'Footloose' is one of some 30 upcoming movies retreaded from a popular 1980s film. Hollywood hopes the blend of nostalgia and freshness will add up to box office gold.
Danny Moloshok / Reuters / File
As the trailer for the “Footloose” remake teases a whole new generation with the story of young people fighting for the freedom to dance, it’s clear that Hollywood’s fascination with the 1980s is here to stay. According to Variety, there are no fewer than 30 redos on studio dockets, including everything from “Red Dawn” to “Private Benjamin,” “Poltergeist,” and new installments of “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Ghostbusters.”
While familiar material is catnip to studio executives looking to cash in on audience nostalgia, this particular decade hits the sweet spot right now.
“Younger audiences haven’t seen the originals, and older viewers might just be curious enough to buy a ticket to see what the updated version looks like,” says film studies expert Wheeler Winston Dixon.
“There this perfect symbiosis with the 1980s,” says Dwight DeWerth-Pallmeyer, director of communication studies at Widener University in Chester, Penn. “There is enough distance for nostalgia, but not so much that the kids can’t relate,” he says.
A town that clamps down on teen behavior as a result of a tragedy, he adds, can spur conversation for families.