News From the Rumor Mill: Sequel Mania

8 Dec

As most of you know, I have a distinct distaste for almost all sequels. There are some, which despite my cynicism, live up to or surpass their predecessors, but  the majority of them t fall short and leave the impressions of the first tainted. Let me run down a list of the sequels that I have recently gotten wind of and then briefly share with you my thoughts on each one.

Pirates of the Caribbean 5 + 6

Disney has grabbed the udders of a cash cow and will milk it for everything its worth. As most of you know, the next installment of this worn out cliché of a franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, is due out in May, but now Disney is saying that it is already lined up to do two more installments and film them simultaneously. I don’t know whether Johnny Depp will return to play Jack Sparrow in those two parts of the series, but according to rumor (Perez Hilton), the cast was asked to keep their future schedules open to film them back to back. This can’t be a good idea. The second and third parts of the series got lots of money based on its name, but it was clear that its quality declined with each film. Now, hoping to break away from Orlando Bloom prancing and frolicking around the ships and focus on real pirates, Disney hopes to start fresh.

But, father, I don't want to be a pirate....I just want to..SING!!!

However, I see this rapidly degrading into Land Before Time territory, and in the next five years look for Direct-to-DVD musical installments of the series starring a desperate John Travolta as Jack Sparrows’ uncle.

Wrath of the Titans (Clash of the Titans 2)

Even after this year’s release of Clash of the Titans garnered critical backlash for both its lopsided storytelling and lackluster, post-production 3D, filming for the sequel, Wrath of the Titans, will begin next March. During an interview with the Belfast Telegraph Liam Neeson confirmed this and also had this to say:

“I’ve only read half of the script and there is still some work being done – they’re on script 10 – but I think it’s going to be some kick-ass stuff and a very human story to it.”

RELEASE THE SEQUEL!!!

This does seem a bit more promising because you could make a great epic story out of this idea, which they failed to do with the first one. Hopefully, since Neeson also said that this is “a total revamping”, and that they are spending a lot of time on the script, this will turn out to be a better product than the first. I think this film could be worth checking and out since it can’t be that hard to top the first film.

Dreamworks To Produce Quantity over Quality

With two new likely franchises released in the last three years, Dreamworks is going to make sure that they strike while the iron is hot and plan for multiple sequels for both How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda. Here’s what studio animation chief, Jeffrey Katzenberger said about each series:

“So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them. Yeah, there’s probably a fourth there.”

Not only are they going to press on with these sequels, but also with the Madagascar series as well, with the next installment returning the animals to New York.

Dreamworks has produced some of the greatest animated features, but they also produce some of the worst sequels out of the animation studios. The Shrek franchise sputtered and plummeted to complete insignificance at the third installment and they want us to believe that they can keep it together for six installments in an even weaker Kung Fu Panda series?

If they can do it, we can do it.

This is just ridiculous.

James Bond 23 Gets New Director

IndieWire.com reported on Dec 2, that the 23rd installment of the James Bond will be directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty). While it is no surprise that there is another Bond movie coming out, but the choice in director seems to be a pleasant surprise. Since Casino Royale there has been a marked effort to make a more gritty and sophisticated Bond and Quantam of Solace was a little bit of a let down in that regard, but Mendes is the right director to bring it back on track. The only problem is that Mendes is not accustomed to the big budget action flick, but I’m sure a director of his caliber can overcome that. Look for the film to come out sometime around Dec 2012 or after.

That’s all I will write about for now. Let me know your thoughts about each of these projects in the comments!

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5 Responses to “News From the Rumor Mill: Sequel Mania”

  1. 2blu2btru December 8, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I never made it through the second installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, and haven’t seen the other one. I think some movies just work, and a sequel can’t capture the same magic. You keep hoping it will, but it doesn’t.

    I felt that way about A Nightmare on Elm Street. The later movies completely changed the Freddy Kreuger (sp?) Wes Craven created. I liked Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, because it returned a bit of the awe and horror to the character, and mocked his “lovable” incarnations.

    The biggest culprits, though, are the superhero blockbusters–Men in Black, Superman, Spiderman, Batman. They tend to get campy and end up being caricatures of the original ones.

    Hopefully, 2011 will be a stronger movie season; I was largely disappointed this year. 😦

    • Brian Pac Sostak December 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

      I think you are exactly right, horror and superhero films are the worst offenders of sequelitis but for two different reasons. Horror movies realize that they can capitalize on the name and icon for cheap and make a profit without making a good product. Superhero movies become absorbed in the action and villains and campiness while losing sight of the story and characters that made their originals so great.

      I think Superman is the worst at this because with a character as physically invulnerable as Kal-El it is hard to build a solid story where he is at odds without good character development and an internal struggle. I think television is a good medium for superheros b/c it can chronicle the character’s growth better, especially with Superman.

  2. Brian Pac Sostak December 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Chris, I know I’ve told you this before but I think you need to sit down and rewatch Quantum of Solace. It didn’t receive the critical acclaim that Casino Royale did, and I think that’s because the shock of the “gritty Bond” wore off a bit. But I like the revenge story of Quantum a bit more, and as a big time Bond fan it develops his character much more than the original. Although nothing will top seeing Casino Royale in theaters, Bond is probably my favorite movie franchise and I hated the Brosnan years (except for Goldeneye).

    Also, if Gemma Arterton is in Wrath of the Titans that will probably be enough for me to at least Netflix the film.

    • Chris Petersen December 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

      I don’t think Quantum of Solace was necessarily bad, but I think it reverted to more of a cliche instead of a deeper Bond. The revenge story was good, but all the chase scenes felt contrived like, “Here is the car chase, insert plane chase here, and we’ll do a boat chase here.” While Bond has always kind of been over the top, I was hoping it could produce the great action of Casino Royale and not be so over the top. I still love Bond for its shamelessness, but I wanted something a little different for Daniel Craig 2.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ***Trailer Time*** The Rite, Kill the Irishman, Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - December 15, 2010

    […] for the fountain of youth, battling mermaids and Blackbeard.  Chris has talked about this film in previous posts, advising to approach with caution the second trilogy in the Pirates franchise.  I am a bit more […]

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