A scene from The Matrix Revolutions, which stars Keanu Reeves. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Remember when you saw the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise with stunning visual effects in 2011? Surely it brought back fond memories of the classics, including many great titles of the 90’s and beyond. What makes these movies timeless, and why do we feel like we have to see refreshed versions of them every few years? We’ve seen a flurry of remakes of some of these classics in recent time. Driven by nostalgia and the need to see the familiar but with contemporary elements, has driven many directors to re-invent some legendary movies, with new plotlines, characters and music.

Well known titles like West Side Story, Halloween, Scream and Hannibal have all been rebooted in some form or the other. Many of the classics were even fodder for modern day movies – so for example iconic movies like Jaws which sent shivers down people’s spines when it first released in 1975, has inspired many shark attack movies, the most recent being The Meg and The Shallows.

An entire generation of sci-fi films was inspired by classics like King Kong in 1933 and Godzilla in 1956. These movies planted the seed for giant monsters on screen – and audiences were delighted. One could even go as far as to say that cult movies like Jurassic Park and more recently Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron, have all been loosely based on the audience’s desire to see larger than life monsters on screen.

Then there’s the horror genre. Movies like The Omen and The Exorcist inspired movie makers to experiment with fear – and thanks to this we have wildly popular horror series like The Conjuring. Even superheroes have not been left alone – think of the several remakes that Spiderman has undergone. Then there’s Batman, Superman, The Fantastic Four and Robocop. The stories may have been altered to match modern day audience preferences but the story has more or less stayed the same.

TV network operators too are looking for new ways to keep old content relevant to modern day audiences. For instance, Turner Classic Movies, which has always been the destination for timeless classics has updated its library to remain the home of classic movies. This means that it has transformed TCM and made it more contemporary to resonate better in an ever-changing digital and social world. This shift reflects the growing need to connect and engage with newer and younger audiences, from a brand and a commercial perspective.

Looking ahead, as Hollywood’s nostalgia wave continues, we can expect to see even more favourites from the 90s reincarnated. Equally, there will be a renewed focus on contemporary productions, including the great titles of the late 90’s and 2000’s, such as Last of the Mohicans, Snatch, Finding Neverland and Scent of a Woman, which today are considered classics. Meanwhile, TV network operators will do everything they can to bring feelings of nostalgia to fans, allowing them relive great cinematic moments.