Movie franchises are a tricky thing. Great films invite sequels. Sometimes these are great (The Dark Knight), sometimes not so much (The Matrix Trilogy anyone?) It is incredibly difficult to capture that ‘lightning in a bottle’ moment twice, let alone three or four or even five times. And as these franchise become more popular, it becomes harder and harder to pay rising stars or directors to keep coming back for more. I would love ten films with the new Star Trek crew, but we’ve already most likely lost the director JJ Abrams to the new Star Wars film. Do I think we’ll be watching Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Zoe Salanda and Simon Pegg playing the iconic Spock, Kirk, Uhura and Scotty in fifteen years time? Not a chance.
And at the other end of the scale, there are films that are desperately calling out for a sequel, but it never comes. So instead we get Fast And The Furious 754 when all we want is a chance to see a brilliant character or characters from a single story just one more time. That’s not to say we should have sequels to great films. One of the highlights for me in the last few years was Inception. Do I think the story has the potential for more stories in film or television? Sure. Do I think we should get them? Probably not. Let’s leave the magic where it is. We don’t want another Matrix Reloaded or god forbid, Matrix Revolutions on our hands.
The biggest issue movie franchises face is the loss or the movie director who brought the story successfully to life or the main star(s). But that shouldn’t be an excuse in itself. If the script is weak, great acting can only bring the film so far. And when studios gets involved…well you have Spiderman 3′s Venom. Sam Raimi didn’t want the villain in the film. And to be honest, what we got wasn’t what we wanted either.
So here I have taken 12 movie franchises (or potential franchises that never were). And I’m going to look at the ‘what if’ factor. What if a brilliant film got the sequel it deserved? What if the director or stars stayed on for one more film? And what if the script wasn’t a lot of old tosh?
Allow me to present you with an alternative history of film…what we might have had, had the director / actor / studio agreed to sign on for the sequel… (Warning, I will talk in depth about these franchises…if you haven’t seen them and plan to, skip to the next page!)
This article was first posted on August 22, 2013