Early 2010 Word Of The Year Candidate: “Reboot”

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Spider Man 4 PosterThe Hollywood “reboot” has become of accelerated interest the past few years following the enormous successes of the new Batman movies, Star Trek, and Casino Royale, which is understandable given Hollywood’s ongoing effort to always do what itself is doing, but the actual word “reboot” has, in the last two years, jumped from “term in quotes used as a tidy way to say ‘Forget about that last sucky movie with the same title, here’s a new one’” to “ubiquitous term required to describe any movie that is in any way based on a past thing.”

In the past three days alone, we’ve gotten word that Spider-Man 4 will be a reboot, as well as some casting rumors about the upcoming Conan The Barbarian reboot (Sidenote – Do we really need to ‘reboot’ a franchise that old? Can’t we just ‘build a new computer?’)

Superman is rebooting. The Karate Kid is rebooting. The Hulk tried rebooting five years after booting to begin with (unless that in itself was a reboot of the previous Hulk boots, even though none of those were very booted).

Hollywood execs have extra incentive to use the word “reboot”, too, because the term “remake” immediately connotes “Making crappy version of old classic thing that’ll just piss everyone off,” whereas “reboot” signifies “Hey, this movie might end up being The Dark Knight! Didn’t you love The Dark Knight?” As such, its use has increased exponentially over the past few years, especially in the trade papers — or as I call them because I’m a Hollywood know-how, “Trader Joeses” — and it’s now in every article about every movie. Yep, literally every sentence. Even stuff about The Hurt Locker.

With Twitter, Twilight, and unfriend out of the picture, 2010 is looking like reboot’s time to shine. And if it doesn’t shine, well, we’ll just have to completely start over with a different synonym.

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