What’s The Difference? Remake? Reboot? Revival?

I don’t normally do this, but there have been some mixed-up terms going around, especially with the relaunch of such shows like Roseanne and Will & Grace.

There has been confusion about the various cinematic and entertainment terms. Is a Jurassic World a sequel or reboot? Is Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life a reunion or reboot? Was the True Grit with Jeff Bridges a remake or reboot? Is Roseanne a revival or a reboot? It is all confusing because movie and television studios will use the terms reboot, remake, and reunion interchangeably, but the fact is they are very different.

I will break them down for you so you will no longer be confused.

Remake- Updating a piece, but sticking to the original tropes.

The term “Remake” has become less popular because comparisons to the original cinematic or small screen presentation seem to haunt them. One example of that is Gus Vant Sant’s shot-by-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

A remake is where you take a film that has already been made and reshoot it in a modern context and shot with updated techniques, but it keeps the basic premise and most of the same characters.

The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones was a remake of a hit TV Show. Because the main character mainly jumped from place to place, only he and the antagonist, the one armed man, were the main characters. It made it easy to adapt to the big screen. He is being pursued by a US Marshall who does not care about his guilt or innocence. He’s just after a fugitive.

Ocean’s Eleven is a remake of the original film, Ocean’s 11, starring Frank Sinatra. They took a great heist film and made it a boring, dull, and melodramatic. Despite that, it follows the same basic premise of a bunch of guys lead by Mr. Ocean to rob a casino of a rival.

Reboot- Taking a premise and title, but remixing it.

A reboot is where you completely disregard past continuity. You keep some elements and maybe a few of the same characters. For the most part, it goes a completely different direction than the source material. Sometimes it is misused. For instance, Jurassic World is a sequel not a reboot. They just call it that because it’s the new buzz word.

Here is a quick example:

Batman and Batman Begins– Christopher Nolan took no leads, ideas, or formula from Tim Burton when he developed The Dark Knight Trilogy. It was a standalone film franchise that used similar characters, but otherwise rejects the continuity of Burton’s Batman films.

Revival- Bringing back the old.

Let’s make one thing clear: the relaunch of Roseanne is NOT a reboot. It is a revival. It brings back the same characters, the same premise, and though it might updated for modern times, it is clearly the same show. However, because reboot is a buzzword, even those who are in the Hollywood are misrepresenting the term.

A Few Others


Clones are films that seem like a different movie, but they are identical. For instance, Olympus Has Fallen was copied in plot and setting in White House Down. Believe it or not, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a clone of Ghost Rider, though it pretends to be a sequel.


Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, despite what folks are saying, is not a reboot. It is a reunion show with most of the former cast coming together for a hooray. Gunsmoke and The Andy Griffith Show also have done this.

I hope that clears it up a bit. Like I said earlier, since reboot is catchy on Twitter, EVERYTHING is a reboot. Look for these elements in the films and television shows before you make up your mind.

What do you think? Are there remakes, reboots, or revivals that you like? Let me know in the comments below. While you are at it, check out my article on social media. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

You can find me on everywhere on social media! Facebook: Author Jacob Airey | Patreon: Click Here | Instagram: real.jacob.airey | Twitter: @realJacobAirey | YouTube: StudioJake

This article is an updated post of the article What Is The Difference Between A Reboot And Remake?

4 thoughts on “What’s The Difference? Remake? Reboot? Revival?

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