In 2017, Netflix spent $6.8 billion on original and acquired programming. The streaming giant is always on the prowl for the latest trends in nostalgic entertainment, as seen in their 80s-themed smash hit “Stranger Things.” Their most recent target is aimed directly at our childhood: Carmen Sandiego. The cartoon game will be a live-action feature film with “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez as the leading lady. This marks the beginning of a possible trend. There is usually a 20-year period before an iconic piece of media becomes viable for repackaging. This is most clearly seen in the flurry of O.J. content in 2016 (“O.J.: Made in America” and “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”). The fact that we are entering our twenties and the media we grew up on is entering the sweet spot of nostalgia marketing is scary. So what are the best ways our childhood could be reproduced 20 years later?
Rocket Power – Directed by Michael Mann
After the family restaurant the Shore Shack goes out of business, our gang of extreme sport enthusiast twenty-somethings are left without jobs. Uncle Rico, battling the stress of unemployment, has a near-fatal heart attack, and the group must figure out a way to pay the bills. Otto, Reggie, Squid and Twister look around the room in a “That 70s Show” spinning shot and unanimously agree what to do: they will rob banks. They combine their knowledge of extreme sports such as surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding to commit their robberies. The movie culminates in a heist in the Swiss Alps with our heroes snowboarding to safety in a series of daring stunts. You’re welcome Netflix. I take cash, check or Venmo (@Teddy-Craven).
Dragon Tales – Directed by Danny Boyle
Emmy and Max wake in an Australian opium den realizing their adventures with dragons have simply been a drug-induced hallucination. They cannot grapple with the harsh realities of a shrinking job market and family pressure to get their lives on track. The duo turn away from drugs and design a virtual-reality video game as a healthier way to escape the daily misery that is their life. Like their former hallucinations, this video is based on dragons leading them on fun adventures. The virtual-reality dragons become sentient and realize the trouble Emmy and Max are facing. Through a series of heartfelt monologues, the dragons convince the duo to face their problems and “choose life” over the escapism of virtual reality.
Super Mario – Directed by Martin Scorsese (the rights would never be sold, but whatever)
For the uninitiated, the basic plot of Mario is the title character and his brother Luigi must battle many foes in the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Peach from the evil clutches of Bowser. In this film adaptation, Bowser’s goons Wario and Waluigi take advantage of Luigi’s inferiority complex that stems from him always being number two. Unaware that Luigi has been compromised by the enemy, Mario must battle against enemies outside and within to reach his beloved princess. The movie culminates in a confrontation between hero and brother, with Luigi holding Princess Peach over a pit of lava. Mario must decide between family and love. Then, Toad comes and drop kicks Luigi into the lava, catching Peach before she meets her demise, because Toad is clearly the best character in the Mario Universe.
Teddy Craven is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.