Monday, May 25, 2009

A Summer of Sequels

Two summers ago, I wrote about a Pixar film standing tall as the only major summer studio feature that was wholly original. In Wonder Takes Time, we marveled at Pixar's genuine intent on giving the marketplace of ideas fresh stories. Among sequels ("Pirates 3," "Spider-Man 3," "Shrek 3") and based-on-toy-films, television shows, and reboots ("Transformers," "The Simpsons Movie," "Halloween"), Brad Bird's "Ratatouille" stood alone as the unique entry of the summer.

Well, here we are again, in the summer of 2009, where Pixar has the lone wholly original film of the summer. Pete Docter's "Up," which opens May 29, and is a (gasp!) original screenplay, goes up against these summer films:
  • Fast and Furious (sequel)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (sequel)
  • Star Trek (reboot/sequel)
  • Angels and Demons (sequel/based on novel)
  • Land of the Lost (based on television show)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian (sequel)
  • Terminator: Salvation (sequel)
  • The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (remake)
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (sequel/based on toy)
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (sequel)
  • Bruno (based on television character)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (sequel/based on novel)
  • Julie and Julia (based on article)
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (based on television show)
  • The Final Destination (sequel)
  • H2 - Halloween 2 (sequel of a remake)


Anonymous said...

What about Peter Jackson's 'District 9'?

Anonymous said...

Well... next summer you'll have even more to comment about when Pixar joins the sequel fraternity with Toy Story 3.

Happy ranting.

Eric said...

They make those sequels and remakes because they know they'll bring in the money. They know audiences will be interested, because it's like comfort food. Even Toy Story 3, and I loved 1 and 2. Of course original is hard to find, it's not easy. Neither is reimagining a cartoon, a book, a toy, or an article into a live action movie. At least not well. Yes it's lazy thinking, but if it turns out to be a decent movie, why not. Shawshank Redemption, one of my favorites, is based of a Stephen King short story.

swtcurran said...

"the hangover" (warner bros) is posed to be a big hit and it's an original script and doesn't have any toys, nor is a sequel. though according to the LATimes this morning they're all ready talking about a sequel!

Anonymous said...

corporations gravitate towards sure things. Things that sell and move. benefits outweigh cost. Many sequels are cheap to produce, low risk, etc.

So as long as studios remain in these large corporate hands, sequels, remakes, etc. will remain a staple.

Estoye said...

I'd love to read your assessment of "Up."

majikvfx said...

"What about Peter Jackson's 'District 9'?"

Based on a short film, 'Alive in Joburg'