Episode 91: The Gritty Reboot

On April 18, 2020, Kasie and rex took on the topic of reboots, specifically the gritty kind. 

Theme for the day

Gritty Re-Boots 


  • What is a “gritty reboot”?
  • Why are they so popular?
  • Are they fan fiction?
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Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Segment 1

I took this topic to #wschat on Tuesday because I didn’t really know what to make of it when you suggested it. I also thought it might lean a bit more to TV and film than books so I wanted to get the writery take on it.

Here’s what a Gritty Reboot is:

In TV terms, it’s when a concept that started out light and humorous gets remade to be more “adult.”

They’ve been popular in Hollywood for some time. This article blames Batman Begins for starting this wave of deeper, more psychological attempts at drama.

The attempt is to repaint an old story with darker themes. In Batman Begins, we have the introduction of the League of Shadows, a secret society bent on destruction of Gotham because it has proven to be a corruptible failure in self governance. This is a darker, more sinister plot than crime for the sake of the criminal getting rich.

Segment 2

Why do we want the gritty reboot? What purpose does it serve?

Why do writers write the gritty reboot? Is it fan fiction?

There’s a built in audience and built in characters. You just have to take it in a different direction.

Rex claims he’d do it on something he hated as a kid like Rainbow Brite. You don’t have to come up with a lot of characters. Just tweak them. DC bought a bunch of characters and The Watchman took those characters and made them darker. It was the original “darkness behind the superhero.” 


Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Segment 3

What are the elements of the gritty reboot?

  • Origin story — the darkness that created the internal conflict
  • Psychologically driven-conflict — not “plot” per se, but the emotional conflict
  • Persistent elements of the original — the rules of the vampire, the names of the characters

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