sequels

One of the biggest complaints people had coming out of Ridley Scott’s epic in scope sci-fi spectacle Prometheus was that it raised more questions than it answered. Well, today brings good news for those of you looking for closure. It turns out Scott knew what he was doing all along: he raised a bunch of questions about the origins of humanity, got us on the hook for wanting answers, and now he’s going to sell us all tickets to a sequel. Pretty clever, movie industry. Confirmation of a Prometheus 2 comes from THR, who have published a comprehensive look at which of the big movies from this summer are likely to spawn sequels. In addition to the Prometheus confirmation, they reveal that movies like Ted, Magic Mike, American Reunion, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all likely to be given follow-ups as well.

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Today is a great day for fans of lights going on and off and stationary webcam footage, for today is the day that the trailer for the new Paranormal Activity has dropped. If you remember, last year, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman went retro and took the series back to the boxy camcorder days of the ’80s, which was a fun way to add some zest to the experience of thinking that you might have seen something move over there in the background for a minute, but then it was gone. Well, this year they’re back in the saddle, directing Paranormal Activity 4, and it turns out they’ve found yet another way to spice up amateur looking footage that leads up to a figure standing behind the main character and then a fade to black: they’ve added video chat. Yes, Paranormal Activity 4 takes the story of haunted sisters Kristi and Katie and brings it back into today’s world. This time around, the remaining family members seem to have moved next door to a teenage girl or something, and also there’s a kid who has electro powers like Powder…but none of that is really important. The Paranormal Activity movies aren’t so much traditional storytelling as they are the crafting of an experience. It’s all about sitting on the edge of your seat, never knowing when something freaky is going to happen next, and then screaming your lungs out when something suddenly does.

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Ever since Chris Tucker uttered the phrase, “Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” in the trailers for the original Rush Hour, that pairing of him and martial arts legend Jackie Chan has become, for better or worse, an enduring part of our pop culture lexicon. Despite the initial joy everyone experienced by watching a loud black guy and a bumbling Asian guy teaming up and becoming friends, however, by the time the third film had come and gone, it started to feel like the Rush Hour formula was getting pretty tired, and should probably be put to bed. At least, it felt that way to audiences. To people who make lots of money producing a franchise, things tend to look a whole lot different. That’s why, when Crave Online asked Rush Hour producer Arthur Sarkissian if he has any new projects on the horizon, it comes as no surprise that he responded, “I am working on Rush Hour 4 right now with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.” He went on to explain his statement by saying, “I’m trying to do it closer to how I did Rush Hour 1, more down to earth, more gritty, introduce two new characters and make it real the way the first one was. I personally was not happy with the third one. I thought 1 and 2 were very good. I think 3 got out of hand a little bit. It’s not a matter of just bringing them […]

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Taken 2

The thesis statement of Taken 2 seems to hold that once you’ve dipped your toe into the criminal world, you’ve entered a murky swamp with an undercurrent that’s just going to keep pulling you deeper down into depravity. When Liam Neeson’s daughter got snatched up by kidnappers in the first Taken, he didn’t handle things by going to the proper authorities, he handled them by tracking the kidnappers down and brutally murdering them one at a time until he got her back. If you’ll remember, it was completely awesome. But it turns out all of those people he killed had families – criminal families – and now they’re out for revenge. In this trailer for Olivier Megaton’s Taken 2, it’s not just the daughter that gets taken, it’s the entire family. So Neeson is going to have to fight extra hard, he’s going to have to dig deep into his cache of skills, and he’s going to have to be as steadfastly brutal as he’s ever been on film before…because he’s got a whole lot of people to kill.

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Those with comic book reading experience can tell you that Marvel’s recent announcement that Captain America 2 will be released under the title Captain America: The Winter Soldier points to the fact that the bulk of the film will be concerning a Russian secret agent who has ties to Cap’s World War II past. And yet, a new report coming out of THR seems to prove that secret Cold War projects aren’t the only ground this sequel is going to be covering. According to the trade,  the prolific and under-appreciated Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Gangster Squad) is currently in negotiations to join directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s film as the character of Sam “Snap” Wilson, A.K.A. The Falcon. This is noteworthy news because – holy crap – the Falcon is going to be in a movie! For those that need a little background, the Falcon – who debuted in Marvel Comics in 1969 as their first African-American superhero – is best known as being an associate of Captain America, but he’s also an accomplished hero and a card-carrying Avenger in his own right. Growing up in a tough part of Harlem, Sam Wilson watched both of his parents’ lives get claimed by street crime as he was growing up. He tried to fight back against said violence by being a community volunteer early in his life, but eventually his anger over his upbringing allowed the all consuming criminal culture to corrupt his soul, and he briefly took a job […]

