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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

It’s 2008 and I’m sitting in the theater with my mom while I shove Sour Patch Kids into my mouth as the first Kung Fu Panda film begins to illustrate on the screen. 

Life is good. 

It’s 2024 and I’m doom scrolling through Instagram, avoiding my assignments due at midnight when I come across the trailer for the one and only Kung Fu Panda 4. Am I happy to see Po endure another legendary journey to unlock part of himself? Sure. 

Did we really need another film to the series after the original was a hit success almost 20 years later? Absolutely not. 

Hollywood has been cranking out sequels to the sequels of iconic films and reboots of TV shows for the last 10 years as if they finally discovered how to make bread. Sure I love a sequel to something that I love. Who doesn’t? We love to see characters that we’ve grown fond of grow and develop even more in the universes they’ve been created in. 

But when do we as creators decide it’s time to end the chapter of the stories we tell and begin telling a new one? A new story that’s original that’s never been told before. Something unique. Something that takes us into unknown waters and allows our imagination to run absolutely wild. 

Where are the original films that will have me feeling like a brand new person leaving the theater after I devoured a box of overpriced popcorn in 2 hours and 10 minutes? Where are the shows that will have me canceling my plans for the next 72 hours that causes me to develop my brand personality trait for the next two weeks? What happened to originality in the media? 

Hollywood continues to capitalize off of a special little thing that keeps all of us in a chokehold, and that is known as nostalgia. Every year a remake of something from our childhoods or our parents’ childhoods comes back to the big screen for another horah. 

Shrek 5, Ghostbusters Afterlife, Beetle Juice Beetle Juice, Mean Girls, and Inside Out 2 are a few from a list of countless films that are being revived back to life. Of course I’m excited to see Sarah Jessica Parker reprise the iconic role of Carrie Bradshaw and Gossip Girl to continue ruining the lives of the stylish Upper East Siders years later. To learn that I will see Carly Shea navigate life as an adult with Freddy Benson and Alex Russo flash back to the Waverly Sub Station a decade later would have been a dream to my 10-year-old self.

But there is a deeper problem with many of the revivals of TV shows and films: they bring back the original cast, meaning there is less room for new and upcoming actors in the industry. Granted, I too wouldn’t want to see Carly Shea played by someone besides the one and only Miranda Cosgrove. At the same time, we as a society do not need to see well-known A-list celebrities reprise a role they did when they were at their prime (which was over 25 years ago). 

I’m ready for new stories with fresh faces created with a big juicy budget with a cool director. I’m looking for the rise of the next Angelia Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. We need to see the development of the next Jim Carrey and Merly Streep. Or even better, the rise of the next generation of actors who’ve made for themselves that no one can ever compare. 

What can I say? I love myself an original! 

Olivia Mitchell is a Public Relations and Fashion Merchandise student at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a HCVCU member of PR, editorial, and director of marketing, Olivia thrives within the HC community. She is passionate about fashion, pop culture, movies, 80s music, food and graphic design.