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First Click: Have we reached peak nostalgia?

First Click: Have we reached peak nostalgia?


December 9th, 2016

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Last week I yelled at the internet about our collective obsession with nostalgia. Since then, we got the first trailer for the fifth transformers film and this lovely blast from the past:

The 16th Marvel film and second Spiderman reboot

As my colleague Chaim Gartenberg said in our company Slack room, "Is this 22 Jump Street on a beach?" Then, as if on cue, came the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming this morning; the second reboot for the boy in red and blue pajamas, and the 16th film in the impossibly lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe. It all makes me wonder: have we reached peak nostalgia yet?

Let's look at the facts:

  • We just elected a man president on a platform of making America great again.
  • David Hassellhoff just won an International Emmy in the UK — a country that longs for the good ol' days before the EU.
  • Over 2 million tickets were sold for the Guns N' Roses reunion, so far.
  • Rogue One is about to debut in December, causing The Verge's most ardent Star Wars fan to ask: "How many Star Wars movies is too many?"
  • Retreads dominate the top grossing films worldwide, as they have for more than a decade.

I’m fed up, personally. I’m tired of being spoon-fed memories dressed up in bigger pecs and painted with better CGI. And I don’t think I’m alone. A 2015 report warned Hollywood that the "IP re-exploitation" trend was close to being "played out." More recently, Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson asked the question "Is Hollywood’s Sequel Economy Crashing?" after films like Bridget Jones's Baby, Blair Witch (2016), Alice Through the Looking Glass, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and Independence Day: Resurgence all flopped. Of course, when the money dries up, so will the derivative remakes, reboots, and sequels.

So, is this the beginning of the end, dear reader? Is the backlash at hand, or are we all just waiting for Mary Poppins Returns — a film that's actually being remade by director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) and will star Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Lin-Manuel Miranda? Because, dammit, that does sound like it'll be good.


Have we reached peak nostalgia?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Yes, Bring back originality
    (1440 votes)
  • 18%
    No, Bring back the memories
    (314 votes)
1754 votes total