The Next Big Reboot: A Tournament to Decide What We Should Bring Back Next

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A little over a year ago, we published a list of 22 things from the 80s and 90s that (for better or worse) had yet to be rebooted. In continuing the American trend of rebooting everything in history, since then at least 5 of those 22 things have in fact been rebooted or have a reboot in the works.

In keeping with our March tradition, we’ll run a pop culture-themed tournament parallel to the NCAA’s March Madness bracket. This year’s tournament pits 32 television shows, movies, foods and other long-vanished things against each other to determine what the next big reboot should be.

From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Garbage Pail Kids, Dallas to DuckTales, Monster cereals to New York Seltzer, and the Brady Bunch to the Chipmunks, reboots of all shapes and sizes have dominated the entertainment and consumer landscape for the last two decades. There’s no stopping there- among others, The Greatest American Hero, Private Benjamin, Perry Mason, Police Academy and Voltron all have reboots in the works. They’ll have to reboot Dynamite Magazine just to properly cover all of the 80s and 90s resurrections.

The Rebootables Selection Process 

On to the matter of how we selected the field of 32 “rebootables”. It was hard to find anything from the 80s and 90s that we loved that someone isn’t already talking about rebooting. Our selection committee’s rule of thumb with regard to anything that has been rumored for a reboot: if the news updates on said reboot run cold over a year ago, or if someone has gone on record officially declaring the project dead, we considered it eligible here (example: Gremlins). The point of this tournament is to determine what the community wants to see rebooted most.

LISTEN: Podcast Episode #121 – The Next Big Reboot Tournament Selection Show

If a rumored or reported reboot still seems to be in the works, we didn’t include it (example: Voltron). No need to rally the community behind something that’s already in the offing.

We did include M.A.S.K., because we can’t yet consider a Matt Trakker G.I. Joe cameo rumor a full-on M.A.S.K. reboot announcement. Although, fingers crossed!

Other franchises that many of us would LOVE to see rebooted or adapted for film had to be omitted from the bracket, since they’d been rebooted recently. We’ll call them the “You Had Your Chance, Step to the Back of the Line” Rebootables, and they include properties such as the Thundercats, Knight Rider, and a G.I. Joe animated series. I hope to see a Thundercats film adaptation as much as anyone, but the 2011 animated series underperformed, and this is a property that is perpetually rumored for a film reboot, so no need to include them here.

The Struggle is Real

Allow me to let you in on an example of the “grueling” thought process behind assembling this bracket. It’s easy to sit back and say “Here are 32 vintage things that we loved and want to see/eat/drink/have again“. While that is certainly true of every entry on this bracket, just because we loved some of these things dearly doesn’t necessarily mean we want them rebooted. In some cases it’s probably best to leave them untouched, as they could never be improved upon.

I’ll use Clue as an example. Initially, it made the tournament. Then I realized, after the initial thrill of seeing what current actors and actresses they’d cast in the original roles, I’d dread seeing them inevitably fail to live up to or recreate the value of the original. Clue should never be rebooted. Same goes for ¡Three Amigos!, Predator, They Live, and every other one of a kind feature that needn’t be resurrected.

So here we celebrate 32 things that were great in their time, but could be great again, or could be reinvented and enjoyed by a new generation. Things like McDonald’s Pizza, Small Wonder and Hi-C Ecto Cooler.

Check out the 2015 Next Big Reboot Bracket (powered by UnderScoopFire) below, and stay tuned for weekly updates and your chance to vote on what deserves to be rebooted most! (Credit to UnderScoopFire contributor Ben Furse for creating the amazing bracket graphic)

[click to enlarge]

next big reboot tournament bracket

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