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Old Nollywood Reboots on Netflix Versus Creativity in The Industry

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If you’re a movie buff, the recent wave of Nollywood reboots might leave you with mixed feelings. On one hand, you’re excited to relive the classics through an improved lens and your favorite new actors. However, should there be a concern that questions creativity in the industry?

Here’s why we’re asking…

It all started with blockbusters like Living in Bondage and Nneka The Pretty Serpent. And before we knew it, oldies like Rattlesnake, Aki and Paw-paw as well as the latest release Glamour Girls followed suit. So is this a new trend to expect from Nollywood where fresh stories are no longer a priority or have filmmakers just found a goldmine through our love for reminiscing as Nigerians? Either way, we’re curious as to how long the reboot era will exist.

Yes, the movie industry in Nigeria is undoubtedly better than it was a decade ago. The typical witchcraft and heartbreak stories have metamorphosed into more complex plots. Investigative storylines have come into play, and a modern approach is being taken to tell the stories of love, sex and everything in between.

But it’s almost as if this is the new status quo with Nollywood and the potential for new stories has taken a backseat. Netflix partnerships are in and probably the most sought after right now. This is quite intriguing as the highest-grossing movie in Nigeria to date Omo Ghetto the Saga by Funke Akindele-Bello is a sequel to a 2010 movie with the same title.

Although it’s not a reboot, it’s still a movie birthed from an existing plot. It grossed over N636 million and this adds to the conversation on creativity vs continuity in the industry. As much as we want to go ham on our filmmakers for revising storylines, we feed into the narrative heavily. When they produce, we consume.

Let’s give them some credit…

In contrast to the topic of creativity, one thing we can appreciate about Nollywood now is a change in narratives. More especially, stories that have to do with women. Women in movies are now their own heroes and fighters, for example “Blood Sisters” and “Sugar Rush”. And the realities of financial dependency and motherhood have been heightened in tales like “For Maria: Ebun Pataki” and “The Smart Money Woman”.

To sum it up, the new progressive Nollywood is nice to see. But will reboots take away from this? or are we missing the mark on a strategy yet to be understood.

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