Difference Between Spin-Off and Reboot

Spin-off and reboot are different terms used to distinguish the genre of films and series.


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Key Takeaways

  1. A spin-off is a new series or work derived from an existing one, focusing on different characters or aspects of the original.
  2. A reboot is a new version of an existing series or work that retells the story with a fresh perspective or altered elements.
  3. Spin-offs expand the original universe, while reboots give the story and characters a fresh start.

Spin-Off vs Reboot

The difference between a spin-off and a reboot is that a spin-off is related to the original version somehow. In contrast, a reboot version doesn’t connect with the older version of the series.

Spin off vs Reboot

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The literal meaning of the term spin-off is a by-product or incidental result of a larger project.’ A similar explanation for this term can also be given in terms of media.

It is a kind of series which runs parallel to the original series. It is like a sequel that runs alongside the original version. The character is initially not a protagonist.

If considered literally, a reboot is a computing term that means restarting a computer system. A similar type of explanation can also be offered for this term in terms of media.

It aims at recreating the story and its characters to give the old series a fresh start. It is a way of rebranding an old series.

Making a reboot series is a way of gaining more viewership, as people unfamiliar with the original version can also watch the reboot one.


Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonSpin-offReboot
CharactersThe characters who had a supporting or side role become the protagonist.The characters are recreated and do not resemble the original characters.
PlotlineThe storyline may or may not be completely connected with the original version.The plotline of the original version and the reboot version does not bear any similarity.
Where it can be seenSpin-offs usually occur in series.A reboot can be seen in comics, movies, TV and video games.
Other namesIt can be considered a sequel.It can be considered similar to a remake.
Why this occursWhen an actor playing a lead role in the original version decides to opt out of the show. When the creators of the original version wish to highlight a different perspective.When a story which has been running for a long time becomes dull and stagnant and fails to attract viewers.
ExampleThe characters Lynda Bellingham and Julia Sawalha played in a UK TV series called “Second Thoughwere later seen injuries “Faith in the Future”.An example of a reboot film is The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).


What is Spin-Off?

A spin-off can be considered a by-product of an established series. It happens when a character of the original series (other than the protagonist) gets to develop a series in which they play the lead role, and the story revolves around this character.

This usually happens when the makers want to bring into light a different perspective from the eyes of the character, which wasn’t given much attention in the original series.

I may not like the spin-off version. Sometimes the viewers are attached to the original version and don’t want to accept any changes or new versions in that story.

The spin-off version mostly runs parallel to the original version. That is why it is also called a sequel.

spin off 1

What is Reboot?

Imagine you have been watching 12 seasons of a particular series, and then after some time, the makers decide to start again with season 1 with a different storyline and characters.

When such a thing happens to a series, comic, movie or video game, it is known as a reboot. It restarts the old series again but with a different background and plotline.

All the unnecessary elements are deleted in the reboot version, and only core ones are included. A reboot version is made when the old story becomes stale and boring and fails to attract the audience.


Main Differences Between Spin-Off and Reboot

  1. Spin-off adds a new perspective to the original version, whereas reboot adds newness to the old version.
  2. The spin-off is usually seen in a series, but reboot can be seen in comic books, television serials, movies, and even video games.

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=IvK4CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Spin-Off+and+Reboot&ots=r6o71h4FZq&sig=a_EUKed6zuv0Q6iWu4eirSKx6vY
  2. https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/abs/10.3828/extr.2017.10
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