Brand name recognition
Helistar said in a recent comment: "I find all this "let's revise old stuff" to be an insult to all modern authors. It basically sends a message that a reheated old story is better than anything modern authors can come up with.". I fully agree. And while thinking a bit more about it, it struck me how prevalent reheating old stuff is.
Just for example, the three video games I am and will be spending the most time with this summer are Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Jagged Alliance 3, and Baldur's Gate 3. These are all franchises that started in the 80's and 90's. In movies, we talked about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves from 1937, which happens to be also the birth year of DC Comics, with Marvel Comics being founded in 1939. How many movies have we seen over the last decade with superheroes from DC or Marvel that are decades old? The biggest movies this weekend are one about a doll from 1959, and one about a scientist during World War II. In politics, the average age of the two main candidates in the US presidential election of 2024 will most likely be 80 years old, both of them trying to reheat a previous term.
I think the problem is that the world is incredibly complex, and we as humans like to take shortcuts. Reheated old stuff profits from brand name recognition. When we see a Batman movie advertised, we recognize the brand name, and that is enough for us to know what the movie is about, more or less. That saves us from having to think or informing ourselves. There are some absolutely excellent comics from younger authors that have been published *this* century which would make great movies. But they don't have the name recognition, people wouldn't immediately know what they are about, and so Hollywood feels that they would make less money. Batman reheated from 1939 is a safer bet. Biden is a safer bet than Buttigieg. Trump is a safer bet than DeSantis. That doesn't make them the best possible presidential candidates the country has to offer, but it saves the voters from having to learn what a new guy is about. I just hope the parties realize that the probability of the next president dying of old age during the next term is over 25% (statistically speaking) and choose the vice presidential candidates a bit more carefully than usual.
Innovation isn't dead. Elon Musk is making billions with Tesla; but that is because he is on a new market, it is doubtful he would have had the same success if he had made cars with combustion engines. And new markets become settled with brands rather quickly: Even Mark Zuckerberg, in spite of endless money, an existing customer base, and lots of experience finds it hard to succeed with a new social network. Movies and video games are old markets now, and company executives are preferring the safe bets. And frankly, it isn't as if their customers are rejecting the reheated stuff. Nor are voters. So we probably deserve what we get.