10 Dead Movie Franchises That Hollywood Must Revive

Waking up the dead like Serpent And The Rainbow...

the matrix film
Warner Bros.

These days, it’s not enough to adapt the latest comic book phenomenon, or find a way of turning an amusement ride, a video game or a toy into a movie franchise.

In its endless search to avoid having to green-light an original script, Hollywood has now reared back to munch on its own tail, returning to venerable movie franchises of decades past to add all-new instalments. In recent years we’ve had revivals for the Indiana Jones movies, a new Jurassic Park flick, and a new Star Wars slate of films set in stone into 2020 and beyond. We’ve had a fresh take on Mad Max and Rocky - and we’ve got revisitations to Ghostbusters and Blade Runner coming up. Where does it all end?

If I have anything to do with it, right here and now: if we’re gonna do this, let’s do it properly. I’ve scoured the cinematic graveyard of the last thirty or forty years to find the deceased movie franchises that could actually benefit from a new instalment.

Whether it’s because we still need closure, or whether it’s because there are loose ends to tie up; whether it’s because they didn’t end quite as they should have, or because there’s room for new growth; here are ten of the most deserving film franchises of yesteryear, ready to be dug up, dusted off, plugged into the mains and resurrected. 

Live! Liiiiiiive!

10. Back To The Future

the matrix film
Universal Pictures

As everyone geeky enough to know this kind of thing has known for decades, Back To The Future 2 and 3 - The One In The Future and The One In The Wild West - were filmed back to back to save on production costs, in probably the first example of the kind of franchise thinking that’s now de rigueur.

Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox may be older than anyone would like to believe today, but that doesn’t mean that the idea of a sequel to this hit trilogy is past it. New characters can be introduced to take the dramatic weight, and new stories told about the perils of changing the past or the future. All they need to do is find Doc Brown’s old DeLorean in mothballs and juice it up again.

A return to the 1950s seems most appropriate to initially revisit this franchise - always dance with the girl that brought you to the party. And if a further link needs to be made to the first three films, then - alarmingly - Marty’s children could easily be having anklebiters of their own about now.

You know, something should really be done about those kids...


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.