Saturday, July 15, 2017

I Actually Do Want to See the Sequel

I've been complaining about sequels this year an awful lot lately, so I thought I'd write up a list of a few movie sequels that I actually do want to see. I'm absolutely not against sequels being made, but which films have gotten sequels often confounds me. In some of these cases, a sequel was explicitly set up by the original film, but isn't close to actually being in production for one reason or another. Others just left the door open for more.

"Chronicle" - There's clearly demand for another trip into the universe of 2012's "Chronicle," considering that the original made ten times its tiny, $12 million budget. However, Max Landis's script for the sequel, "Martyr," went in a much darker direction than FOX wanted. Landis and troubled director Josh Trank don't appear to be involved in the development of "Chronicle 2" anymore, and the last anyone heard, a new writer had been brought on sometime in 2014. I think that the likelihood of another "Chonicle" film being produced at some point is likely, but if Dane DeHaan really blows up next year - he has three high profile films coming out in 2017 - there's probably little chance of "Chronicle 2" looking anything like "Chronicle."

"District 10" - We were promised a sequel three years after "District 9," which came out in 2009, remember? Director Neill Blomkamp has kept insisting that he'll get around to it eventually, as no one can imagine doing a "District 10" without him, but I wonder if he'll have to hit rock bottom in Hollywood first. Frankly, after the bumpy path that Blomkamp has taken over these last few years, I'm eager for him to return to the "District 9" universe, which is still by far the best thing he's ever created. I'm hoping that if his "Alien" project falls through, he'll turn his attention back to the plight of poor Vikus Van der Merwe. And ultimately it's really not going to matter if it takes ten years for the story to continue instead of three.

"The Mortal Instruments" - There was so much about "The Golden Compass" that went wrong, not the least of which was the removal of its original downbeat, cliffhanger ending, which was supposed to be shifted to the beginning of the next movie. All the pieces were put in place for a much more interesting pair of sequels, which sadly never happened. I know that the BBC is looking into making their own version of "His Dark Materials" for television, but the cast assembled for the film was a once in a lifetime convergence of some impeccable talent, and the failure to launch still stings quite a bit. Compare to "The Dark is Rising," which I'm quite happy to see being redone as a television series after the spectacular bungle that was "The Seeker."

"Brave" - This PIXAR film didn't get the greatest reception, because certain viewers were expecting something more epic and grand. And that's why I think it's the studio's best candidate for a sequel, because there are so many more places that the story of Merida could go. A sequel could see her bloom into a full-fledged warrior on a big adventure, or we could have another wacky outing with more bear transformations and family bonding. While I don't object to other PIXAR movies like "Toy Story" and "The Increcdibles" getting sequels, those feel like finished stories to me, while "Brave" remains intriguingly open-ended. Merida learned one important lesson, but she's clearly got a lot more growing up to do.

"Wasington" - Taking a brief detour into the arthouse, don't think I haven't forgotten about your incomplete American trilogy, Lars von Trier. "Dogville" was a disturbing masterpiece, and "Manderlay" less so, but still fascinating. I want to see von Trier bring this series to a climax, especially in the wake of the recent mess of an American election. There was some chatter about Nicole Kidman coming back for "Wasington," but it never came about. Fortunately, because of the way von Trier made the first two films, with essentially no sets and a completely new cast each time, it doesn't matter how long the gap is between the films. If he still wants to make "Wasington" in thirty years, he can and should.

"Master and Commander" - There are twenty Aubrey and Maturin novels! Twenty! I know that "The Far Side of the World" didn't as make as much money as the studio may have liked, but it was massively critically acclaimed, and plenty of people still love it. Russell Crowe seems game for making another one, going so far as to try to drum up support for a potential sequel on Twitter in 2010, and director Peter Weir certainly doesn't seem to be up to anything else. I don't understand why Fox and Universal haven't pulled the trigger on another installment, as costly as it might be. We're getting close to the point where the original cast wouldn't be able to come back, and that would be an awful shame.

.... and "Bill and Ted." Because I still love those dudes.


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