Dead film franchises begging to be revived
Some franchises go long past their prime. They get lost in the world of innumerable direct-to-DVD sequels or get caught up in a confusing timeline of reboots and retcon that makes the continuity almost impossible to follow.
But not all series continue indefinitely. Some simply fall by the wayside. Studios lose interest or opt to put one franchise on the back burner to focus on another. Other times, a follow up effort bombs and leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Sometimes, it’s for the better that a film series is laid to rest, but other times, a misstep or loss of interest creates the opportunity for a series to be revitalized. And that’s precisely the case we intend to make here. Today, we will be taking a look at ten dead film franchises that are begging to be resuscitated.
While the first installment in the series is the benchmark by which all future sharksploitation films will be compared, the final installment in the franchise sits at a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 0% ‘fresh’ and an audience approval rating of just 14%. It would be nice to see the franchise close out on a high note. I’m not suggesting a reboot or reimagining. I’m talking about a proper Jaws V that gives the material the respect and admiration it deserves and exposes audiences to kind of pure terror stirred up by the original.
Is it a franchise? Technically it is a film released in two parts. But let’s not split hairs. Kill Bill is one of the more effective grindhouse titles of the modern era and it’s begging for a follow up. It would be a true pleasure to see Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) come out of retirement for one more outing. With fifteen years since the release of Volume 1, Ambrosia Kelley (who played Vivica Fox’s daughter) is grown and could possibly return to do battle with The Bride. This was hinted at as a possibility in Volume 1 when Beatrix Kiddo took out Kelley’s onscreen mother.
Unfortunately, there is bad blood between Uma Thurman and director Quentin Tarantino that dates back to the filming of Kill Bill. Thurman revealed that the director put her in peril and convinced her to perform stunts that she wasn’t comfortable executing. With that said, a third volume may (understandably) be a no go. But, we’ll hold out hope that wrongs can be made right, and fans can one day gear up at least one more violent adventure with The Bride and company.
Fans have been clamoring for a Blade 4 for years, now. Any time rumors about a fourth installment hit the web, it nearly breaks the Internet. Wesley Snipes has repeatedly expressed interest in the possibility of playing the human-vampire hybrid one more time. And the Marvel Cinematic Universe is more successful now than it has ever been. Blade: Trinity was a misstep in the eyes of most fans, but, what better way to rectify that than by revisiting the character and setting things right?
Dumb and Dumber
Dumb and Dumber, is one of the most beloved comedies of all time. This 1994 tale of two buffoons on a quest to return a lost briefcase is uproariously funny, featuring brilliant comic timing and unforgettable performances from Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Fans deserve a satisfactory conclusion to the franchise that takes things out on a high note. Both the prequel (Dumb and Dumberer) and sequel (Dumb and Dumber To) failed to resonate with viewers like the first installment did more than twenty years ago. But all of that could be forgiven with a final installment that set things right.
The first film, which followed the legend of a hook-wielding killer who haunts a neighborhood in Chicago, was one of the most poignant and socially relevant horror features of the past 30 years. And the second (although not nearly as topical) was still a solid installment in the series. The third was a silly rehash with none of the imagination of the original. It would be a tremendous boon for fans to see Tony Todd reprise the role (at least) one more time while he’s still able to do so. A fourth film was planned for some time but sadly never got off the ground. However, it’s never too late. You can read about the series’ long-gestured fourth installment by clicking here.
The National Treasure series certainly isn’t a critical darling. But the exploits of treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) and his sidekick Riley (Justin Bartha) have a loyal legion of fans. In fact, there’s even a couple of online petitions demanding that Disney get the ball rolling on the long-promised third installment in the series. In a recent interview, Jon Turteltaub (who directed the first two installments) revealed that making the third entry in the series just isn’t that big of a priority for Disney. This comes as somewhat of a surprise when considering that the films collectively grossed nearly $400 Million dollars domestically. The good news is that the core cast members seem to be willing to revisit their roles. So, here’s hoping the stars align for at least one more entry in the franchise.
Final Destination is a solid horror franchise with nary a bad entry in its ranks. The series has hooked fans with its formula of allowing a group of people to avoid sudden death, only to succumb to gruesome and bloody demises, one by one. Every time news of a possible sixth installment breaks, Final Destination enthusiasts get their hopes up, only to be disappointed when nothing comes to fruition. It’s been seven years since the release of the last installment and its high time we had another brush with death.
If you weren’t of movie-going age in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, you may not be familiar with F/X, a film following a special effects artist (Bryan Brown) who is called upon to help the police create an illusion, only to find himself on the wrong side of the law; or its sequel, F/X 2. The first film was excellent and, while the second was less original and featured a more comedic tone, it was still a good time. Several years ago, a remake was planned and never materialized. But, I would much rather see a sequel that finds Brown reprising his role as Rollie Tyler and Brian Dennehy coming back as Leo McCarthy. The series gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating practical effects. With nostalgia for in camera effects being at an all time high, now would be a great time to revive the dormant franchise.
The original Wishmaster sees Andrew Divoff as a Djinn coming to life to grant three fateful wishes to the person responsible for waking him from his slumber. Both the original installment and its sequel are fun films that treated horror fans to some fantastic effects and fun scares. Unfortunately, the series went off the rails with its third and fourth installments and the role of The Djinn was recast. With sixteen years since the release of the last film in the series, now would be a great time for a soft reboot or proper sequel that saw Divoff return to the role he made famous.
Perhaps he’s a little older than your typical action movie star but I think audiences would gladly overlook that in exchange for a chance to see Clint Eastwood play Detective Harry Callahan one more time. Perhaps he is retired and gets pulled back in as consultant for a particularly challenging case? And if the elder Eastwood wasn’t up to reprising the role, it might be interesting to see his son, Scott Eastwood try his hand at the part in a redux with his father working as a producer and consultant on the project.