More Sequels That Could Easily Copy the Torch-Passing Model of Creed

By  · Published on November 30th, 2015

As if the success of Jurassic World and the pre-sale achievement of Star Wars: The Force Awakens weren’t enough, the triumphant opening of Creed this past weekend sends another message to Hollywood that the sequel that’s also a reboot is the way to go. These are all franchises now following new characters inhabiting the same universe as the old familiar faces. Some also feature those old faces in supporting roles, but these are primarily about passing the torch to a new generation.

Matt Singer at Screen Crush calls them “legacyquels” (legacy sequels), and he acknowledges that they’re nothing we haven’t seen before. Many franchises have, over the past decade, tried to evolve in the form of handing the lead position down to another character, often to the child of the original main character. But Creed goes a fresh direction by having the legacy carried on not by the son of the original hero but that of his friend, a former supporting character long since dead.

We are always willing to lend Hollywood a helping hand, so we’ve found five more potential sequels that could pass the torch the way Creed does – down and over.

Top Gun 2
aka “Bradshaw

Tom Cruise has already shown us he has trouble letting go of a franchise. He was supposedly going to pass Mission: Impossible over to Jeremy Renner, but that didn’t happen. Would he have the same attachment to Top Gun? The long-teased sequel was at one time also going to keep Cruise’s Maverick in a minor role as he taught a new hot shot (Taylor Lautner was rumored for the role then). If suddenly Paramount wants to copy what Creed does, it could still do that idea but have the young gun be the son of Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died in the original. Unlike the newbie of Creed, we’ve already seen this kid before.

The Color of Money 2
aka “Felson

While we’re talking about Tom Cruise, it’s worth noting that he starred in a legacyquel decades ago, with him being the newcomer opposite Paul Newman’s reprisal of his character from The Hustler. It’s already been longer since the release of The Color of Money than it was between that and its predecessor (they were based on novels by Walter Tevis published 25 years apart), so the next installment is way overdue. This time the young pool player will just happen to be the grandson of Newman’s character. Bring it around in a circular way (down the road we meet Cruise’s character’s grandson and he takes over). And if history can repeat itself properly, the movie would see Cruise finally win an Oscar, just as The Color of Money finally got Newman his.

Alien 5
aka “Hicks

The latest word we got on Neill Blomkamp’s Alien sequel is that if it still happens it will ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection and bring back Hicks (Michael Biehn) and Newt, who would now be grown up and set to take over the franchise from Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). That’s a fine way to pass the torch, but if Fox wants to follow Creed’s model they’ll keep those characters dead (I hate when franchises retcon, unless it’s with time travel, which maybe…). They could make it so Hicks had a daughter back on Earth, who never had the chance to know him. But this being the Alien series, of course she turns out to secretly be an android.

Indiana Jones 5
aka “Brody

The last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, attempted a legacyquel by introducing the hero’s son, Mutt (Shia LaBeouf). The next one should avoid trying any further to get LaBeouf to take over the franchise and instead go the way of Creed by introducing another character’s son. We’ve never heard anything about Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) having kids, probably because his wife died only a few years after they wed. He does have a nephew, James, according to one book. His nickname is Sunny Jim, which I guess could be the continuing series’ title. Maybe.

Or Spielberg could make another nephew be Martin Brody, who goes adventuring with and then similar to Indiana Jones for a few years (always complaining about a fear of water, akin to Jones’s fear of snakes) before settling down as a police officer on Amity Island … and therefore it turns out the movies are also a prequel series leading up to Jaws.

Fast and Furious 19
aka “O’Connor

The number of the sequel isn’t important. But at this point it’s hard not to foresee the Fast and Furious movies getting up there. Also, with a new movie out every two years, that gives the franchise plenty of time until Brian and Mia’s son or daughter is old enough to join the team or lead a new one. By then they can also say Paul Walker’s character has died and it’s not insensitive, right? Or, if that’s the case, better to have it be one of the lesser characters’ kids, anyway. Han’s son or daughter it is, then. And the villain can be the kid of Jason Statham’s character. Or Jason Statham’s character. He’ll still be alive.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.