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Thread: What qualities a Movie (or anything) to be "based on" something, iyo

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    Door with dental plan. Jawbridge's Avatar
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    What qualities a Movie (or anything) to be "based on" something, iyo

    qualities = qualifies, sorry
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    So, with all the movies revisiting past brands and leveraging their names and stuff, when do you call it "based on" and when do you just say "loosely inspired by"? And of course, when do you call it slapping a name on something and nothing more?

    Example that started the argument here at our office:

    Battleship the movie (I know, ooolllld news) - It has the same name, okay, but was it really based on a game that was just a step up from tic-tac-toe? I agree that the new version of the game, with the alien faction, super weapons, and box art to match the movie is based on the movie, no doubt, but I didn't fully buy that the movie was really based off the game. What's there to base it on? I don't really believe much was even inspired by the game honestly.

    Is it enough to have a ship and be called Battleship? It sortuh uses coordinates and all, but really, that doesn't amount to much.

    If TMNT comes out, has the four turtles, April O'Neil, and all the cast it says it has, but completely changes the characteristics of these guys, the whole origin and every other aspect of previous stories, is that still "based on"? Mikey is a couples councilor taken hostage by Raph who is hell bent on conquering the world, but April teams up with her high school sweet heart, the Shredder, to stop them. Idunno, just the worst thing you can imagine

    My question: do people think you need a ~qualifier~ to tout "based on" about any given product, or can you just leverage any creative from the original and consider it thoroughly based?

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    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Simple- if the film is literally so distant that if you took out the copyrighted and trademarked elements and changed the names and appearances to something original, without the movie itself felling any different, then it's "loosely based on". Which is really how many of these films start- a studio buys a script or a film idea, buys up the rights to a franchise, and slaps a franchise brand onto a project. This was especially true of Starship Troopers, which started out as an original property until the studio bought the rights.

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    Door with dental plan. Jawbridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    Simple- if the film is literally so distant that if you took out the copyrighted and trademarked elements and changed the names and appearances to something original, without the movie itself felling any different, then it's "loosely based on". Which is really how many of these films start- a studio buys a script or a film idea, buys up the rights to a franchise, and slaps a franchise brand onto a project. This was especially true of Starship Troopers, which started out as an original property until the studio bought the rights.
    That's a great way to put it. Loosely. But still, I guess I just always felt like to even use the word base, it implied some sort of fundamental structure, or being built around something. But maybe if the general idea is present, it's okay. And sometimes, general ideas are very very basic. In SST's case, they just needed marines going to war with bugs?

    I haven't read or seen Starship Troopers. I thought it was accepted by some, because I used to see the costumes around Dragoncon long after the movie was on topic. I guess the movie adaptation was for the better? Or maybe it was just a space movie that looked cool, and honestly that's all you might need for an army builder costume.

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    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Starship Troopers was based on an old novel and features soldiers in giant battle robots. There was eventually an animated series adaptation which ignored the film and stuck to the book.

    I think remake Battlestar Galactica is an example of a series that had a franchise slapped on for no good reason. yes I know the show has a massive following, but did it need to be called Battlestar Galactica? They could have and should have sold it as an original premise since it really bore no resemblance to the original show at all. One of my main gripes is that it's a space series with no aliens, which makes setting your show in space somewhat pointless. The original had plenty of alien designs. The Cylons were no longer alien but merely human inventions that went rogue, but despite wanting to wipe out humans, they also wanted to be humans, and I think there was some plot point about a bunch of the characters secretly being Cylons.

    They could have sold this under a new premise and title but instead they took an old franchise title and some character names and slapped it on instead just to get some instant brand recognition.

    I think that's why so many films and TV shows, which have nothing to do with the brand they're named after, take those names- they want instant title recognition.

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