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Deja vu in cinema: pairs of films with the same plot
Deja vu in cinema: pairs of films with the same plot

Before the release of The Unforgiven, Lifehacker recalls how films with very similar scenarios appeared at the box office one after another.

Deja vu in cinema: pairs of films with the same plot
Deja vu in cinema: pairs of films with the same plot

On September 27, the film “Unforgiven” by Sarik Andreasyan with Dmitry Nagiyev in the title role started at the box office. The film tells the story of Vitaly Kaloev, an architect who lost his entire family in a plane crash and then killed the air traffic controller responsible for the crash. A year ago, the world box office already showed the film "Aftermath", dedicated to the same events. Then the role of the killer was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This is not the first time that two or more films with a very similar plot are released in a short period of time. Examples can be found in old movies as well. In childhood, almost everyone saw a film about a tough police officer who is given a dog with a bad character as a partner, but everyone will call different names and different leading actors, since there were three such films: "K9: Dog Job" with Jim Belushi, "Main Dog" (or "Superdog") with Chuck Norris and "Turner and Hooch" with Tom Hanks.

In the 21st century, the trend has not disappeared, but is only gaining momentum. So it's not hard to get lost in new films or catch yourself in the theater feeling déjà vu.

Return of fairy tales

"Snow White: Revenge of the Dwarfs" - "Snow White and the Huntsman"

2012 was marked by the release of two stories about Snow White on the big screens at once. In March, the audience was shown the film "Snow White: Revenge of the Dwarfs" with Lily Collins and Julia Roberts, and six months later, "Snow White and the Huntsman" appeared, where the main roles were played by Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron.

Interestingly, both films are also built on approximately the same principle: a much brighter role is assigned to the evil queen. And in this regard, "Revenge of the Dwarfs" still wins: the character of Charlize Theron was not allowed to really open up. As a result, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is filmed more gracefully and holistically, but too drawn out, but Julia Roberts's tantrums are just fun to watch.

And for those who want to see a more modern and realistic story of Snow White, you can pay attention to the series "Once Upon a Time", which started in 2011. His plot also revolves around this character, only she lives in our world.

Goodbye Christopher Robin - Christopher Robin

In late 2017, director Simon Curtis spoke to viewers about the difficult life of writer Alan Alexander Milne and how the imagination of his son Christopher Robin helped create one of the greatest children's books in history.

And as if in continuation of this theme, a film was released next year, telling about the matured Christopher Robin, who had already forgotten about his childhood and completely plunged into the gray world of everyday life.

Both of these fabulous films appeal primarily to adults. "Goodbye Christopher Robin" is a dedication to parents who, in their pursuit of fame, forget about their children. "Christopher Robin" reminds that adults themselves sometimes need to think about carefree times and fairy tales.

The Jungle Book - Mowgli

Everyone remembers the story of a boy who was raised by animals in the jungle from childhood from books and cartoons. The plot has been repeatedly transferred to screens, but only in the last few years has technology made it possible to realistically show talking animals.

And in 2016, the film "The Jungle Book" by Jon Favreau was released, where he vividly and gloomily retells Kipling's book. And now it's very difficult not to get confused, because next year Andy Sirkis' Mowgli will be released on Netflix.

It’s hard to say how these stories will differ, but the next picture has a much higher age rating. Also the director Andy Serkis, who is in charge of the new film, is a world-renowned special effects master. Once he played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and brought motion capture technology to a new level. So those for whom the animals in Favreau's film did not seem believable enough, you just need to wait for the next version.


"All the money in the world" - "Trust"

At the end of 2017, critics praised Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World, a retelling of the true story of the kidnapping of the grandson of renowned industrialist Jean Paul Getty. The kidnappers demanded a ransom from the tycoon, but he refused to give the money, and the mother of the child had to rescue her son on her own.

A few months later, the equally famous director Danny Boyle released on the small screens the first season of the series "Trust", dedicated to the same story. True, the atmosphere of his work is very different from the picture of Scott.

"All the money in the world" rather weakly reveals the identity of Jean Paul Getty himself. Perhaps this is due to the urgent replacement of the performer of the role: initially the billionaire was played by Kevin Spacey, but after the outbreak of the scandal he was replaced by Christopher Plummer. And "Trust" just shows the Getty's lifestyle and its almost limitless possibilities in complete loneliness.

"Jobs: Empire of Seduction" - "Steve Jobs"

Danny Boyle, who directed Trust, is not the first to find himself in a situation like this. Indeed, in 2015, he already released a film about Steve Jobs, where Michael Fassbender played the main role. And he had to work against the backdrop of the failure of the movie "Jobs: Empire of Seduction" with Ashton Kutcher.

Boyle managed to correctly shift the focus and take into account the shortcomings of the previous story. Unlike the tattered narrative of Empire of Seduction, where the creators tried to cover almost the entire biography of Steve Jobs, the newer picture shows only three of the most important events, which are devoted to an equal amount of time.

