Four action-movie franchises have been in the news recently with good news -- all of them will be getting new installments in the near future. Daredevil, Riddick, Superman and Mission: Impossible's Ethan Hunt will all be returning to work, and they all have some big decisions to make. Besides M:I, which already reinvents itself stylistically with every film, they're all coming off of what could have been franchise-killing movies, so they're all going to have to follow M:I's lead. Here's some advice to the producers on what we want to see in each potential re-boot.
"You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! God damn you all to hell!" Does that line sound familiar to you? Of course it is -- it's what you shouted to the sky (and at any Fox executives within ear shot) as you walked out of 2001's successful-but-ridiculous Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes. Despite being profitable, a sequel to the remake never materialized, possibly because Burton had no interest in returning to the franchise, and star Mark Wahlberg would only come back if he did. But now, for some reason, Fox is rebooting Planet of the Apes again, this time with a prequel. We can't think of too many other franchises that have been re-booted twice, let alone only ten years apart; we also can't believe that Fox didn't learn its lesson the last time. There is no way to improve on the original movie, and when you try, awfulness happens. Let's take a look at the first remake, and show why the original will never be replaced. In other words, get your hands off of it, you damn dirty Fox!
On Monday morning, John Malkovich confirmed that he was in negotiations to play the Vulture in Spider-Man 4. By the end of the day, he was out of a job. That's because there is no Spidey 4 anymore -- director Sam Raimi walked away from the franchise when script problems (likely involving Raimi's love of the Vulture, and Sony's wariness of an old, bald villain) threatened the release date, and Sony has decided to re-cast and re-boot the whole damn thing. Raimi's three movies may have their flaws (especially the last one), but they were hugely popular, which makes this a sad day for a lot of people. On the other hand, we couldn't be more excited about a re-boot, even if the franchise is only ten years old. Here's what we'd like to see this time around.
It looks like Disney's purchase of Marvel Entertainment has lit a fire under Fox. After all, they own the film rights to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Silver Surfer and Daredevil for as long as they continue to make movies. So, now that it's been two years since the last FF movie, they're getting ready to reboot the franchise. Frankly, I'm glad. The first film was good, clean kiddie fun (except for the fact that Jessica Alba kept taking her clothes off), but the second was boring, had Mr. Fantastic stretch-dancing and managed to make Marvel's biggest (literally) villain look like a rain cloud. Fox wouldn't say what they're doing, or even if they hope to bring back the serviceable original cast, but I hope they announce reboots of the rest of their Marvel properties (and Sony's, while they're at it), because, frankly, they all need it.