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.
‘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.
‘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’.
‘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!
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’.
‘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?!!
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?
‘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.