News Bites: Sequels and Shannara

News Bites ChristmasOnce again, it’s time for the weekly News Bites. It’s coming a day early this week because, well, you can read a calendar. You know what tomorrow is, and what series gets reviewed on this blog whenever that particular combination of dates comes up. So the News Bites are getting bumped a day ahead in order to make room for a decidedly un-Christmassy movie. But hey, at least I finished the decorations for this column.

On the slate today, a whole lot of film franchises that are getting second, or third, or nth installments. And just a couple original productions.


Jerry Bruckheimer has signed a first-look deal with Paramount. Among the films he plans to bring to the studio are sequels to Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, each starring their original stars (Tom Cruise and Eddie Murphy). This marks a change from earlier plans to do a TV series or sequel based on Axel Foley’s son.

MTV is planning to launch a fantasy television series based on Terry Brooks’ Shannara, one of the best-selling series of books after Harry Potter.

Terminator TV, take two. Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures intend to produce a new TV series to act as a companion to the reboot movie.

Speaking of which, there’s been a fair amount of movement on the movie front. Jason Clarke is in talks to play the role of John Connor in the film, while the role of Sarah Connor is reportedly between Emilia Clarke (no relation) and Brie Larson. The film is tentatively titled Terminator: Genesis.

Just when you thought all that board-game-movie nonsense was over with, news comes out that not only is Ouija still in production, but it’s cast its leads. Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) is joining Douglas Smith (Big Love) in the film, which is of course being produced by Michael Bay.

A deal has been worked out between Disney and Paramount regarding the distribution rights to the Indiana Jones franchise. Paramount will retain the distribution rights to the existing four films, while Disney will have the distribution rights to future films in the franchise. Which means that although there’s currently nothing in the works, it’s very likely there will be future films in the franchise. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth from franchise fans who don’t understand the conventions of pulp fiction…

Tom Cruise is looking to make another Jack Reacher film, after the international success of the first one. This one would be based off the latest book in the series, Never Go Back.

Brian Michael Bendis’s comic book Fire is being adapted for Universal Pictures. Zac Efron will star in it as a college student who is recruited by the CIA, only to discover that he’s part of a program to create expendable agents.

It’s been known for a while that Brad Pitt wanted to do a sequel to World War Z, but didn’t want to do it with director Marc Forster again. He’s found a replacement in Juan Antonio Bayona, director of The Impossible.

Manny FireplaceRumors and Speculation:

Jason Momoa is reportedly in talks for a role in Man of Steel 2: Superman vs. Batman, according to sources for the Hollywood Reporter. Speculation on what part he may play runs the gamut of male DC Comics characters.

Although Sony has scheduled Amazing Spider-Man films out to the fourth film, there may be changes in the franchise before that point. Andrew Garfield has stated that his contract only goes to the third film, and is indicating he may not renew it afterward.

That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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10 Responses to News Bites: Sequels and Shannara

  1. Scophi says:

    I don’t mind reboots as much as sequels.

    Reboots are basically new iterations of a story, so I can ignore or accept new installments without affecting my opinions of older ones. For example, I don’t like Garfield’s Spider-Man near as much as I like Maguire’s Spider-man. So I can ignore Webb’s works and still retain a complete memory of Raimi’s works. Alternatively, I can enjoy Keaton’s Batman and Bale’s Batman.

    Sequels, however, are continuations of the same work, so I have to include them in with the previous versions when considering the overall story. For example, the first Paranormal Activity was fantastic (#2 on my all-time horror list). But each sequel has lowered my opinion of the series to the point where I have to reconsider how much I like the story. Because it’s contiguous, I can’t pick and choose which ones I like. They’re all connected.

    This is the problem I have when people decide not to accept Star Wars, Ep. I-III. Those aren’t reboots, they’re prequels. You can’t ignore them. They are the story as much as Ep. IV-VI. It would be like ignoring the first ten years of your own life because you don’t like your memories.

    As such, studios need to tread carefully when generating sequels. Indiana Jones should stop now. (Actually, they should have stopped with Last Crusade). No more sequels. Everyone knows when the stories have concluded. I’m sure the writers and studio execs know this as well.

    It’s all about flow. Pirates of the Caribbean naturally concluded at 3, but they made 4 anyway. A bad idea, in my opinion. It felt forced and empty precisely because it was. The original story concluded at 3. Future installments will only detract from a really great story.

    As such, I look forward to a Terminator reboot, but will not go see a Top Gun sequel. The first film was complete in itself. It doesn’t need more. Anyone who thinks a sequel will work is missing what made the original great.

    • I agree about Top Gun, but I’m not sure I agree with your reasoning on sequels in general. To me, the fact that a story is “complete” at some point is precisely why it’s possible to “ignore” sequels that come after, if one so desires. Of course, the question of when that is really does vary.

      Most franchises tell a complete story with their first film. Indiana Jones, The Terminator, Back to the Future, The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean were all complete after their first movie. Each got sequels, however, and only the last two are bereft of good sequels. I’ll go so far as to say that POTC 4 is actually the best of the POTC sequels; it at least bothers to be coherent and to tell one story in one movie. Terminator 2 is often regarded as being better than the original film, despite the original being complete of itself, and T2 essentially going against the original in a lot of ways. It’s easy to say they should have stopped at 2, but it’s also easy to see why they didn’t when they could have stopped at 1 and had greater success by not doing so.

      The Star Wars prequels are easy to ignore precisely because they’re prequels; they’re part of the story, but they are a part that is automatically separable — after all, the original trilogy worked just fine without them for 25 years. I don’t think the prequels are as bad as many of the detractors say, but are they ignorable? Absolutely.

      With Indiana Jones, I can understand why people would be reluctant to see a 5th installment after disliking the 4th — as wildly overblown as that reaction was. But to me, that’s like automatically rejecting Last Crusade because Temple of Doom had irritating sidekicks.

  2. jjames36 says:

    A Top Gun sequel. I still don’t want to believe it.

  3. Wild speculation: Jason Momoa as Kalibak. He’s powerful enough to warrent Superman needing help, and would set up a Darkseid for the Justice League movie.

  4. ckckred says:

    I’m hoping Disney doesn’t try to make any more Indy movies. They should just let the series end, but seeing how profitable the last movie was, I doubt they will.

    • Considering they’d have no purpose to acquiring the distribution rights to future films if they didn’t plan to make some, they obviously have something in mind. Just what, exactly, is up in the air.

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