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Any time director Guillermo del Toro has been asked if he’s planning on making a third installment in his Hellboy franchise over the last few years, his responses have not been encouraging. His general feeling is that there are just too many new and exciting things to do out there to go back to the Hellboy well for a third time. Seeing as Hellboy 2 has earned a lot of fans over the years, and there’s a great big, world-ending prophecy storyline that could be tackled in Hellboy 3, a lot of people have taken these comments as being a huge disappointment. But news coming out of Comic-Con sees del Toro’s tune changed quite a bit in regards to another go-around with the red-skinned one. Entertainment Weekly got the director and Ron Perlman together to talk about their latest project, Pacific Rim, and he dropped this bomb on them, “I can say publicly that now we are together in trying (to do Hellboy 3).” This was something of a shocking statement, that Perlman fleshed out by adding, “The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve. Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.”

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If you were one of the many people who complained that The Hangover Part II was nothing more than a tired retread of everything that had already been run into the ground about the original (and why wouldn’t you have been?), then it might come as good news that the makers of The Hangover Part III seem to already be taking steps to differentiate it from the first two films in the franchise. Then again, you might not end up thinking it’s good news at all. According to THR, perennial Hangover supporting actor Ken Jeong has officially signed on to once again appear in this third film, but unlike in the first two installments, where his character’s role in the story consisted of little more than popping in and out of the action to show us his penis, this time around Jeong will see his presence greatly expanded. While details of the plot are still safely guarded, it’s known that the latest set of party fouls will send the boys to Tijuana, and this new news indicates that Jeong’s Mr. Chow will presumably be along for the ride. Could this mean that he’s in line to be officially inducted into the Wolfpack?

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Magic Mike

Over the last couple weeks since its release, Magic Mike has become so successful that you had to imagine somebody somewhere was already thinking about a sequel. This movie was basically the largest dollar bill stuffed into the largest g-string ever, so to think that everyone involved wasn’t going to shake it a second time to try and double their money would be naive. And, sure enough, during a recent Twitter Q&A with “Glamour” magazine, Magic Mike star and oiled up hunk of beef Channing Tatum put it all out there. When asked about a possible sequel, his response was a resounding, “Yes, yes and yes! We’re working on the concept now. We want to flip the script and make it bigger.” Of course, this simple confirmation that the idea is being bandied about doesn’t really give us any of the particulars of what a Magic Mike sequel would look like. The first was directed by Steven Soderbergh, and felt very much like a Steven Soderbergh film. In addition to all of the flashy stripping scenes that seem to have caught everyone’s attention, there was also a solid story about people at the heart of things, and the whole point of the narrative seemed to be Mike trying to get to a place where he could grow beyond being a Goodtime Charley.

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It’s been fifteen years since Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold packed up the family for the last National Lampoon’s Vacation movie, probably because that most recent attempt at cashing in on this comedy franchise didn’t go so well. New Line seems to think that there’s still some juice left in the formula however, because they’ve hired Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to co-write and co-direct a new entry in the franchise. This isn’t set to just be the same old Vacation movie where Clark and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) take their teenage kids on some sort of oppressively family oriented adventure though. The characters are finally being allowed to age, and the lead of the film is set to be an adult version of Rusty Griswold, who will be taking on the duty of being head of family leisure planning.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Here be Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man. Consider yourself warned. With The Amazing Spider-Man performing considerably well — and better than a supposedly worried Sony had expected — we’re bound to hear news of a sequel in the coming weeks. We already know the plans for a trilogy, but where that trilogy will actually go remains something of a mystery. The dull Peter Parker’s parent subplot/question will likely be answered, sure, but why not move away from this topic? Better yet, why not take a crack at all these suggestions below that I just know every exec at Sony is feverishly scribbling down? They may need to. Although Marc Webb‘s reboot of Spider-Man is pretty good, the impending release of something like The Dark Knight Rises means “pretty good” doesn’t exactly cut it. Sam Raimi handled the character properly, and showed how to make a great movie or two with him in the meantime. Even with all these origin amnesia criticisms that have been made, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly take notice of what worked in Raimi’s first two Spider-Man installments, and it should have; there’s plenty to improve on. Some of these things include:

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Although The Amazing Spider-Man opened the lowest out of all the other movies in the Sony franchise with a $65m weekend, it’s already scored $341m worldwide. Not bad for a week’s work. Sam Raimi‘s series opened with $114.8m, $88.1m, and $151m (chronologically), and even though Marc Webb’s rebooted version starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone didn’t hit that mark, it benefited from an extended holiday week and made more than enough to earn sequels. This film was in a funny situation though. As pointed out last week, it had the ability to change the direction of major studios – a fitting task for the reboot of a franchise that shifted the rudder of the last decade. For some fans, it proved to be a story success, but the response has been far from unanimously positive. However, this initial haul (and the money still to come) proves that Sony (and all other studios) can keep mining their name-brand superhero content as long as they want, rebooting whenever they see fit. Spider-man and Batman are the new Bond.

