Not all movies are as original as they seem: sometimes, they’re remakes, and that fact skates by unnoticed. In an industry flooded with reboots and legacy sequels, it’s beginning to seem as though nothing is truly new anymore. Flashes of originality certainly seem to endure, though, with many films appearing to be unique.
Sometimes, this conceals a darker truth, though. Not all of these seemingly original movies are anything of the sort – they’re remakes, repackaged and repurposed for our entertainment. Somehow, the fact that the movie has been made before escapes us, and we’re unaware of the film’s true nature.
Exactly how this happens varies from remake to remake. For some, the original is simply an incredibly obscure title. For others, too much time has passed for anyone to remember that the film was made before. Either way, all of the movies on this list are remakes, and we somehow didn’t know.
8. Big (1988)
1988’s Big is an unforgettable movie. It brought us such iconic moments as “Heart and Soul” on a giant keyboard and the Zoltar machine. Telling the story of a boy who wishes to be bigger only to wake up as an adult version of himself (Tom Hanks), Big has been capturing imaginations for decades.
It wasn’t the first film to tell that story, though. Da grande, a 1987 Italian film, did it first. The majority of the story remains intact, too: Big‘s entirely inappropriate romantic storyline was present in the original, which somehow makes it even worse.
Big‘s status as a remake is easy to miss, as Da grande simply didn’t get the same wide release and marketing push. With a megastar like Tom Hanks as the face of the remake, it’s not hard to see why the American version eclipsed the Italian. Still, it owes its story to another movie, and that makes it a remake through and through.