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The current movie industry seems to be engaged in an orgy of remakes to reduce the risk of funding completely new scripts. We have had a recent remake of Total Recall and are about to get a remake of Robocop. Sometimes the remakes happen very quickly (the Swedish movies Let the Right One In and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were both remade in English very quickly).

Some of the scripts start as books (The Big Sleep, for example), some start as plays (The Front Page was originally a stage play but was remade as a movie several times, in 1931 and 1974 as The Front Page and in 1940 as His Girl Friday) and others as screenplays (Robocop seems to have started as a screenplay).

What is the most remade story?

NB For clarity let us exclude series where a character such as James Bond repeats and stick with those where the story credit references a single play, book or original script.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
Any other requirements? I guess a book has a much higher chance of being turned into a movie multiple times than just a screenplay, though those wouldn't then necessarily be remakes of a particular movie/screenplay but just different interpretations of the book. The recently brought up 9 versions of Les Miserables already set quite a high limit in this case. I also think The Count of Monte Christo has been done a feeled thousand times. –  Sonny Burnett Jan 11 at 21:32
    
If the numbers are dominated by books rather than original scripts or plays, then I might suggest splitting the question. But right now I don't want to be more specific. –  matt_black Jan 11 at 21:34
    
A Christmas Carol may be the most adapted book, while Romeo and Juliet may be the most adapted play. I'm not sure, so I leave this as a comment for now. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet#Screen –  Meat Trademark Jan 11 at 21:47
    
Probably not the most remade but I think (and have discovered to be true) that the director of the Grudge, Takeshi Shimizu, made the same films (Ju On: The Grudge 1 & 2) 3 times... TV, Japanese and then American.. for 1 and then 2. Kind of a Groundhog Day situation... although that was, ironically, only made once. –  Qoop Jan 12 at 3:39
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@matt_black I gave a +1, but the question in the title is different than the question in your text. I think you should consider changing the title question. –  Ben Plont Jan 12 at 17:02

3 Answers 3

It depends on how you define it, as you can look at something like Hitchock's Psycho, which was remade almost scene for scene and shot for shot, or adaptations of works. You can also limit it by Hollywood, Bollywood, German, etc.

The Great Gatsby has been made into a film seven different times in the US, but the overall record holder for a same name film is undoubtedly Romeo and Juliet. I believe the number of times that it has been made into a film a little more than 1300 times in various countries and languages. I don't believe this counts "knockoff" type films where the story is same/similar but the title is different.

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I think Romeo and Juliet is the best technical answer, and would add that there are countless movies (made by Hollywood and religious groups, et al.) based on the bible. –  Ben Plont Jan 12 at 16:59
    
@BenPlont Though most probably on different excerpts of it. –  Sonny Burnett Jan 12 at 18:21

My money is on Romeo and Juliet. But without proper in depth research, my money maybe ill-placed.

References:

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If we limit it to Hollywood, then one particular remake comes to mind...

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) dir. Don Siegel which then was re-made as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) dir. Philip Kaufman which then was then re-made as The Body Snatchers (1993) dir. Abel Ferrara which was finally re-made as The Invasion (2007) dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel.

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