7 Films That Could Use a Female-Led Reboot

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

One thing 2015 has certainly proved is that reboots and remakes aren’t going away.  On the other hand, it also showed us that they don’t have to suck. A big part of that revelation comes from the recent trend of casting women as leads. Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Furiosa took center stage, and next year we’re getting an all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Add that news about Rhonda Rousey starring in a remake of Roadhouse, and the paradigm is looking pretty cemented. So here are seven more films that could use the female treatment.

THE LAST STARFIGHTER

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The Last Starfighter is one of those enjoyable, if not terribly excellent 80s films that commands more respect through nostalgia than actual quality. The core idea, however — aliens choosing pilots based on video game skill — is pure gold, and could stand up just as easily today as it did 30 years ago. Re-imagining this with a female gamer would make the story feel decidedly more modern. What’s more, the growing cult status around Jupiter Ascending shows there’s definitely a market for female-led space operas.

WEIRD SCIENCE

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

Weird Science is a quirky 80s comedy about a pair of doofy nerds who make a woman out of science and computers and such. The central idea of awkward teen boys making and… enjoying their sex-bot hasn’t aged well, though Weird Science isn’t as poorly regarded as some of John Hughes’ other reappraised works. This movie is perfectly suited for a skewing towards the female gaze, especially given how successful the Magic Mike films have been. And with the growing trend of body positivity and the normalization of the nerd girl identity, there’s a lot of room to explore this concept in interesting and comedic ways.

THE LOST BOYS

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

The Lost Boys is a late 80s horror flick that pairs reckless teen youth with vampirism for a winning combination. Of all the films with plots revolving around vampirsim as an appealing condition, it’s easily one of the best, mainly due to the raw energy inherent to youth. I’d love to see that scenario played out with women. Exploring the violent abandon and indulgence of youth through the lens of girls rather than guys is actually still pretty rare, and something like Lost Boys would be a great way to delve into it.

THE TIME MACHINE

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

The Time Machine is a 2002 film ahead of its time, and its biggest flaw was its lead.  Guy Pearce is a fine actor, but by this point, we’ve seen “white man travels through time” in essentially every time travel movie. Swapping him out for a female protagonist would almost instantly make the film more unique and engaging. There’s still a market for Victorian steampunk, not to mention re-imaginings of classic literature, so The Time Machine seems like a no-brainer. Plus, this would be a chance to feature a female lead who’s an adventurer and a scientist, which is all too rare.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

Okay, first things first: Back to the Future is an unassailable comedy classic, and the trilogy is one of the best ever filmed. That said, the world of Back to the Future and its core character archetypes are thoroughly worth re-imagining. You don’t have to look any further than Rick & Morty to see there are still interesting spins to be pulled on these characters, and rebooting them as a pair of awesome time-traveling women would make for a great film. It would also open up a whole bunch of new options for the film’s central jaunt through the 50s.

STAR TREK

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

Even though Star Trek was rebooted recently (and has already featured a female captain), I would still be interested in a gender-swapped remake. Specifically, I’d like to see a swap of the original series’ crew. The original series was great in its time, but there’s no denying its character archetypes and gender politics are rooted in the ideals of the 60s. Today, a lot of its ideas might seem antiquated when applied to men, but having a woman who’s as free with her sexuality as Kirk or as emotionless as Spock would be a real shake-up of modern expectations.

E.T.

movies, reboot, remake, female cast, the last starfighter, weird science, the lost boys, the time machine, back to the future, star trek, ET

E.T. is a major sci-fi classic and a cultural touchstone of the 80s that I’ve never really cared for. There’s nothing wrong with the film’s core concept, but the “boy and his metaphor for childhood” plot is more than a little played out. Like Lost Boys, this is a concept ripe for re-examination through an often unexplored lens: the childhood experiences of young girls. At the very least, such a shift would help a remake stand out amid all the other transparent attempts to ape E.T.’s style we’ve endured over the past 30 years.

Article by contributor Lido Giovacchini.

10 thoughts on “7 Films That Could Use a Female-Led Reboot

  1. Wow, this was really good! The ideas went far beyond what I was admittedly expecting(it’s with girls, so, that’s new!) and actually goes into why these movies in particular would work. Great article!

  2. Fun article and well worded. It is always nice to see someone not instantly crap all over the idea of reboots and instead show the good they can do by exposing us to new ideas while having the bankability (not a real word but let’s roll with it) that can help ensure this idea reaches the silver screen in an era where Hollywood rather support something familiar than totally new.

  3. What’s the point of rebooting a movie with a specifically female cast? Seriously, other than making you feel good what’s the point? I know someone is thinking “Oh to give women more leading roles in film”. Well that sounds all warm and fuzzy but movies aren’t created for the main purpose of employing actors, they’re meant to tell a good story and entertain. You don’t need an all female or all male cast to do that. Championing an all female cast, just cus, is some trite social justice bullshit.

    1. I mean I don’t think the writer pitched these ideas “just cus” they gave examples why these reboots would give us new perspective on familiar films. I don’t know about you but I’d be very entertained by seeing a female Marty (Marcia?) and Doc going back to the 50’s and Old West as women because that sounds like it would give our heroes new challenges. It is kinda like Spider-Gwen sure it is like a reboot but with different twist and turns that I’ve enjoyed reading.

  4. For me, my worry is women getting lead roles in crappy remakes, which inevitably do poorly, and gives movie studios an excuse to abandon future projects featuring them. The key is a good script, an excellent director and probably a movie with a modest budget. Some of the movies on this list would be harder to pull off, but I think a lot of your choices would be great to see remade with a female cast in mind. I do think something like Star Trek would be way too hard to pull off though. An Army of Darkness remake would have been a great choice with Ash Vs Evil Dead coming out soon. And I know this is an article about remakes, but after recently being reminded of Edgar Wrights great directing, I can’t help but want a movie directed by him with a female lead role.

  5. The Star Trek idea might be interesting as a mini-series “what-if” comic or maybe a nerdy novel, but Star Trek really needs to stop getting rebooted or doing prequels. Honestly, it probably needs another time jump to clear away some baggage. A few occasional references to the past in Star Trek have been nice, but the constant obsession with prequels and reboots ends up making it go through the motions instead of finding it’s own place.

  6. While I find the idea of reboots / female reboots boring, I’ll admit that a female Weird Science reboot would be WICKEDLY AWESOME.

  7. The only two I really agreed with were Weird Science and Lost Boys. I really enjoyed those movies when I was younger and could really see the concept of swapping the genders as an intriguing idea. Last Starfighter and Time Machine, I don’t really have any opinion on, which probably relates to my feelings about the originals being mediocre films. The other 4 (I’m including Ghostbusters in this) I am totally against. Ghostbusters should have been a mixed group with the women being treated as equals as the men and not objects for romance if they are to be a part of the team. Star Trek should quit with the reboots and just do what they did for years which is expand on the universe they have with new characters. That universe is so interesting and dense, it seems really stupid to just throw it all away. I’m starting to soften a little on Back to the Future as I’m typing but I’m still totally against a remake. But if they did do it, just make one of the main characters female. You could have Marty be a girl and still have the interesting situations the author was writing about and Doc Brown could be like a George Clooney character from Tomorrowland. Don’t remake E.T. Thank You.

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