Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday Talkback: What franchise would you want to pull a FAST 5 on?

FAST & FURIOUS 6 is released this week, and expectations are high considering the previous two films broke records for opening weekends in the months when they were released.  Given IRON MAN 3's major opening weekend, I can't imagine FURIOUS 6 will top that, but it'll still make plenty of cash.

The funny thing is if someone told you this five or six years ago, you'd never imagine it.  The first FAST & THE FURIOUS did okay business, but a Vin Diesel movie about street racing was never going to get respect.  2 FAST 2 FURIOUS was... not remembered fondly and pulled the series so low that the next film TOKYO DRIFT, didn't feature any of the old stars in major roles.  That one played so much like a direct-to-video flick that it seemed inevitable that any future releases would be lucky to be theatrical.

And yet somehow, the series revived itself by bringing back the old cast in the fourth film and then completely reinvented itself as a heist film in the fifth movie.  It's got to be one of the all-time most impressive and unexpected comebacks for a franchise.

So my question this week is - what franchise do you think could be capable of pulling off that reinvention and how would you save it if you were given the reigns?


  1. It's been a pleasant surprise recently to see several franchises reinvented into strong new material. Nolan's DARK KNIGHT. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Will Graham's relationship with Dr. Lecter finding an artful home with the HANNIBAL series. J.J.'s STAR TREK.

    I had high hopes that Ridley would rescue ALIEN from the throes of the awful "versus" franchise battle royals, but the mixed-bag that is PROMETHEUS doesn't promise much continuation.

    I suppose if I could rescue one beloved franchise it would be Mr. McClane's. How? Everything after VENGEANCE never happened. Surfing on top of jets, shooting through Russia with his son, all coma dreams. John wakes up, gets his ass back to the west coast to reconcile with Holly, but of course, shit goes wrong.

  2. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN is an obvious choice. There was still mileage in having Will be the new captain of the Flying Dutchman, but with the films tied so heavily to Jack Sparrow it'd be very tough to do a fresh start - unless they went scorched earth on the series, entirely new cast, set it before (or during) the original quadrilogy to avoid any continuity issues.

    UNDERWORLD AWAKENING had the potential to be a nice fresh start but was a very dull film - the franchise in general was hampered by a great mythology built around below average films. Likewise the RESIDENT EVIL movies - but then to get the fanboys on board you'd end up making fan-pleasing mixtapes like the last few movies have been. Going back to the 'trapped in a house with monsters' approach of the very first game, perhaps?

    BLADE always had lots of cool ideas, and the films themselves had plenty of great moments - likewise HELLBOY, as somebody who never gelled with either film.

    I guess there are lots that built up good worlds and mythologies but never had the films to pull them off, so plenty of fodder for taking the franchise and going for a fresh start!

  3. I'd like to re-launch my own version of "Planet of the Apes". Tim Burton's vision was a bit of misfire, and the "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", though it was different, really lacked that sci-fi edge. Anyway, ol' E.C. Henry has a re-imaging of "Planet of the Apes" which has a sci-fi edge -- and has staring roles for Tom Cruise, Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt to boot!!!

    Yeah, if I was given the opportunity to revive one franchise, I'd like to revive "Planet of the Apes."

  4. Matrix.




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  6. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE -- get rid of Tom Cruise. Have a new guy in the leading role and sourround him with known faces. Make the theme more philosophical and the look and feel more thriller-like (inspired more by the TV series).

    THE HULK -- make this also more like the TV series, with this guy travelling from city to city, looking for a cure. Mark Ruffalo's performance is already a great start.

    TERMINATOR: ENDGAME -- Write a final chapter for the series that determines the fate of the world once and for all. Without any Schwarzenegger this time and no silly twist endings.

    INDIANA JONES -- Fate of Atlantis. Recast it. Enough said.

  7. Hellraiser - Pinhead is such a horrifying character and none of the movies have focused exclusively on him.

  8. Hellraiser - Pinhead is such a horrifying character and none of the movies have focused exclusively on him.

  9. Sex And The City. Ferraris and Ferragamos as our ladies travel the world stamping out fashion crime while having explosively hot casual sex in exotic places.

  10. Bitter,

    One other movie that I think I or someone like me could revive is "Prometheus". What's needed is to get away from the "Alien" angle, sorry it's just played out, and focus on the Enginers, Shaw's quest and bringing in others. I think most people would agree that "Prometheus" was a bit of a dissapointment, and most people invisioned a better movie being made, MAYBE that could happen in the sequel IF the powers that be hired the right screenwriter and changed the focus to what's really interesting, the Enginers.

  11. Police Academy. The sequels steadily got worse after the original but immature cops playing for raunch gags always has potential, especially after the success of the 21 Jump Street remake and the awesome Naked Gun franchise. You don't even need to keep the same cast for successive films, just one or two key players