Lars von Trier's oeuvre, with much of the backlash centered on the fact that director Paul Feig dared to have the ghostbusting team as (shock! horror!) all female!

Even the fact that several of the original's stars made cameos couldn't appease the disgruntled. Unfortunately, one such returnee, Ernie Hudson, gave all the naysayers even further ammunition four years later in an interview with Living Life Fearless. The actor said, "A reboot, to me, means you're trying to do the movie over. Another version of what we already did. And I think that was a mistake."

Hudson, who played Winston Zeddemore in the original and Uncle Bill Jenkins more than 30 years later, added, "It wasn't a continuation or an extension of. It was somehow a different universe there. You know what I mean? It's kind of like us, but it's us but not us." He went on to elaborate that a reboot comes with certain issues attached: "But like I said, it just felt like a retelling of the same story, which automatically causes comparisons that you really don't need to be doing."

Chris Columbus describes 'Home Alone' reboot as a waste of time

"You're what the French call les incompetents," mean-spirited Linnie tells her brother Kevin in the frantic opening part of "Home Alone." It's the kind of insult that Chris Columbus may well have directed toward Disney after news emerged that the Mouse House was rebooting his 1990 festive classic.

Yes, it seems unlikely that the filmmaker will be forking out a Disney+ subscription to see the likes of Kenan Thompson, Pete Holmes and "Jojo Rabbit" actor Archie Yates starring in the forthcoming 2022 version, that's for sure. While promoting another yuletide family film, "The Christmas Chronicles 2," in 2020, Columbus told Insider, "Nobody got in touch with me about it, and it's a waste of time as far as I'm concerned. What's the point?"

Columbus, who also took the director's chair for sequel "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," continued, "I'm a firm believer that you don't remake films that have had the longevity of "Home Alone." You're not going to create lightning in a bottle again. It's just not going to happen. So why do it? It's like doing a paint-by-numbers version of a Disney animated film — a live-action version of that. What's the point? It's been done. Do your own thing. Even if you fail miserably, at least you have come up with something original."

'Child's Play' writer Don Mancini denied MGM reboot his approval

For many loyal "Child's Play" fans, Don Mancini is as integral to the killer doll franchise as Chucky himself! The man not only penned the screenplays for its first seven installments, he also served as director for three of them and is currently working on a spin-off TV series, too. But when MGM-United Artists decided it wanted to rescue the murderous redhead from the VOD market, it tasked Tyler Burton Smith with penning the script and Lars Klevberg with taking the director's chair.

The studio did offer Mancini an executive producer credit but he essentially told them where to shove it. Indeed, according to Slate, the horror maestro went on the warpath after hearing the news he was surplus to requirements, imploring fans to share disparaging articles about the remake and regularly taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure.

And then during an appearance on the "Post Mortem" [58:54] podcast hosted by regular Stephen King collaborator Mick Garris, the disgruntled Mancini explained why he'd been left so hurt by the snub: "I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three f***ing decades." The UCLA graduate also claimed that his executive producer offer on the 2019 movie was a hollow gesture, adding, "They just wanted our approval, which I strenuously denied them ... It's not just a paycheck. It's very personal. MGM's screwing with that."

Lori Petty described 'Point Break' remake as 'dumbest thing' she'd ever heard

Lori Petty certainly refused to pull any punches with her opinion of the "Point Break" remake, despite the fact that she hadn't even seen the trailer, let alone the finished film. When asked by a Twitter follower what she felt about the millennial version, the actor responded, "Pretty sure it's the dumbest idea in the history of ideas. Bigelow? Keanu? Swayze? Realllllllly?"

It was a stance that Petty, who appeared as Keanu Reeves' love interest Tyler in the 1991 bromance, reiterated in a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, "I think it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard ... Somebody tweeted this really cute picture of me from the film, and it said, 'What's this pig board piece of s***?' which is what I say to Keanu, but it was about the new movie. I'm like, 'Seconded.'"

Petty then explained that her manager had called her to ask why she was being so critical. The star simply replied, "Because that's bulls***! That's some stupid s*** right there!" And critics appeared to agree. The 2015 reboot, which saw Teresa Palmer take on Petty's girlfriend role, has a paltry Rotten Tomatoes score of just 11%. Ouch.

Dirk Benedict regrets appearing in 'The A-Team' reboot

Following in the footsteps of "Charlie's Angels," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Starsky and Hutch," "The A-Team" became yet another guilty pleasure from yesteryear to get the Hollywood treatment in 2010. But pity the fool who believed that Dirk Benedict would give his seal of approval.

