If the new Halloween can ignore and contradict all of the other Halloween sequels that came after the original movie, what will be the next franchise sequel to erase prior entries from canon?
For a film that could somehow provide an exceptional follow-up, ignoring what came after the first and plowing forward with something new and valid, I’d make a direct sequel to First Blood. Sure, the Rambo movies are fun, and Sly himself tried to reboot the franchise, but none of the subsequent films got what was right about the first. It’s a movie about a character that, despite being sympathetic, was nonetheless sociopathic. Make the new sequel about a contemporary veteran, add in a dash of domestic terrorism, and shift the supposed heroism of such a barbaric figure on its head. It’d never get funded and would likely be excoriated, but it could make for a truly remarkable film.
I’m likely to get a lot of pushback on this idea, but wouldn’t it be great to go back and erase all the movies after the original 1977 Star Wars and start over again?
Yes, we would lose The Empire Strikes Back, with its shocking reveal that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. But that’s the one plot point that has, in my opinion, bottlenecked the franchise into a lot of mediocre to just plain bad storytelling.
Let’s go back to when Vader was just a mysterious and 100% evil villain, when Luke wasn’t related to Leia, and when Han not only shot first, he was the only one to shoot at all.
I’d happily give up all the great characters we gained (like Yoda and Lando) in exchange for a fresh new start without Anakin Skywalker, Ewoks, midichlorians, Jar Jar, and a whole lot more.
Easily, the franchise I’d restart after the first installment is The NeverEnding Story. While the second movie is cute enough, and I’d hate to get rid of the Giorgio Moroder soundtrack or Jack Black’s turn as a bully in Part III, we can do better. The first film is based on a wonderful book by Michael Ende. More precisely, the first film is based on the first third of that book. After that, the film series departed and left the book in the dust. I’d love to see a return to the literary roots, mainly because there’s so much cool stuff in the book we never got to see. I want to see a desert with dunes that change colors in the wind. Give us more of that!
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
This requires selective purging and a time machine, but I’d overhaul the Alien franchise.
I wouldn’t wipe the sequel board completely clean, as David Gordon Green’s Halloween has. Aliens would remain canon. Everything after that, though… ? No dead Newt. No hybrid-xenomorph-Ripley-clone-basketball. No versus-ing Predators. No meandering, pseudointellectual prequels.
The obvious question then becomes, “Well, what type of Alien sequel would you make?” And my answer would be, “Pretty much anything else.” It’s not as if Brandywine or Fox were at a loss for material, amassing an entire franchise’s worth of screenplays and treatments for a third Alien film throughout the tail-end of the 1980s and very early ’90s. Regardless of the direction, I’d timeslide back to that era for the second sequel. Sigourney Weaver turns 70 next year, after all.
And what ideas there were! Maybe Alien3, Mark II would fulfill the promise of the original theatrical teaser, with the xenomorphs stomping around on Earth. Perhaps we could find out what precisely Weyland-Yutani would do if they got their hands on one of these creatures (or, more accurately, what these creatures would do to Weyland-Yutani). I’m not sure what Neill Blomkamp had bobbing around in his head with his sequel-ignoring Alien 3 treatment a few years ago, but the conceptual art he released is more intriguing than anything we’ve seen from the franchise in the past few decades. Maybe I should just toss Neill into the time tunnel and wish him the best of luck with ’80s-era Fox.
Dark Horse Comics is adapting William Gibson’s unused Alien 3 screenplay into a limited series, and the first issue of that arrives in just a few weeks. It’s the closest we’ll get to seeing what could have been.
Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser was a breath of fresh air when it was released in 1987. The horror genre in the 1980s had mostly turned very campy and jokey, working under the theory that horror fans wanted dumb laughs with their over-the-top gore. Barker’s film, though it may have had some cheesy bits where his budget didn’t live up to his ambition, took seriously its mission to scare the audience while creating an incredibly creepy and inventive horror-fantasy mythology.
Although a case can be made that Hellbound: Hellraiser II makes a legitimate attempt to expand upon the world Barker created, it’s a significantly dumber and lamer movie. Everything after that point is best left forgotten. The franchise turned into exactly the sort of goofy schlock that it had originally been created in reaction against. The less said about the innumerable direct-to-video sequels, the better.
Barker has allegedly been working on a Hellraiser reboot for a while now, but the project stalled out a long time ago and doesn’t appear to have made any traction. If it ever comes to fruition, I’d welcome a direct sequel to the first film that makes no reference to any of the others.
What other franchises are in need of some redacting? Give us your suggestions in the Comments.