It is curious that at the same time it was planned to launch another film biography of Jobs in development. The Apple founders hired Christian Bale for the role, and they wanted to hire David Fincher as the director. But later all the participants left the project.

"Capote" - "Notoriety"

Despite the fact that the writer Truman Capote died in 1984, it was decided to transfer his biography to the screen only in the two thousandth. Moreover, there are two directors at once. First came "Capote", for which Philip Seymour Hoffman was awarded an "Oscar", and the next year he was caught up with "Notoriety" with Toby Jones.

Interestingly, both paintings are dedicated to the same period of Capote's life - work on the book "Murder in cold blood". The writer read an article about the brutal massacre in the newspaper and then went to the crime scene to talk with eyewitnesses.

Both films came out good, except that "Capote" was shot more interesting.

The authors of the movie "Race of the Century" with Colin Firth could find themselves in a similar situation. Based on the same story, the film Crowhurst was shot at exactly the same time. But in this case, the studio was not taken aback and bought the rights to both paintings. And in 2019, three on-screen incarnations of the maniac Charles Manson are expected at once. Moreover, in the film by Quentin Tarantino and the second season of "Mindhunter" he will be played by the same actor.

Big cartoon confrontation

"Madagascar" - "Big Journey" and others

The topic of copying in animation deserves a separate article. After all, almost every second popular cartoon can find a pair. Back in the late 1990s - early 2000s, the audience was shown two stories about ants at once: Antz Ant and The Adventures of Flick. Then there were the adventures of fish and other underwater creatures: "Finding Nemo" and "Underwater lads".

And then other studios joined the animation rivalry between Disney and DreamWorks. This is how cartoons about forest animals were released: "Hunting Season" and "Forest Lads". Then the stories of the dancer penguins and the surfer penguins: Happy Feet and Catch the Wave! And also cartoons about funny "villains" who are not really evil: "Despicable Me" and "Megamind".

But perhaps the most vivid copying of cartoon plots can be traced in the stories of animals that escaped from the zoo. And in this regard, "The Great Journey" remains only a pale copy of "Madagascar", losing to it both in brightness and in humor.

The trend has not subsided until now. The story of Zootopia, inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, was continued in Zveropoye from another studio, where the animals also sang.

The plots of The Great Dog Escape and The Secret Life of Pets are copied in The Great Cat Escape. And the famous Cars come to life again in Willie and the Cool Cars. True, do not forget that in the original many of these cartoons bear completely different names, which, of course, does not negate other similarities.

Standard plots

"More than Sex" - "Friendship Sex"

A cute protagonist who does not want a serious relationship, and his girlfriend is a beautiful girl with whom they have sex. In early 2011, it was the story of Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, but in the summer of that year, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis took their place.

Two films with almost the same characters, conflicts and morals, even at the box office, have collected almost equal amounts. Probably, viewers can endlessly revisit such stories.

It is very simple to choose from two films: in which more favorite actors play, that one should be watched first. Otherwise, the difference is small.

"The Fall of Olympus" - "Assault on the White House"

2013 was marked by attacks on the White House. Fortunately, only on-screen. With a difference of three months, two studios independently released pictures where terrorists capture the US president and the tough protagonist has to save his country.

Probably, “Storming the White House” would have been warmly received at the box office, especially since Channing Tatum played the main role in it. But against the backdrop of a more successful and intense film from Antoine Fuqua, the picture looked pale.

Most viewers just couldn't take seriously the idea that they had already seen a few months ago. Besides, "The Fall of Olympus" is filmed harder and more dynamic.

One story from different points of view

Patriot Day - Stronger

This pair of films does not overlap in plot, but tells about the same events. The action of both films begins with an explosion at the Boston Marathon, during which hundreds of people were injured at the hands of terrorists.

But they differ greatly in the atmosphere. Patriot Day is dedicated to the search for a terrorist. The action is shown on behalf of the Police Commissioner who is leading the investigation. But "Stronger" is the story of one of the victims of the terrorist attack. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a man next to whom a bomb exploded. After leg amputation, he must learn to live anew and cope with PTSD.

These films are good to watch as a complement to each other. First, a dynamic crime thriller with Mark Wahlberg, and then a touching human story that makes you look differently at pictures in which the victims are quickly forgotten.

Dunkirk - Dark Times

And exactly the same can be said about the two films dedicated to the Second World War. "Dunkirk" by Christopher Nolan tells about the famous retreat of the British forces, when the military was saved only thanks to the massive participation in the evacuation of fishing boats.

And the painting "Dark Times" is dedicated to Winston Churchill, who at that time was the Prime Minister of Great Britain. A considerable part of the plot is devoted to the Dunkirk operation and the search for all possible options for saving British soldiers from imminent death.

Both films were received with enthusiasm and awarded with various awards. The more interesting it is to learn the whole story by watching them one by one.

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