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Editorial: Movies That Need A Sequel/Remake

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by Mike Lunsford, Editor

On the most recent ComicsOnline Pirate Radio Podcast, I made reference to Andy coming up with the idea to talk about Sequels/Remakes/Reboots from an article I wrote for GGR. Well…here it is. I updated it and tweaked it a bit, but now you can enjoy the original written piece yourself, ComicsOnline readers!

Sequels/remakes/reboots are a funny thing. Some of them are great. They find a facet of the story that still needs to be told and finds a way to re-connect with the audience (see Clerks 2). There are some that are frightening cash grabs (see pretty much every kids movie that is direct-to-video). For the most part, there are two reasons that sequels are made:

  1. The first one made a ton of money, whether it was good or not (looking right at you Fast and Furious franchise. The first one was average at best, with the next 3 movies averaging a 33.66 on Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, the last 3 movies: Fast 5, Fast and Furious 6, and Furious 7 averaged a 78 on Rotten Tomatoes. It must have been Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
  2. The original source material requires it.  Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring was filmed as a trilogy so there was no way there wouldn’t be sequels. I mean…I guess if it was horrible, they may have burned all the copies of Two Towers and Return of the King, but the ghost of Tolkien would have come back to haunt Peter Jackson if he didn’t do those books justice. Plus, Ian McKellen knew Tolkien, so he probably was a stark reminder, even when he wasn’t in Galdalf wardrobe.

“Wardrobe? Why would I need that? Tolkien made this for my birthday. We had a weird relationship.”

 

In certain, rare circumstances, the sequel surpassed the original. Empire Strikes Back is a perfect example of this and so is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Godfather II.  There are flops as well that should have been left alone (X-Men 3: shame on youBrett Ratner…but I’ve talked about that before).

There is also another entity, one that leaves us all craving more and never getting another taste to satiate our hunger. I submit to you, a list of some of the movies that I would love to see another glimpse into the worlds these movies created. Now, remember…be careful what you wish for or you end up with a sequel or remake that just pisses people off (Miracle on 34th Street????? The remake was so crappy that the studio ended up issuing refunds to people). I carefully crafted this list over a beer…or several.

 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

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I love this book. Actually, love is an understatement. I’ve read the entire series, cover to cover at least 3 times and I enjoy it every single time. When they made a movie, one that was faithful to the source material, that had a few changes that only enhanced the end result, and had Zooey Deschanel as Tricia “Trillian” McMillan, I was convinced they would show us more of this incredibly crafted universe. It’s like Star Wars and Star Trek meets Monty Python!

In 2007, Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman said this about the prospect of a sequel:

“(There won’t be a sequel) I found that out from the horse’s mouth, [director] Garth Jennings. I had dinner with him and he said [the first one] just didn’t do well enough.”

Crap. So much for that one. Books translate to movies fairly well, for the most part. I think this one was so difficult to do because there was SO MUCH going on in these books. I still think that a Restaurant at the End of the Universe sequel would have been fantastic.

 

 

The Green Lantern (2011)

Oh Ryan Reynolds…whenever a movie needs someone who can be dreamy for ladies, be realistically bad ass in a fight for the dudes, and provide the laughs for everyone, Hollywood thinks you’re the only answer. This is evident in you being Deadpool.  Green Lantern could have been so good…and it was just not done justice (get it? Justice? League? ….Nevermind). This can be fixed. Now, admittedly, Hal Jordan was always my favorite Green Lantern, and his turn to Parallax in the comics was incredible to read, but any new movie should feature someone other than your carbon-copy generic white actor. We need John Stewart.

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Wrong Jon Stewart

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Yes, THIS one!

Idris Elba would KILL IT as the former Marine who grew up on the mean streets of Detroit! Plus, and this is just in my opinion, if you’re going to cast anyone as Hal Jordan, Dennis Quaid is the obvious choice. As soon as they announced a Green Lantern movie, I expected him to be cast.  With Quaid as Hal Jordan, I thought Green Lantern would be very much like Captain America: The First Avenger in the sense that they would set it in the past, maybe the 50’s or 60’s. Alas, this never happened. But an Idris Elba led Green Lantern 2 movie with maybe a cameo from Dennis Quaid as Hal Jordan would be pretty amazing.

Dredd (2012)

If I don’t mention this movie, Andy Bartsch might die. He loves this movie so much. And rightfully so, it was well reviewed (80% on Metacritic). To clarify, no…not the Sylvester Stallone/Rob Schneider walking snowman of crap. We’re talking about the Karl Urban, ultra-violent, self-satirizing, deadpan delivered remake.

