Weekend Roundtable: Into Darkness

These days, it seems like any even remotely popular movie franchise is required to get the dark and gritty reboot treatment. Everything is “Dark” this or “Darkness” that. ‘Star Trek’ is just the latest example. What happened to the days when summer movies could just be fun without their characters turning into brooding vigilantes hell-bent on revenge for something or other? It may be a while before we see that again. In the meantime, we use today’s Roundtable to make some predictions for the next major properties destined to go dark.

When reading these entries, it may help to picture them as movie trailers with loud and repetitive BRAAAAHHHHMMMM music cues. That’s how I do it.

Shannon Nutt

‘The Muppets: Into Darkness’ – Kermit’s nephew Robin shows up and wants revenge for not getting any screen time in ‘The Muppets‘. He recruits ‘Sesame Street’ regulars Oscar the Grouch, Prairie Dawn and terrorist mastermind Osama “Bert” Laden to carry out his evil scheme. This would be a musical, naturally.

Daniel Hirshleifer

‘Reading Rainbow: Into Darkness’ – Heartbroken by the series’ cancellation, longtime host LeVar Burton kidnaps children and forces them to listen to his readings of ‘Heart of Darkness’ and ‘American Psycho’. The kids then all become serial killers. This is revealed to be a prequel to ‘The Following’.

Luke Hickman

‘Spaceballs: Into Darkness’ – Mel Brooks comes back to turn his sci-fi spoof into the blackest of comedies. After Barf is killed during an alien terrorist attack, Prince Lone Starr gets back on the sauce, turns to the dark side and sets out on a mission of revenge that feels like a mix of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’. With Dot Matrix having fallen victim to Y2K, Princess Vespa has nothing to lose and joins her husband on their quest. Along the way, Vespa has a baby and the two prove to be awful and neglectful parents. They run into Dark Helmet, who has formed a relationship with the Apes much like that of Daenerys Targaryen in ‘Game of Thrones’. The only way to bring their adventure to a close is to seek the help of Yogurt, which is a difficult task because he’s been court-ordered to stay away from children.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

‘Army of Darkness: Into Darkness’ – Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Army of Darkness‘, but a sequel to a movie with demonic possession and dark magicks shouldn’t be so goofy. Take Ash out of medieval times and return him to the present. Lose the swords, sorcery and rolling hills and make it really claustrophobic and intense. Oooh, maybe you could strand the guy in a rickety cabin in the middle of nowhere. To up the stakes and make it really personal, have the demons prey on some of Ash’s closest friends… consume the woman he thought he was going to marry. Wow, I think I’m really onto something here!

Tom Landy

Reality TV has become too soft and predictable for my liking, so I’d love to change that. Eighteen castaways find themselves stranded without any lights or flint in the deepest, darkest cave system known to man, where they must outwit, outplay and outlast each other for 39 long days in the ultimate battle for supremacy. There are no reward challenges. No hidden immunities. But there’s definitely something hungry lurking in the shadows (a la ‘The Descent’). Who, if anyone, will be the sole survivor? Be sure to find out by tuning in to ‘Survivor: Into Darkness’.

Mike Attebery

‘The Simpsons: Into Darkness’ – Ned Flanders finally realizes that his disdain for the Simpson way of life is actually a symptom of his jealous wish to be Homer Simpson. Plotting to murder his neighbor and assume his identity, Ned lures Homer to a remote mountain getaway with the promise of donuts. Soon, 25 years of neighborly irritation transform into a battle to the death. Will Homer Simpson wind up do-diddly-dead?!!

Bryan Kluger

Pixar’s ‘Up: Into Darkness’ – Russell is almost 20 now and has dropped out of school as he struggles with a hardcore heroin addiction. Even with the help of his mom and Carl, he can’t fully kick the habit. He even tried to sell Dug the dog to a Mexican dog fighting ring. However, as far as everyone else knows, Russell has supposedly been sober for a few months, and everything seems on the up and up.