Admittedly, the actor who shot to global fame as the charming schemer Templeton 'Faceman' Peck in the 1980s series, did agree to make a brief cameo in the big screen adaptation. However, it was a role that he later told Birmingham Live he wishes he'd turned down: "You'll miss me if you blink. I kind of regret doing it because it's a non-part. They wanted to be able to be able to say: 'Oh yeah, the original cast are in it' but we're not. It is three seconds. It's kind of insulting."

Benedict, who was joined by former co-star Dwight Schultz, aka Howling Mad Murdock, for his insulting blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance, didn't think much of the film's prospects overall, commenting, "They'll screw it up." "The A-Team" film, which saw Bradley Cooper take over from Benedict, did admittedly divide critics on its release. And although it made its $110 million budget back, 20th Century Fox decided against making a planned sequel.

Pamela Anderson reckons 'Baywatch' should have remained 'bad TV'

Dirk Benedict isn't the only star who trashed a reboot of their most famous TV series despite having signed up for a cameo. Pamela Anderson, who briefly reprised her role as lifeguard Captain Casey Jean Parker in the 2017 remake of "Baywatch," told "Watch What Happens Live" with Andy Cohen three years later she believes all the slow-motion beach running should have stayed in the past.

The actor, who was briefly joined by another former "Baywatch" legend, creator and star David Hasselhoff, in the reboot, remarked, "I didn't like it. Let's just keep the bad TV as bad TV. That's what's charming about 'Baywatch,' you know? Trying to make these movies out of television is just messing with it."

Anderson also argued that The Rock and Zac Efron-starring movie should have taken more cues from the original early 1990s show, particularly when it came to its budget, adding, "$65 million would make a good movie. We made our show for like $500,000 — you have the same explosions, the same sequences of water. That's the fun part; being creative."

The original Blue Ranger believes 'Power Rangers' was 'lackadaisical'

For many children of the '90s, the Power Rangers was the ultimate superhero franchise. And after two seasons of tokusatsu-inspired action, the series made it to the big screen for 1995's imaginatively-titled "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie." A second big screen offering, "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie," was hot on its heels in 1997. 

Of course, like nearly every superhero movie since "Batman Begins," 2017's "Power Rangers" was a much darker, and some would say less fun, affair than its source material. David Yost, who played the Blue Ranger Billy Cranston in the original, was one such detractor, telling ComicBook that the film failed to nail the right tone.

Yost, who was replaced in his most familiar role by RJ Cyler, said, "The only thing I care about progression wise when they do a sequel and they morph they better bring it and they better say 'It's Morphin Time.' When we said, 'It's morphing time!,' it was like, 'S**t's about to go down;' when they said it in the movie it was so lackadaisical I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'"

Elton John was disappointed by 'The Lion King' remake

From "Hakuna Matata" to "Circle of Life," Elton John and Tim Rice's anthemic soundtrack for 1994's "The Lion King" was just as instrumental to its success as the animation and voice cast. The pair received three Academy Award Best Original Song nods for their efforts, winning for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," while its parent album shifted 10 million copies worldwide.

But John and Rice were relegated to the role of executive producers when it came to the music for the 2019 remake. And the former told GQ that same year that its mix of covers and new compositions couldn't compare to the original: "The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn't had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly."

The Rocket Man, who also helped compose the score for The Lion King's Broadway adaptation, also revealed his disappointment at being sidelined second time around: "I wish I'd been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn't really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I'm so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with 'The Lion King' stage musical."

Norman Jewison believes the 'Rollerball' remake was too violent

Combining futuristic sporting action with social commentary, "Rollerball" was one of the most interesting sci-fi films of the mid-1970s. And MGM were hoping to hit another slam dunk (or whatever the fictional game's equivalent is) more than 25 years later by serving up a much bloodthirsty remake.

While the 2002 version substituted original leading man James Caan for "American Pie" star Chris Klein, producers were initially hoping to bring back director Norman Jewison. But in a chat with the New York Post, the filmmaker explained that he had no interest in returning to former glories: "... I passed on it because it was clear they were embracing the violence [that] I used in the original to comment on the activities of multinational corporations." The director also revealed that he'd been invited by MGM to a screening but had little interest in accepting.

"Die Hard" director John McTiernan had no such qualms about embracing violence, although he no doubt now wishes he'd followed Jewison's lead. Indeed, his remake bombed at the box office, raking in less than $26 million of its $70 million budget, and is widely regarded as one of the worst films of the early 21st century. (McTiernan even ended up in federal prison for allegedly wiretapping one of its producers).