It’s never easy to say goodbye to a franchise, for neither the fans nor the company raking in the profits. Many franchises have promised one final entry and then continued (The Final Destination, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, Furious 7), but their ability to make money made it impossible to shut them down. With franchises now being the most surefire way for studios to guarantee success they’re continuing seemingly finished one, enduring ongoing ones, and as always starting new ones.
Overstaying a sagas welcome is something we’ve seen far too many times. Many actors, and at times studio-heads, do know when to call it quits, though. Harrison Ford in an interview with Vanity Fair assured, “Nobody is going to be Indiana Jones, don’t you get it?” He added, “I’m Indiana Jones. When I’m gone, he’s gone. It’s easy.” Basically, he’s demanding once he’s is done, the franchise is done; no recasting, no prequels, no spinoffs. It made us here at What Culture ponder what other iconic franchise faces would end the saga with their retirement/death.
Not that recasting hasn’t been done effectively before (Mad Max: Fury Road, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Star Trek, Batman Begins), but it has gone wrong much more frequently than it has gone right. Some of the franchises we’ve listed below haven’t had a film in decades, some just recently ended, and others actually have sequels to come. Regardless the state of the franchise, as long as it only continues with the respective stars attached, we shall holster the pitchforks.
10. Terminator - Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Terminator franchise is 34 years strong and has five films (soon to be a sixth) under its belt. Technically speaking, Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in all five, though for Terminator Salvation they used CGI to bring back ’84 era Arnold for a cameo. Arny is back in Terminator: Dark Fate and re-teamed with Linda Hamilton for the first time since 1991.
Not since T2 has a Terminator film been able to make back its budget in the States; somehow the overseas profits have kept the franchise afloat. Terminator Salvation made 66.3% of its worldwide gross from foreign markets while Terminator: Genisys made 79.6% (most films hover in the 50-60% range).
1 November release Terminator: Dark Fate will be the telling sign of whether the franchise is destined to continue. The trailers make it look much more brooding with a grizzled and gray Arnold appearing at the end. Whether it plays well in the States, overseas, or at all, we just hope that once the titular Terminator calls it quits, the franchise will as well.