The Strange Phenomenon of The Late 90’s Hollywood Twins

I’ve been thinking recently about an odd phenomenon that I’ve noticed about cinema, especially in the late 1990’s.

That of what I refer to as ‘Hollywood Twins’. Films in which Hollywood seem so interested in, that they make effectively the same film twice, and then seem to not make a similar film for a number of years.

I can’t really explain it other than a study getting a hint of a film being made by one, and the sense of trend that may be coming, meaning that they also green light a similar film in an attempt to cash in.

Here are some examples – Has anyone else got any others?

Tombstone 1993 + Wyatt Earp 1994 – Both films about the life of Wyatt Earp and his old friend Doc Holliday. I can’t think of another ‘Earp’ film that has been made since.

Saving Private Ryan 1999 – Thin Red Line 1999 – Both epic World War II films made on a grand scale.

The Saint 1997 – Mission Impossible 1998 – Both film versions of previous TV show hits featuring a male lead with a number of fake names, disguises and clever tricks up his sleeve

Deep Impact 1998 – Armageddon 1998 – Epic summer blockbusters about the upcoming end of the world due to an asteroid heading straight at the planet.

Bug’s Life 1998 – Antz Life 1998 – Animation comedies about tiny creatures and their lives

Men In Black 1997 – Mars Attacks 1996  – World-on-the-brink-of-destruction due to aliens comedy

Volcano 1997 – Dantes Peak 1997 – Disaster films dealing with the eruption of a long time inactive volcano which threatens communities / cities.

The Truman Show 1998 – Ed TV 1999  – Films both light heartedly exploring the late 90’s emergence of reality TV and its potential impacts – Just how far could reality TV go?..

Robin Hood 1991 – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves 1991 – Robin Hood epic films relaunched (admittedly this happens every few years – but 2 in the same year?)

White House Down 2013 – Olympus has Fallen 2013 – A much later example. Die Hard in the White House.


One comment

  • Top of my head there’s The Prestige and The Illusionist, Antz and Bug’s Life and Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached. It’s is pretty weird.


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