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We haven’t reported much on the progress of Raging Bull II, mostly because making a sequel to something as beloved as Raging Bull thirty-some years after the release of the original and without the involvement of any of the iconic names who made the first so beloved is a dumb idea unworthy of much attention; but let’s do a quick rundown of the particulars anyway. The subject of the first film, Jake LaMotta, sold the rights to the sequel of his life story to a company called RB II Productions. This has led to co-writer/director Martin Guigui putting a film together that’s going to work as part prequel and part sequel to Martin Scorsese’s 1980 film, Raging Bull. This new film, which stars William Forsythe as LaMotta, will focus on the period of the boxer’s life before Raging Bull took place, as well as on what happened to him after. It’s currently filming in Los Angeles. For now. The interesting news about this ill-advised and sure-to-be-reviled project is that the studio behind the original film, MGM, is trying to get it shut down. A report from Deadline Coventry says that the studio has filed a complaint against LaMotta and RB II Productions stating that, due to an agreement drawn up in 1976, MGM still has the rights to the boxer’s original memoirs as well as right of first refusal to any “owner-written sequel.” Seeing as LaMotta never took the idea of a sequel to MGM, and RB II Productions has […]

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We’ve known from the very beginning that James Cameron intended on making a sequel to his wildly successful foray into 3D filmmaking, Avatar. We’ve had indication that he might even have plans for several sequels for Avatar, stretching the thing out to encompass an entire trilogy. Word was that the upcoming journeys into the world of Pandora were going to deal heavily with exploring its underwater locations, a prospect that sounded promising, given all of the development of underwater technologies Cameron has done over the years. But when the director started talking about how he might even make three more Avatar sequels, and how he didn’t plan on making movies that weren’t Avatar related ever again…the guy started to sound a little crazy. Well, crazy or not, it indeed looks like that’s going to be the plan. Showbiz 411 has quotes from Avatar actress Sigourney Weaver confirming that Cameron has plans for three more sequels, and that they’re all going to be shot at the same time. This all but confirms that we’ll have to sit through an entire block of films about blue-skinned eco-warriors. Weaver’s comments come with the addendum that she has no idea how long the filming is going to take, how any of it is going to work, and that her job is to “just show up.”

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The 1988 horror film Child’s Play told the story of a psychotic serial killer named Charles Lee Ray getting his soul trapped inside a red-headed Good Guys doll that was known simply as Chucky. Twenty-four years later, Curse of Chucky sees the killer getting banished to somewhere even worse than inside the body of a doll: straight to video. A fifth sequel to Child’s Play has been rumored for a while now, but today Moviehole brings us solid information on when the film will come together, and what it will be about. This latest sequel – which is set to start filming in September – is planned to skip theaters and get released straight to DVD. That has to be seen as sad news for Chucky enthusiasts, but fans of the freckled one shouldn’t fret. Once you get passed the disappointment of hearing that your favorite psychotic in overalls is getting pushed out of the wide release game, there’s plenty of good news here to help that medicine go down smooth.

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Taken 2

Why would this family go on vacation to Eastern Europe? Why? Why do it? After your daughter was kidnapped, forced to wear a glittery bikini and stood minutes away from being sold into a harem, why would you not bed down in the exact center of the United States (Lebanon, Kansas by the way) and resume life as quietly as possible? The new trailer for Taken 2 raises this important question, but it also continues to prove that Liam Neeson is a badass not to be trifled with. The opening sequence is perfect, taking on the perspective of the sex trade mafia as Bryan Mills has become somewhat of a legend that needs to be taken out. And take him out, they shall. Or at least they’ll try. Check out the trailer for yourself as you ponder why Maggie Grace is pretending to be 14 years old when her character is at least 20.

