A retcon (retroactive continuity), aka a soft reboot, is one of the more creatively questionable ways to freshen up a film franchise. A way for script writers to breathe (or at least attempt to) some new and provocative life into sequels by simply rewriting, or straight up destroying, the tales that lead us all to this point.
Retcons are most often associated with the wonderful world of comic books where writers have frequently used them to be rid of other writers’ takes on a series. A powerful and frustrating tool, the presence of the retcon has made itself felt in the film world far too many times, especially in this age of endless sequels, prequels, sidequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes etc.
Often times it’s to bring back popular characters tragically killed in previous instalments such as Harry Hart in Kingsman 2 or Letty Ortiz in Fast and Furious 6. Other times it’s as simple as pretending certain scenes never happened.
When a retcon stinks the theatre out, often times it doesn’t just ruin the film it belongs to, it ruins several connected movies by association. When new series entries provide contradictory information, it runs the risk of poisoning everything that came prior.
Let’s take a look at 10 infuriating film retcons and feel free to share any missed ones in the comments below.