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“Stop! Or my mom will shoot! Wait…wrong remake.”

The movie was by no stretch a box office smash, but that had little to do with how good it was. It was faithful to the comics, the special effects were amazing…but the Hollywood execs refused to release it in anything other than 3D. This alienated a lot of the audience (like yours truly, 3D is too gimmicky). The movie could have potentially made a great deal more money if it had been produced in both mediums.

Executive producer Adi Shankar has been quoted as saying a sequel is unlikely. Karl Urban disagreed stating that the film had found an audience and that if the fans wanted a sequel, they could resurrect the project. There has also been talks of a television series, a web series and other projects, with nothing coming to fruition. This reminds me of what happened with 2005’s The Punisher.  Marvel made it clear that The Punisher was not a priority of theirs when they slashed the budget, yet the movie STILL did extraordinarily well.

Conan the Destroyer (1984)

They already did a reboot with the man-bear known as Jason Momoa, who we saw as Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the recent Justice League trailer. It marks the first time anyone has ever been afraid of Aquaman, but that’s another story. Momoa’s Conan left most wishing that it was Arnold back in the loin cloth. Remember what I said “be careful what you wish for?”

There has been a great deal of rumor that Arnie is going to get himself back into shape so he can crush his enemies, see them driven before him and here the lamentations of the women one more time. He has crapped on all of the roles that made him famous to this point with another garbage excuse for a Terminator movie, why not ruin Conan as well? Let’s be perfectly honest; as long as he’s in decent shape, he kicks ass with a sword and yells unintelligibly at some point, any sequel with him will be a win.

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“NEXT I’LL RUIN THE RUNNING MAN! YAAAAAAAARRGH!!!! AND YOU’LL LOVE IT LUNSFORD!!” He’s right, I will.

As of writing this article, the Schwarzenegger Conan sequel is still moving forward, even though it missed it’s original planned release date of 2014. The project is looking for a director but it is still on track…as per producers  Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan.

 

The Last Starfighter (1984)

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Ah…the motivation for me writing this article in the first place. I love this movie. It fit what I was looking for as a kid being a Star Wars and Star Trek geek; space battles, a reluctant hero, impossible odds against an unbeatable enemy, and aliens realizing how awesome humanity was with their endless hope. That…and the Death Blossom weapons system that was equipped to Gunstar One.

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It’s an awesome ship that has a special weapon that is synonymous with farts.

 The movie is by no stretch of the imagination, great. It’s fun, it has a unique ability to spark wonder in the young and old alike. The concept of a video game being a test for intergalactic freedom fighters was an original concept. As Gene Siskel put it when he reviewed the movie and put it on his list of “guilty pleasures”:

“[it’s] a Star Wars rip-off, but the best one.”

Word, Siskel. This is one of those movies that when it comes on cable, I have to watch it. I don’t care what time it is, I don’t care what I’m doing, this movie will be on. The effects were groundbreaking at the time, and they’re a bit cheesy now, but that’s why it needs a sequel!

Names like Seth Rogen and Spielberg have been attached to a remake/sequel for The Last Starfighter. Unfortunately, the movie has been caught in Hollywood red tape; the rights to the film have not been clearly defined due to conflicting information. Multiple sources say Universal Pictures still owns the theatrical DVD/Blu Ray/digital rights while Warner Brothers has the international distribution rights. Another source states that Universal has the option to remake the film while Jonathan R Betuel, the writer of the first film, has sequel rights. Further complicating the situation is a claim that both Universal and Warner Bros. each have remake and sequel rights.

Ah, but us humans…we have hope! We have hope that they’ll finally find a way to make a sequel! It took George Lucas 16 years to make a follow up to Return of the Jedi! Granted… it wasn’t as good, but hey…Star Wars movies are like pizza, even when it’s bad, it’s still good!

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Wait…I could be mistaken…

Thanks for reading. If you hear that they’re remaking MORE movies from the 80’s (I saw the Poltergeist remake trailer last night and it looks awful), do whatever you can to stop them. It’s your duty as a movie loving American!

Whether it’s talking about sequels/remakes/reboots we want to see,  reviews on comic books, video games, or movies, we’ve got you covered at ComicsOnline.com. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our podcast on iTunes for everything geek pop culture!

 

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About Mike Lunsford

Mike is an editor at ComicsOnline and a co-host on the ComicsOnline podcast. He's from the DC area in Virginia. He's also the co-creator of the comic book, Ethan Stone P.I.

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