Has Covid Effected Originality In Screenplays?

Image Source: Smithsonian Associates

When the infamous virus Covid 19 dispersed throughout the world, its infection rate caused the whole world to go into shut down mode, thus halting the operation of businesses and moving everything online. With most of the country closed down, many companies suffered a major loss in income and had to come up with new and innovative ways to slowly make back their money. One business that served as a strong example of this struggle was the film industry as movie theaters such as AMC closed their doors and major feature film debuts were delayed to a later date. While many streaming services were on the rise and more than happy to pick up certain films and their premiers, others were left for dead, and either the production of films was pushed back or ceased altogether, causing many of the new movies to slowly fade away. But with a low number of Covid cases and a high percentage of people getting vaccinated, movie theaters and premiers have returned and aim to regain their popularity with many of their new upcoming films.  

Making some big splashes lately is the newest Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder, and the most recent biopic about the King of Rock himself, Elvis. As much as Marvel and future biopics raise the number of attendees at movie theaters, they do bring up some concerns about the loss of originality in screenplays. Lately, many of the films premiering are either based on a person, event, or piece of literature. They lack their own unique stories and instead pull from other materials to create their own version of that plot. This is not to say that these films are short of creativity, only that they have forgotten how to forge their own major plot ideas in the way movies that have earned an academy award for best original screenplay do. Films that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe developed from the Marvel comics, the Elvis biopic depicts the life of singing sensation Elvis, and many more popular upcoming films are based on stories that have already been told. 

Was it Covid that caused this newfound motivation to retell stories or have screenwriters lost some of their spark for originality? Maybe the film industry is desperate for money and has decided that taking bets on original scripts has become too risky to try, choosing instead to stick to telling a story people already love. Whatever the answer may be, it’s clear that movies today have evolved. Will we get back to the originality that once plagued the industry? Only time will tell.