Meanwhile, Carl has retired and spends his days creating sculptures of Kevin, the tall bird they met so many years ago. One day, when Russell doesn’t show up for their daily dinner, Carl begins to suspect that something is wrong. Carl investigates Russell’s apartment and finds large amounts of drugs and used needles, along with stacks of cash, weapons and personal snuff films. He then discovers that Kevin plans to travel back to Paradise Falls to capture Kevin and the rest of the birds, so that he can sell them for drug money to the Mexican cartel, where they’ll either be trained to fight to the death or be killed instantly for their rare feathers and bones. Can Carl beat Russell to Paradise Falls and save those birds?

Josh Zyber

‘Smurfs: Into Darkness’ – After years of bumbling, Gargamel finally finds Smurf Village and stomps all the little rodent bastards to gooey blue pulp. That is, all of them except Smurfette, who, in a sad irony, was only spared because she was off at the nearby lagoon whoring herself to the Snorks to support her raging mushroom addiction. As she returns home and finds it destroyed, Smurfette must clean up her act and rise up to take revenge for all her slaughtered brothers. Better watch out, Gargamel. You’re in for a major smurfstorm of pain.

What obvious candidates have we missed? Tell us in the Comments about other franchises that will inevitably plunge Into Darkness.


  1. JM

    ‘Sleeper: Into Darkness” – 30 years after destroying the Aires Project, Woody Allen is living in Metropolis-style comfort with three young CGI Diane Keatons… Until his holographic wives contract a deadly anal virus that begins to rapidly transform them into old Diane Keatons.

    Disguising himself as a geriatric sexbot, Woody Allen escapes the tundras of New Canada in a tunnel through the earth, that takes him to the bayous of Old Orleans, where Bill Nighy teaches him how to use his robotic cock and make gumbo.

    In Happy Carrot Cave, Woody Allen kills an asymmetrical clone of himself with a pre-seasoned cast-iron dutch oven, 8-quart. The guilt of which forces him to mentally teleport to Ozone City, even though he is not yet ready to have sex with women in comfortable shoes.

    Betrayed by CGI Sammy Davis, Jr., Woody Allen is cryovaced in 83% dark chocolate, but can still move around as a monolith using stress-induced telekinesis, while the echo effect makes him compulsively repeat each line of dialogue five times, setting off the annoyance sensors.

    Accidentally discovering the source of Diane Keatons’ aging in a factory that processes wheat, with his backside covered in fruit and nuts, half eaten out Woody Allen finds himself face to face with Black Penis, originator of the anal virus–except only the disembodied head and blackened foreskin cape remain, which makes exploding it tricky.

    After slapping cocks together for what seems like ever, the penultimate conclusion comes. Woody Allen finds out that Black Penis is 1/16th his father on his mother’s side. Which causes him to commit suicide via auto-erotic asphyxiation, rather than live out his life with three old Diane Keatons.

    But, unknown to the Archduke of The Inner Rim, ruling all in his favorite hoodie, Woody Allen’s non-corporeal id lingers on in the form of a creative black hole, disconnected from space and time, forever fermenting his next jazzy revenge.

  2. EM

    Halloween: Into Darkness: Michael Myers stalks a band of teenagers while they have sex, do drugs, and babysit—only to discover to his great dismay that these teens are even more vicious psychopaths than he is! It’s the night he ran home!

  3. Kevin

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Into Darkness- The evil Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa hatch their most vile scheme yet to do away with those pesky Power Rangers, and take over the city of Angel Grove (and then… the world). They send Goldar down to murder the Rangers as they sleep.

  4. EM

    24: Into Darkness: Jack Bauer is called in when terrorists set up nuclear bombs in numerous US cities. Suffering pain, exhaustion, and trust issues, Jack gets pretty damn sick of this shit and says, “Fuck it—let ’em nuke the country”—which is why this 24 series abruptly ends with episode six.