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Richard Linklater has been tight-lipped about the possibility of there being a third installment in his Julie Delpy-and-Ethan Hawke-walking-around-a-city-and-talking series of films that so far include 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. But, unfortunately for him, one of his stars and collaborators can’t stop spilling the beans everywhere he goes, that star being Ethan Hawke. The last time Hawke was talking about the potential project, he remarked, “I don’t know what we’re going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months. All three of us have been having similar feelings that we’re ready to revisit those characters. There’s nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again, so we’ve really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We’re going to try write it this year.” Well, it seems like the writing went well, because in an interview with IndieWire that was supposed to be about his upcoming project The Woman in the Fifth, talk turned to the new Before Whatever project again, and Hawke confirmed that the third film was indeed on its way. Of his future collaborations with Linklater (which also include a still-untitled series of short films) Hawke said, “we’re also doing a follow-up to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, so that will be fun. We’re going to shoot that this summer.”

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2 Days in New York

While she’s best known as an actress (Before Sunrise, represent!), Julie Delpy has, in recent years, been making the transition to becoming a writer/director as well. Probably her best known work so far is her 2007 relationship comedy Two Days in Paris, which was kind of a comedy of manners where Delpy’s character and her boyfriend (Adam Goldberg) went to Paris to visit her crazy family and have some uncomfortable run-ins with her ex-boyfriends. 2 Days in New York seems to be a sequel in the classic sense. It tells basically the exact same story, except in reverse. This time the crazy family and the awkward ex-boyfriend are coming to New York to visit her and her new boyfriend (Chris Rock). It’s kind of like how Linda Kozlowski was first shocked by Crocodile Dundee’s Outback home and then Crocodile Dundee was shocked by her New York home. Kind of.

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Fans of Suzanne Collins’ whimsical child murder novel, “The Hunger Games,” will tell you that one of the big differences between her book and its eventual film adaptation was that the role of the deadly games’ designer, Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley), was dramatically increased for the screen. In the book we see the events of the games from solely the protagonist’s perspective, so the deadly obstacles that are put in her path always come as a surprise. But in the film, we see Bentley’s character setting everything up and reacting to the ways the players handle his tricks and traps. It made the position of the Gamemaker seem far more important than it ever had before. Seeing as Bentley’s character had fallen out of favor with the powers that be by the end of The Hunger Games, its sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is going to have to find a new puppet master. And given the newfound importance of the role in the story’s movie universe, as well as the fact that the second Gamemaker is a more important character than the first in the source material, Catching Fire’s director, Francis Lawrence, will seemingly have to find a big name actor to step into the role. There isn’t need to worry though, reports are he’s already made an important move toward doing just that.

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A while back David Cronenberg dropped the bombshell news that there were plans for an Eastern Promises sequel, Stephen Knight was already writing a script, and there was even some interest from Focus Features in getting it made. Instantly, fans of slicked back hair, tattoos, and vodka shot grimaces rejoiced at the possibility all over the world. But “script being written” is a long way from “actually being made” in the life of a potential project, so how’s the progress on this one going these days? Turns out, pretty dang good. Vulture is reporting that not only is the first film’s star, Viggo Mortensen, looking like he’s ready to come back and make the sequel, but French actor extraordinaire Vincent Cassel is currently in negotiations to return as well. Mortensen and Cassel teaming up for anything has to be seen as great news. Report that they’re working together on a straight-to-video Gone Fishin’ sequel and it would be exciting. But this? This could be one of the rarest things in the world: a non-superhero sequel that movie fans actually want to see.

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Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

It seems like studios and filmmakers alike are trying to distance themselves from the terms “sequel” and “prequel,” despite a filmmaking world that’s seeing more of the damned things. Maybe they can sense a slight backlash against franchising, but instead of seeking original material, they’re more interested in pretending they’re not making what they’re making. Whatever the case, the most recent distancing comes from Charlize Theron, the star of the Alien prequel Prometheus and the forthcoming Mad Max: Fury Road – a project that’s been in the works for quite some time. According to Screen Rant, she’s prepping to travel to Namibia to begin shooting, but the movie is neither a prequel nor a sequel. “Like with ‘Snow White And The Huntsman,’ there is so much potential to re-imagine that world. It’s such an interesting world and how much it still resonates today after 20 years or whatever it’s been. We’re going back to that world but this is not a prequel or sequel or anything like that.” So, it’s what? A spin-off? There’s no real need to get hung up on labels, but this is getting ridiculous. You cannot make a movie called Mad Max 4 and it not be a sequel. Or a prequel. A re-imagining? Come on. We just got over the moronic “DNA” idea behind Prometheus, but when you’re going back to the well, could you just say so? Thanks.

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published: 12.22.2014
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