Spinoffs are a contentious subject amongst film buffs.
While many fans are delighted at the prospect of further exploration of cinematic material they have grown to love, just as many people are thoroughly disenchanted with the entire notion of spinoffs - and with good reason. The film industry's graveyard is littered with the drained carcasses of franchises that didn't know when to say "enough is enough", having focused on sucking every last penny out of moviegoers' pockets.
Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter: these are just some of the examples of a franchise designed to come to an organic conclusion, only to be dragged out of retirement with less-than flattering results. Sadly, strong commercial success outweighs negative critical reception in Hollywood, meaning that studio executives ultimately care little about the quality of the movie itself, as long as it results in an eye-watering financial return.
That said, spinoffs can also be a delightful experience, particularly when the production pays tribute to the source material on which said spinoff is based. Rogue One was cited as one of the best Star Wars films of all time, while Logan is universally revered amongst X-Men fans.
Basically, if you're going to do one, you had damn well better do it right. Let's hope these upcoming ones fall into that camp...
Don't look now but William Shakespeare is turning in his grave, letting out a silent scream of agony.
It's one thing to adapt the legendary playwright's work faithfully. Macbeth and King Lear have seen triumphant cinematic adaptations that pay reverent homage to the epic tales contrived by Shakespeare, films that could be described as a love letter to the immortal wordsmith.
However, the tale of Romeo and Juliet has taken a pounding. Quite possibly the most-filmed play of all time, contemporary audiences will be most familiar with Baz Luhrmann's bizarre modernization of the classic tragedy and as such, will be blissfully unaware of an upcoming spinoff to the original premise.
Slated to be released on Hulu and Disney+ on October 14th, Rosaline will focus on Romeo's ex-girlfriend as she devises a plot to break up the star-crossed lovers and win him back. Shakespeare's tale of love and heartbreak is to be turned into a barf-worthy Bridgerton-esque modernization, in which the titular Rosaline bears an American accent. The trailer paints a picture of an overly sexualized, nightmarishly unfunny rom-com.
A quote by J.R.R. Tolkien concerning the evil behind the nature of orcs has been doing the rounds on the internet recently, following the release of Amazon's The Rings of Power. Said quote sadly bears great relevance here to the malevolent Hollywood figures who appear to be more than content to unashamedly exploit classic literary material.
"The Shadow that bred them can only mock, it cannot make: not real new things of its own."