  5. Scooby Doo: Wrong Turn Into Darkness!

    The Scooby Gang was disbanded many years ago when it turned out that they were claiming rewards for getting innocent people jailed due to their ghost scams. Shaggy, having used his street connections as a big time New York drug dealer to frame-up Fred for all of the group’s indictments, whored-out Velma and Daphne for the last five years. Barely cognizant of her surroundings after years of crack addiction, Daphne longs for the day when Fred is about to be released from jail.

    On the day of Fred’s release, Daphne is unable to get the money to pick him up, forcing him to walk home into the darkness of the forest, when he is mauled to death by a beast.

    And so begins the Scooby Gang’s greatest mystery: Was Fred killed by Shaggy’s deadly pit bull “Scooby” (to keep Fred from settling the score), or the mutt “Scrappy” owned by Daphne’s top repeat sugar daddy Wall Street married millionaire (to keep her turning tricks)? Or, someone/something else unexpected?

    Rejoin their lives at their utmost Wrong Turn Into Darkness…

  6. EvilResident

    I’d actually LIKE to see a “gritty reboot” of Jurassic Park. Dark and violent and faithful to the two Crichton novels. I’d be in heaven.

  7. JM

    ‘The Sound Of Music: Into Darkness’ – Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, directed by Paul Verhoeven, based on the graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, starring Michael Fassbender, Anna Kendrick, Christoph Waltz, Kate Upton, Neil Patrick Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Russell Crowe.

  8. Eric

    The reboot everyone has been waiting for: Home Alone: Into Darkness. Kevin is left home alone when his family accidentally over sleeps after a wild night of binge drinking with the kids and rushes to the airport for their flight to Paris. When the burglars realize that the boy is there without supervision, they quickly begin to torture the terrified child (a la The Strangers), whose goofball traps are completely ineffective. After the boy has gone completely insane, they stab him to death and leave him for his family to find when they can finally get a flight back home.

  9. William Henley

    I was thinking Gone With The Wind: Into Darkness (great title, BTW),with Scarlett going crazy over the loss of Rhett, then realized that everything I was thinking was pretty much what Scarlett was.

    We could go with Gatsby: Darkness Falls. In this, Daisy starts withdrawing more and more into herself to deal with the hurt and the new-found abuse by her husband, as Nick starts to explore his homosexual tendancies.

    Iron Man 4. Pepper finally blows herself up in an firey fit of anger. Tony suddenly becomes mad-scientist, with no regard for human life, and The Hulk gets sent to try to reason, and eventually destroy him.

    Captain America: Angel of Darkness. After North Korea and Iran nuke North America to nothing more than a radioactive wasteland, Captain America goes on a murderous blood-bath, trying to destroy the rest of the world before the Germans finally stop him.

    Flight of the Navigator Reboot. David returns after being gone 8 years, not only not having aged, but having horrible nightmares. Turns out he is reliving the torture done to him on Phalon. The dreams start to lead him into a madness, resulting in him eventually being locked up in a high-security mental hospital. Meanwhile, an alien spacecraft contacts him telepathically, and David runs to it. Turns out that David’s mind has been filled with battle tactics and portions of his subconcious brain have been reprogrammed. After a mind-scan, David’s subconcious programming becomes activated, and he takes the ship and starts launching destruction on Tokyo, San Francisco, Texas and Miami.

    Charlote’s Web: Web of Darkness. Wilbur is deeply disturbed by Charlotte’s death, and the departure of most of her children. While trying to deal with this, a girl pig is introduced into the barn, but not long after mating season, he watches in horror as she is butchered. Wilbur then works with the spiders to start an all out war on humanity. The spiders start small – just bitting humans at first, but learn that they have a taste for human blood, which gives them unprecidented power. The spiders grow in number and size, eventually taking over the town. The only one spared is Fern, who has to single-handedly save everyone (despite the fact that the whole rest of the world is unaffected).

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