The idea for this post came heavily down from the recent success Dan Trachtenberg had with his prequel to the Predator films, with Prey. Trachtenberg is a very talented director, famously taking the Cloverfield universe in a different direction with his sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane. So, I truly think that he could make anything he wants and breathe new life into any universe he wishes. But there are also other great filmmakers out there who have their ideas for these universes, and I think what fans want. All of these universes are unique and interesting, and have a loyal fanbase that are craving more, but they aren’t going to settle for something obvious and disappointing.
We’ve had Predator, the next step naturally would be to take on his foe. The Alien franchise might be one of my favourites but I do admit that it lost it’s way during it’s sequels and then Ridley Scott’s prequels. I enjoyed Prometheus more than most and thought Alien: Covenant was just fine but I know they can do more.
A series was announced during Disney’s Investor Day in 2020 which is being written by Noah Hawley who created Fargo (the TV series) and Legion, both being very succesful. The show is set to start production early 2023.
Despite the show, I still feel like Alien could have a place on the big screen. The series seems like it could go bigger scale and be more intricate, a film might have a chance to take a smaller story and put it on the big screen, in a similar way to Prey. Yes, I would want to see Native Indians take on a Xenomorph.
The original summer blockbuster earned it’s title by pulling in big numbers at the box office leaving it ranked 7th at the all time box office, when adjusted for inflation (higher than Avengers: Endgame, Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Jaws attempted several sequels that never quite hit the heights of the very first iconic film. Since then, the box office has seen many films featuring men and women trying their best to avoid being eaten by a shark, but they always end up being compared to the very first.
In this era of rebooting and sequel-ing, it’s almost a surprise that Jaws hasn’t received that treatment just yet. I have no doubt that scripts have been written for it but haven’t gotten anywhere perhaps just because of how beloved the film is to film fans.
I truly believe a strong sequel (or Spielberg has spoken about interest in a prequel) could revitalise this franchise, brining onboard a new audience that just aren’t scared of the original and find it tame to modern cinema standards.
Now I hear you saying that the Jurassic World franchise has just ended. Let’s give it some breathing space, but that doesn’t mean we can’t plan for a few years down the line.
Anyone else remember the short film they made ahead of the release of Jurassic World: Dominion, Battle at Big Rock. This short was the perfect example of what the Jurassic franchise could and should be in my eyes. Battle at Big Rock and the opening scene of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom highlighted to me the horror moments that the franchise could lean into and the strongest moments of this sequel trilogy. It demonstrates exactly what I’m looking for a smaller scale story just a family getting their camping trip ruined by a Dinosaur. Not everything needs to have world ending stakes.
This is the franchise that feels the most in a similar place to what Predator was. A small scale film about a family or group dealing with one singular Dinosaur that is stalking them would be perfect and put bums back in cinema seats.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Halloween and Scream have both had very successful reboots over the last few years. In 2010, a reboot was made starring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Kreuger but with poor reception from critics and fans it was never going to go anywhere.
The franchise is such a fan favourite and could do with a modern version perhaps heading along a similar version to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare which broke the fourth wall making it feel even more like Freddy was entering the real world. If Scream can have scares and be fun and Halloween can provide big scares and gore then there’s no reason that a new Nightmare on Elm Street couldn’t do the same.
The Universal Monsters are part of cinematic history. Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wolf Man and others are all many classic movie monsters that have had failed attempts in recent years. The Mummy (2017) was supposed to be a fresh start, creating a shared universe for the monsters. The film flopped financially and critically and dramatically threw the other films in the bin, scrapping this universe.
Then along came something different, something fresh, something unique. The Invisible Man (2020) was a complete modern twist on the character and putting a fresh modern spin on the classic. The film might not have done huge numbers at the box office (because there was a lack of box office over the next few weeks after its release, due to a certain pandemic), but actually made a huge profit margin. This is something that Universal could learn from, making smaller scale horror films that take the ideas of the original and modernising them, there’s no need to be setting up a team up film, just have little easter eggs of them being in the same universe would be more than enough.
Do you know what is actually canon in the DC Universe? I’m not even sure the heads at Warner Bros Discovery know either; now they have taken over. The problems with Ezra Miller are at the highest of concerns of what they need to sort out. I’m not a big fan of Miller’s interpretation of The Flash anyway, which is a shame, because I actually am interested in a lot of the ideas of what Andy Muschietti is going to bring to the film. Similar things could be said about Amber Heard’s involvement in Aquaman, and I believe she won’t have a big role in the sequel anyway, but could certainly be recast.
Batgirl was recently canned, which wasn’t a film I was overly excited for, and the inclusion of Michael Keaton in that film was baffling, although something that could’ve been cleared up in The Flash. (To be clear, the film is basically finished and should be released).
