By Open Book
There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet about the new trailer for Total Recall. Many are complaining director Len Wiseman ripped off scenes from the The Matrix. Yet, the first Total Recall film released in 1990 had a few scenes that looked like the Wachowski Brothers ripped off Total Recall. The Matrix was first released in 1999. Here take a look for yourself.
According to fans director Len Wiseman (who is the director of the reboot) used scenes from The Matrix. Really? To defend Wiseman one could argue, maybe he was inspired by the first Total Recall film? But unfortunately, fans have documented how many times Wiseman ripped off The Matrix for his other films like The Underworld, where there are Matrix moments in all those films. In an article entitled “Did “Total Recall” Director Rip Off From “The Matrix”…Again?” by TheUrbanDaily.com states
- “Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but in the case of Total Recall director Len Wiseman, it’s now crossed over to cinematic plagiarism.”
Is plagiarizing uncommon for filmmakers? Let’s recall (no pun intended) back in 2010 when Nokia disqualified a filmmaker for cheating. The story goes the 18-year-old winner of a Nokia British filmmaking competition was awarded a trip to the Cannes Advertising Festival for her short film, which was a lo-fi retelling of the 1994 blockbuster film Forrest Gump. In an article “Nokia in plagiarism row after ‘short film award winner disqualified for cheating” a film student who discovered the problem states,
- “Someone’s sent me an entry to a Nokia filmmaking competition that’s literally a shot for shot, line for line, idea for idea remake of it, this has been the first I’ve heard of it.
- “I wouldn’t mind except the person who entered it has won a ‘Critics Choice’ award out of this rehash, including a ******* TRIP TO CANNES.”
Something to consider with all these sequels, reboots and retellings being produced in Hollywood. What is cinematic plagiarism? Are film students learning from accomplished directors the art of cinematic plagiarism? Is it possible for filmmakers original concepts and ideas to flourish in a world where they are encouraged to give audiences left overs?
What are your thoughts?