Contemporary franchise revitalisation: The soft reboot

McDonald, Scott (2024) Contemporary franchise revitalisation: The soft reboot. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis aims to bring the term ‘soft reboot’ into regular academic use. Throughout the following chapters the term soft reboot is explained in detail, differentiating it from standard ‘hard’ reboots. The defining characteristic of a soft reboot is that it must maintain some of level of franchise canon; this thesis therefore highlights the shortcomings of previous definitions of the term ‘reboot’ in relation to film. I focused primarily on twelve key soft reboots, both to better illustrate what constitutes a soft reboot and to provide continuity between the various chapters that make up this dissertation. A thorough literature review was conducted which helped to better situate my own work within the current academic discourse surrounding reboot studies. Then, the key stages of a film’s life cycle were examined in turn to elucidate how soft reboots are texts largely concerned with targeting the audience’s feelings of nostalgia for the original films in their franchise. These stages were production, promotion, text, and reception. This research advances the field of reboot study by broadening the scope of analysis to include those films which reboot or revitalise their franchise without removing elements from canon, modernising our understanding of what a reboot can be to better suit its current usage, particularly since the soft reboot’s explosion in popularity in 2015. These findings highlight the opportunities for further study in the field, focusing more specifically on how soft reboots function in particular franchises. Though this thesis conducts such analysis and research, its purpose is primarily illustrative to better explain exactly what a soft reboot is and how it operates.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Garwood, Professor Ian
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84348
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2024 12:57
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 12:58
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84348

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