The Top 10 Best Science Fiction Film Remakes
You know what they say — sci-fi is forever! Well, maybe they will say that. In a far future … or did they say it a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?
Whatever the case, we know you’re here because you’re a science fiction fan. If you’re living in the 21st century, you’re fortunate enough to have witnessed decades of sci-fi content. Plus, a lot of those cult classics are now getting remakes. And no matter how you feel about remakes, you have to admit many of these movies are actually really good. So below we’re breaking down (in no particular order!) some of the best sci-fi remakes from 2000 and beyond.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens™ isn’t technically a remake. As a continuation of the Skywalker Saga™, director J.J. Abram’s galactic adventure is set a few years after the events of the original trilogy. Yet it holds honorary remake status for a few reasons. One: It was released a decade after the previous Star Wars™ movie — Episode III: Revenge of the Sith™. Two: There are undeniable homages and similarities to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope™, the movie that started it all. Finally, it brought a lot of new Star Wars fans into the fold, solidifying it as a resurgence — dare we even say reboot? — of the franchise.
The first Dune movie adaptation premiered in 1984. Quirky and colorful, it was an ’80s action flick with that unique David Lynch touch. The modern update, directed by Denis Villeneuve, puts a grittier spin on the tale. Seeped in a palette of gray, pale blues, and muted warm tones, it’s a tense tale fit for fans of action and thrillers alike. Plus, it’s getting a Part II soon! Look out for that highly anticipated sequel in 2023.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Another take on a beloved retro franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes shirks off any old cheesiness to deliver something truly dark and emotional. The film follows Caesar, a genetically enhanced chimpanzee, as he leads a revolt against humanity. As you might expect, it delivers particularly poignant messages concerning environmentalism and animal rights. Additionally, it’s got some edge-of-your-seat action scenes and motion-capture acting as the audience questions whether Caesar might just have a point.
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek started as a ’60s television show. Its success spawned more TV series, movies, books, comics — you name it, and Star Trek‘s done it. But in the early 2000s, J.J. Abrams started it all over. Envisioning James T. Kirk as a young rascal, the movie follows his days in the academy alongside Spock and Nyota Uhura before they all get to the U.S.S. Enterprise. Star Trek (2009) still feels familiar, yet has enough newness to attract and appeal to franchise newcomers, building fresh layers of nuance into iconic character relationships.
The original Godzilla is a black and white ’50s film. An instant cult classic, this spectacular monster movie is the ultimate kaiju lovers’ dream. Godzilla (2014) is the 30th film in the Godzilla franchise, but it stands on its own. The reboot rests somewhere between the action and horror genres, amping up the original source material. The special effects are fantastic. Get swept up in the world-ending crisis that is the King of the Monsters with modern movie magic, then check out the original for a ride down memory lane.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Talk about road rage. The high-octane Mad Max movies took cinemas by storm in the early 1980s. However, even with car chases and flashy fights, the films were mainly loved by a niche audience. Fast forward to Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015. Filled to the brim with bonkers stunts, grossly impressive SFX makeup, and a star-studded cast, this movie shocked audiences everywhere. Underneath all that gasoline-induced haze and despair, there are actually themes of heartfelt hope to be found.
Terminator: Dark Fate
The sixth installment in the Terminator series, Terminator: Dark Fate, is actually a direct sequel to Judgment Day. And this movie has everything a Terminator fan could need. Action, time travel, upgraded Terminator tech, and a new cast put a refreshing spin on this long-adored franchise. Despite low box office scores, audiences rated this movie much higher, and some even called it a series upgrade. So if you like killer robots and awesome sci-fi, we suggest you check it out.
Ghostbusters (2016) takes a phenomenal group of comedians and gets back to the franchise’s roots — dirty jokes, ghosts, and friendship. With four female leads, the film is a complete flip from the original ’80s Ghostbusters. Of course, that’s the point. Remakes and reboots can’t just happen with a modern take on the same story. The best updates change the narrative with the times, and that’s just what the 2016 Ghostbusters does.
Alita: Battle Angel
No, we’re not saying this is better than the original 1993 anime. But they both hold up, and this is honestly an impressive live-action version. Not only is the story’s cyberpunk world fun to witness, Alita is awesome to follow. We learn, grow, and change with her. We see the world through her VFX-enhanced eyes. Plus, it condenses a lot of the manga series into one film without feeling overstuffed or rushed. So if you want your introduction to Alita, try Robert Rodriguez’s adaptation.
Similar to our Star Wars pick — this isn’t exactly a remake. Prometheus is an Alien prequel. It pulls ideas and themes from the original Ridley Scott series without connecting directly to it. Still, with the the last Alien movie having premiered in 1997, this gets the remake label because it brings new audiences, establishes new lore, and adds canon content in a timeline that’s set before Alien (1979). Thus if you love the original and want to watch its world expand, give Prometheus a shot.
What are your favorite sci-fi films? Connect with other fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!