The Stanley Kubrick/Kirk Douglas classic Spartacus is one of the greatest films of the 1950s. More than just a historical action film, Spartacus captured the incredible emotional power of a man’s desire to be free. Spartacus was willing to fight for his freedom and fight he did. The themes of Spartacus are being revisited, but in a very unique was. Called The Champion, the new Spartacus reboot will be a science-fiction outing.
Perhaps the studios learned their lesson with the disastrous Ben Hur remake. Ben Hur, another film classic set in the biblical age, was a massive bomb. The opening weekend drew in $10 million. The budget of the feature stood at $100 million. In the current movie landscape, historical films do not seem to be attracting audiences like that did a half-century ago.
By changing the setting of Spartacus to the future, the film takes on a fantasy that may be able to draw in a wider audiences. Younger persons could be more engaged to see the film as well.
No guarantees exist that a science-fiction film is going to be a hit. Star Trek Beyond did very mediocre box office. The new Star Wars film, however, did tremendously well. Terminator: Genysis flopped while Guardians of the Galaxy was a hit.
A host of different things come into play in order for a film to be a success. Even the best plans laid out during the development process do not automatically mean a movie is going to be a hit when released. Audiences may not want to actually see the film. Studios end up losing big on giant projects that garner no interest.
One way studios are able to hedge their bets is through a reboot. A movie that worked the first time in theaters should do well the second time. “Should” does not mean “will”. Ben Hur is an obvious example of a dud. The first Planet of the Apes reboot was a disappointment. The second reboot was a massive hit. Again, a lot of factors have to come into play for a reboot to connect. The quality of the script, the timing of the release, and the current audience landscape all mean a lot.
Oliver Megaton will be directing the film. No star has been signed to attach. Considering the budget, the film is going to require a major star in the lead role.