8 movie franchises that frequently reboot
Many Hollywood franchises are based on popular intellectual property and belong to major studios. Nonetheless, sometimes those franchises run out of steam. An unpopular installment, trouble with the cast and crew, the sale of character rights, or any other number of reasons can require a fresh start. (Maybe more than one fresh start in some cases.) A reboot might be good for business and can indeed bring a franchise successfully back into theaters. When too many reboots happen, however, timelines become confusing. Here are some characters that have seen frequent reboots and which might very well see future ones.
James Cameron’s Terminator 2 became one of the most successful and beloved action films of all time. Sadly, its sequels didn’t have the same fate. While Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines did fairly well with critics and at the box office, the fourth installment Terminator: Salvation was a financial disappointment, so much so that its producers filed for bankruptcy afterwards. Paramount got the rights and attempted a reboot with Terminator: Genisys, which also flopped. Finally, James Cameron is set to regain rights to the franchise in 2019 and have it rebooted again. Hopefully it’ll be done right this time.
The 1978 Halloween inspired many slasher films, including many Halloween reboots. Halloween 3 was a stand-alone story while Halloween H20 ignored everything after Halloween II. Rob Zombie then directed two films set after the first film and this year a new Halloween reboot is set to hit theaters. Hopefully it lasts more than two movies.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Top 20 Highest Grossing Movie Franchises That Maintained (Largely) The Same Cast Throughout
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Horror film The Texas Chain Massacre shocked minds and became a cult classic. It also became one of those IPs that gets shifted around from studio to studio. That lead to a Michael Bay-produced remake and sequel before those were also ignored by 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D, which only recognized the 1974 original. While that film was successful, it’s sequel wasn’t and we’re up for another reboot.
4. G.I. Joe
With toys as popular and well-known as this, how is it that Paramount still can’t get a lasting franchise? After 2009’s G.I. Joe flopped, Paramount didn’t want to throw in the towel. The company asked director Jon Chu to make the next film as both a reboot and a sequel. Somehow, he managed to do it and G.I Joe: Retaliation did pretty well at the box office, though it went through lots of production troubles and a long delay. The next scheduled installment, supposedly called G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant, is reportedly in development and is also (surprise surprise) supposed to serve as both a reboot and a sequel as well as be part of a new cinematic universe. Prepare for lots of action and adventure as well as quite a bit of confusion.
5. Batman / Superman
Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan did two fantastic Batman series. Richard Donner’s Superman film continues to be beloved all around the world. Yet both characters appear to be in limbo. They’ve had unpopular installments throughout the years, such as Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin and Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. Although Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill both did an excellent job as their respective heroes in the most recent movie canon, it’s unclear whether they’ll get to reprise them again. Can we just get someone to play Batman or Superman for more than five years?
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The pizza-loving, crime-fighting turtle brothers have inspired many TV shows, comic books, and merchandise, but when it comes to feature films, they don’t provide steady material. The first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies in the ’90s were big hits, but the third installment disappointed financially. There were no further films until 2007, when an animated reboot came along after Viacom got rights to the characters, but that film didn’t get sequels either. In 2014, a Michael Bay-produced reboot starring Megan Fox arrived. It made enough money and wasn’t as terrible as some expected. Its sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, didn’t do well enough at the box office, however, so Paramount now has plans to reboot the series once again. It almost seems like an infinite loop of reboots. At least fans have a steady supply of TMNT television show and comics.
7. King Kong / Godzilla
For many decades, both King Kong and Godzilla have been portrayed in many films and reboots. Kong was remade in 2005 and 2016; Godzilla got his remakes in 2014 and 2016. But now that both Kong and Godzilla are part of the new MonsterVerse, they’re set to face off once again in 2020. At least that’s under one house.
In 2007, Hitman got slammed by critics but made a lot of money. A sequel wasn’t made, but a reboot came along in 2015; it bombed big time. Now we’re back at the drawing board, with the main character to be portrayed in a Hulu show next. Maybe that will have some continuity.