With Ben Affleck having stepped away from the role of Batman (although he will be returning in Aquaman 2) left the character open for someone else to come in and take the character in a new direction, with WB likely feeling the character is too big to not do anything with. Matt Reeves stepped up and delivered the stellar The Batman, with Robert Pattinson in the role. It was clear this film was not part of the rest of the DC Film universe. This is fine, audiences can work this out, it’s a shame but it’s fine.
Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa are the backs this franchise is surviving on. Even with the likes of Shazam and Black Adam, who are part of the universe feel so tonally different to what came before. It’s a mess. It’s a shame.
There is enough potential there with Gadot, Momoa and Levi to get this franchise moving. With Cavill, seemingly not getting a sequel anytime soon, he will want to get onto new franchises and keep himself busy, with rumours heavily looking to get him a role in the MCU. A new Justice League might have to be what comes next. Recasting the Superman role and having a different Batman in this universe, which will fit whatever tone they decide to go with. Or just reboot Wonder Woman and Aquaman too.
It’s almost ironic that the perfect way to reboot this franchise is Flashpoint, which is a storyline that is going to be covered in The Flash.
I don’t need to tell you why this is on the list. Sony have their claws wrapped around Spider-Man and the characters that come with him so tightly. Spider-Man as a character is worth so much money to Sony, we saw it last year with Spider-Man: No Way Home and the huge success which took it to the 6th highest grossing film of all time. But let’s not attribute that success to Sony, but to Marvel.
Sony’s own Spider-Man (ish) universe is 3 films in, and after the mess of Morbius it’s very confusing where this universe is going. It’s clear they’re aiming to set up a Sinister Six film with Venom, Morbius and Vulture, along with Kraven and El Muerto, who both have solo films on the way. Solo films where these villains are basically heroes, is that who you want to see fight Spider-Man? I’m happy to explore this universe and think there could be a good idea in there, but not in this current direction. Madama Web as a film was a bold and interesting surprise to me, and could’ve been a step in the right direction. After it was announced that the two writers of Morbius were also going to be writing Madame Web, I’m not convinced anymore. I am intrigued but I don’t think it will be enough for this bizarre universe.
Starting over with this universe could be interesting. Bring in Andrew Garfield to get fans onboard, set up other Spider-Men or Women and get this universe thriving so we care about the people that will be winning the fights.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
During this years defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Depp stated that he isn’t interested in working on another Pirates of the Caribbean film, and I think this is the best way forward for this franchise. Hear me out. I know there’s a lot of Depp fans out there and I get it. Captain Jack Sparrow is a fantastic character and Depp is iconic in the role and it’s clearly one he deeply loved playing. The first three PotC films feature Sparrow in a smaller role splitting the screentime with Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), which allowed Sparrow to essentially do what he wants when we had other areas we could look to for the serious moments and moving the plot forward.
On Stranger Tides bumped Sparrow up the one and only lead, a jokester character who basically lucks his way through everything isn’t entertaining when he is tied down to a plot. This is something Dead Men Tell No Tales understood a little more as they went a bit Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) very much playing the Elizabeth and Will roles from the first.
Leaving Sparrow behind would give the franchise a chance to move on. It’s an interesting world which is bigger than one character with plenty of options. Margot Robbie is set to star in a female spin-off (which also should have Zoe Saldana in it) but that doesn’t seem to be coming around anytime soon. Let’s go see another area of this universe and do some lower scale pirating before we amp the stakes back up and then if he wants to Depp could return further down the line or even in a Stan Lee-esque cameo if they wanted.
The Wizarding World is in a very strange place at the moment thanks to the creator of the universe who put a lot of fans off. Since then the stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has had strong runs and is consistently very popular with fans. The same can’t be said for the franchise on the big screen. Fantastic Beasts has meandered and recieved declining profits at the box office.
I did a post a couple of months ago about What’s Next for the Harry Potter Universe which outlines a few ways in which this franchise could move forward and go on to do better than what the creator deserves without her involvement.
Love or hate the Star Wars sequels, it feels weird to be without the iconic franchise on the big screen. They might be having huge success on Disney+ but Star Wars is at the very least comparable to Marvel who are able to do films and series concurrently.
Lucasfilm needs to take some time and let a filmmaker make the films they want in this glorious universe. Taika Waititi seems to be the next director to take on the challenge of making a film in this cinematic universe. No doubt the film will have Waititi’s usual style and could be the breath of fresh air this franchise needs.
For a long time, Disney has had success churning out comics and books with smaller stories that aren’t just Jedi vs Sith to take control of the universe. They could learn a lesson from themselves using these stories as guidance. With the comics moving towards The High Republic era it’s about to time we got to see that on the big screen too.
What Franchise do you think needs rebooting the most? Is there a franchise I missed?
Let me know in the comments below.
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