How Soon Is Too Soon for a Reboot?

Every generation seems to have a Tarzan, a Sherlock Holmes, a Doctor Who, a James Bond, but lately the reboots seem to be coming at us fast and furious. Yesterday I wrote about The Lone Ranger, expressing my anticipation to finally see a new take on the classic story, but is it too soon to see some other iconic characters re-imagined?

Some franchises are so valuable that it's understandable for Hollywood to dip back in the creative well as often as possible.  The Bryan Singer version of Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh underwhelmed critics and audiences so now enough time has passed to try again with director Zack Snyder and actor Henry Cavill in the brand new Man of Steel.  Marvel Entertainment has gone through a number of different leads and visionaries in their attempt to bring the Hulk to life -- Eric Bana with Ang Lee, Ed Norton with Louis Leterrier, and now Mark Ruffalo with Joss Whedon -- and, last I heard, Guillermo del Toro is still developing a separate Hulk television show.

Sometimes it seems the studios are jumping the gun, giving us a brand new version while the previous rendition is still fresh in our minds. Was Spider-man 3 really so bad that Sony had to chuck Sam Raimi from the helm and jettison the great cast of Tobey Maguire and the rest, starting anew with another origin retelling in The Amazing Spider-man by Marc Webb, with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone?

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises hasn't even hit theaters yet, but Warner Bros. is already making plans for yet another Batman reboot. When does it become overkill? Sometimes, no amount of re-imagining can freshen an over-exposed franchise, but other times fans might feel like their beloved characters are being tweaked just for the sake of change.

At least you know if you don't like one version of a classic character, wait around a bit, because you're sure to get another in due time -- maybe sooner than you might expect.