The term "remake" is generally used in reference to a movie which uses an earlier movie as the main source material, rather than in reference to a second, later movie based on the same source. For example, 2001's Ocean's Eleven is a remake of Ocean's 11, while 1989's Batman is a re-interpretation of the comic book source material which also inspired 1966's Batman. In 1998, Gus Van Sant produced a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho.
With the exception of shot-for-shot remakes, most remakes make significant character, plot, genre and theme changes. For example, the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is centered on a bank robbery, while its 1999 remake involves the theft of a valuable piece of artwork. The 1999 remake of The Mummy was viewed primarily as "a reimagining" in a different genre (adventure). Similarly, when the 1969 film The Italian Job was remade in 2003, few aspects were carried over. Another example is the 1932 film Scarface which was remade in 1983 starring Al Pacino; whereas the setting of 1932 version is the illegal alcohol trade, the characters in the 1983 version are involved in cocaine smuggling.
Sometimes a remake is made by the same director. For example, Yasujirō Ozu's black-and-white A Story of Floating Weeds was remade into the color Floating Weeds. Alfred Hitchcock remade his 1934 black-and-white The Man Who Knew Too Much in color in 1956. Tick Tock Tuckered, released in 1944, was a color remake of Porky's Badtime Story, released in 1937 with Daffy Duck in Gabby Goat's role. Cecil B. DeMille managed the same thing with his 1956 remake of his silent 1923 film The Ten Commandments. In 2008, Michael Haneke made Funny Games U.S., his English-language remake of his original Funny Games (this is also an example of a shot-for-shot remake), while Martin Campbell, director of the miniseries Edge of Darkness, directed the 2010 film adaptation.
Not all remakes use the same title as the previously released version; the 1966 film Walk, Don't Run, for example, is a remake of the World War II comedy The More the Merrier. This is particularly true for films that are remade from films produced in another language, such as: Point of No Return (from the French Nikita), Vanilla Sky (from the Spanish Abre los ojos), The Magnificent Seven (from the Japanese Seven Samurai), A Fistful of Dollars (from the Japanese Yojimbo), The Departed (from Hong Kong's Infernal Affairs), Secret in Their Eyes (from the Argentine El secreto de sus ojos) and Let Me In (from the Swedish film Let the Right One In or Låt den rätte komma in).
Remakes occur less often on television than in film, but have happened from time to time, especially since the early-21st century. Examples include Battlestar Galactica (1978, 2003), He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983, 2002), Knight Rider (1982, 2008), La Femme Nikita (1997, 2010), Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, V (1983, 2009), Hawaii Five-O (1968, 2010), and Charlie's Angels (1976, 2011).
One area where television remakes are particularly common is trans-Atlantic ports, where US shows are remade for the UK (see List of British television series based on American television series) or more frequently, UK shows are remade for a US market (see List of American television series based on British television series). A notable example is Three's Company, a US remake of the British Man About the House: not only was the original show re-created (with very few character or situation changes made, at least initially), but both series had spin-offs based on the Ropers (in the UK, George And Mildred, in the US, The Ropers), and both series were eventually re-tooled into series based on the male lead (in the UK, Robin's Nest, in the US, Three's a Crowd).
While not, strictly speaking, remakes, television adaptations of theatrical films have occurred (e.g. La Femme Nikita, The Odd Couple, M*A*S*H, F/X: The Series). There also have been TV series that are (more or less) direct spin-offs of successful films (e.g. Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Highlander: The Series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
- Reboot (fiction)
- List of film remakes
- List of British television series based on American television series
- List of English-language films with previous foreign-language film versions
- Cover versions of a song, genrally in popular music
- Video game remake
- Adam, Keplerjuly (22 July 2015). "In Hollywood, It's a Reboot by Any Other Name". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- Fleming, Mike (February 9, 2011), "‘Glee’s Ryan Murphy Courted To Direct ‘Annie’ With Willow Smith". Deadline Hollywood.