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Prequels, sequels and remakes, oh my!

Take a concept that works and run with it. Ride the horse till she bucks you.

It’s a sure-fire way to make money if you’re in the movie business.

But this whole idea of remakes isn’t something just now discovered by the producers of Red Dragon. Rather, this is a tried and true formula that dates back to even The Ten Commandments. That film was made twice – by the same guy. Cecil B. DeMille took 33 years to do it, but he now has the biblical epic listed twice on his resumé.

The Count of Monte Cristo has been remade almost a dozen times.

Recent questionable remakes include Miracle on 34th Street and La Cage aux Folles. Both were heavily criticized for not bringing anything new to the table. Other than color and a 1990s sensibility added to the Christmas classic, both Miracles are almost identical. And with the exception of making the latter French comedy more accessible to Americans by starring Robin Williams and calling it The Birdcage, where’s the difference?

The same can be said for Vanilla Sky and Abre Los Ojos.

Even George Lucas felt the pressure to continue his Star Wars saga. His twist was starting it from the beginning.

Now we have the upcoming Rules of Attraction, a precursor to American Psycho.

So what to do with such films as Red Dragon? If you compare the screenplay with Manhunter, some of the lines are matched word-for-word. But if this one proves successful, don’t be surprised if author Thomas Harris is pressured to churn out another tale featuring Hannibal.